DONOVAN, Patrick A

No.6087357, Private, Patrick A DONOVAN
Aged 19

2nd Battalion, The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment)
Died of his Wounds on or since Wednesday, 15th May 1940

Patrick Donovan was born in 1920 (Qtr 4 ST. OLAVE (BERMONDSEY) 1d:332), the son of Bartholomew and Ellen DONOVAN (née BARBER), of Haverhill.

Patrick's father died in 1923. His mother was still living in London in 1939 with three of her children but she was to move back to Haverhill settling at St Botolphs Place. Her brother George lived in the town and perhaps the fact that he was widowed in 1941 when his wife Kate née Shipp died, encouraged her to return to the place of her birth. She would eventually move to 113 Burton End.

With the outbreak of war, Patrick enlisted joining the Buffs as a Private.

The 2nd Buffs were engaged near Petegem. According to Blaxland's "History of the Buffs" the 2nd Buffs marched into Belgium on 10 May 1940 and were positioned a front of 2500 yards on the river Escaut, astride the village of Petegem. It says they saw no Germans until the evening of 20 May when they were attacked and partly overrun. The fact that his concentration card at CWGC had written on it "died" rather than "killed in action" suggests he was wounded or ill, probably died later in German hands and was buried locally.

Patrick was originally buried in Petegem Temporary Burial Ground (about 25 Km NNE of Tournai), and moved to Esquelmes in June 1947

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Patrick Donovan is buried in Esquelmes War Cemetery, Belgium grave 6:B:1

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details

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