[page last updated 26 May 2015]
Roll of Honour Data Page
1923 Glanford Lincolnshire, England
591 Antrim Parachute Squadron RE
Enlisted 6 July 1939
Apprentice Tradesman Fort Darland Chatham,
Army Technical School Chepstow,
Ringway Parachute Training Course 77
Son of William Pettifer Branston (1896-1973) and his wife Louie Hickman (1897-1981) of Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, England [m. 1919 Basford, Nottinghamshire]
Brother of Doris, Leonard, Harry, Cecil, Cyril and Kathleen Branston.
6 June 1944 aged 20. He was executed while held captive as a prisoner of war at Château de Grangues
His body was interred at Château de Grangues, then later reinterred in 1945 at Ranville War Cemetery plot 4a, row D, grave 20, after a war crimes investigation.
Cemetery / Memorial:
Named on the Grangues memorial stone at L'église de Notre Dame et de Saint Roch, Grangues, Calvados.
Château de Grangues Inquiry Index (Click)
Was filmed and photographed for a Newsreel, as he prepared for D-day.
A photocopy of Lance Corporal Branston's last letter to his parents is archived at National Army Museum.
It is archived under NAM No. 1990-07-107
I have kindly been sent a partial transcription which reads as follows:
L/Cpl. Branston,Dear Mother, Dad & family,
591 Parachute Sqn, RE
Just a few lines to let you know that in a few hours time I shall be on my way on my first operation overseas.
By the time that you receive this I shall have been over there a few , as this will not be posted for a couple of days after we are gone.
I will write as soon as things are arranged and when we are in a position to do so.
I am very proud to be able to say that I will be amongst the first in the operation to land on [---------] soil anywhere, I expect that you will be reading; and hearing in on the wireless tomorrow.
Don't worry about me I will be O.K., we have no worries as we are very confident as to what the result is going to be.
By the way if you go to the flicks this week you will see me in the news, as I have been photographed on my own cleaning my rifle just before we set off, also several shots were taken of three of us together, so look out for it.
I doubt I will be able to write or send you a card before your Birthday so Dear Mother I'll wish you the very best with everything.
None of us are sorry to be going as we have been cooped up in the transit camp too long and eventually it is quite a relief to us all.
Well Dear family time is short and I have a few preparations to do yet, so much as I hate to do so I must close. So keep your chins up all of you and keep reading the good news as I can assure you there's going to be no messing this time. Jerry's really going to get his lot this time.
Well I'll end sending my love to you all especially you mother, keep [ _____](?) Dad, [_____] a while to you all,
Your loving son
X X X X X X X X Ken
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