No. 226993, Royal Army Service Corps
Died as the result of an accident on Sunday 20 September 1942 (aged 26)
Eltham Cemetery, Woolwich, London (Section B Grave 206)
Bernard Wakeford’s birth was registered in the second quarter of 1916 in Cardiff, and he was a son of Leonard Ernest Wakeford and Sarah Ann Wakeford (nee Work). Leonard Ernest Wakeford was Deputy Superintendent in the Mercantile Marine Office, Board of Trade and he and Sarah Ann Work were married on 3 June 1914 in All Saints’ Parish Church, Penarth, Glamorganshire.
Bernard Wakeford was the husband of Elizabeth Mary Wakeford (nee Green) of 5 Penrhyn Avenue, Rhos-on-Sea, Denbighshire; their marriage was registered in the third quarter of 1939 in Woolwich, London.
The inquest on Second Lieutenant Wakeford’s death was reported in the 26 September 1942 edition of the County Down Spectator. He died after being fatally injured when the car he was driving overturned on the Crawfordsburn Road near Bangor. There were four passengers in the car – Second Lieutenant John Ruane, Driver William Thomas Hodges, Miss Lila Millar, and Miss Ena Houston. The car was travelling down Carson’s Hill on the Crawfordsburn Road when the vehicle skidded, struck a footpath, and overturned. All five occupants were pinned beneath the vehicle and Second Lieutenant Bernard Wakeford died before reaching hospital.
Ena Houston gave evidence before Dr Wallace, the Coroner for North Down, in which she stated that she, Lila Millar and the two officers had been dancing at Crawfordsburn Country Club on Saturday 19 September 1942. At 11.45 pm, when the taxi they had booked did not arrive, Second Lieutenant Wakeford rang for a military vehicle and, when it arrived, he told the soldier in charge of the car that he would drive. Lila Millar was the front seat passenger. The Coroner returned as his verdict that death was due to the injuries caused by the deceased being pinned underneath a motor car which he was driving, and which developed a skid at the time of the accident. Bernard Wakeford’s effects amounted to some £311, and probate was granted to his father.
Second Lieutenant Bernard Wakeford was buried in Eltham Cemetery, Woolwich, London, and it was his wife, Elizabeth Mary Wakeford, who purchased the exclusive right of burial. Bernard is the only interment in the grave and she placed an inscription on the headstone:
MY BELOVED HUSBAND
2ND LIEUT, BERNARD WAKEFORD
WHO DIED 20TH SEPTEMBER 1942
AGED 26 YEARS
At the time of Bernard Wakeford’s death his wife was living at 7 Philippa Gardens, Eltham.