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CAMDEN, Eric George (1921-1942) - Worcestershire Regiment

Eric George Camden
Eric George Camden.
Eric Camden in desert uniform
Eric Camden in desert uniform.

Private Eric George Camden, joined the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regt (No 5250673). 

He died at Tobruk, aged 20, on 23rd February 1942, as his unit was defending the Southern part of the front by the town, and he is buried in the War Cemetery there in grave no. F. 28. He was awarded the 1939-45 War Medal and 1939-45 Star.

Eric Camden the son of George William Camden and Nellie, nee Gannaway, who had married in the Pershore area in 1920. George had been a gardener’s labourer in Wyre Piddle at the time of the 1911 census. The couple had four children – Eric (b. 1921), Joan (b. 1923), Audrey (b. 1930) and Brian (b. 1934). Nellie died in 1967, aged 76, and George in 1981, aged 86 and they are buried in Wickhamford Cemetery.   The family lived at 21 Council Cottages in 1939 (now 57 Pitchers Hill).

Letter to Eric Camden's father
The letter sent to Eric Camden’s father, explaining the circumstances of his son’s death (reproduced by permission of Eric’s brother, Brian Camden).

1/Worcestershire Regt, MEF
25 Feb 42
Dear Mr Camden
I am writing to you about your son No 52450678 Pte E. Camden.  I was in Command of the Column the day your boy was killed.  I did not know him very well but everyone who knew him said what a fine fellow he was, and what a loss he was to the Carrier platoon (Bren gun carriers) to which he belonged.  He was killed instantly by a German anti personnel mine which had been left concealed in the ground on which we were walking and which killed three and wounded five of our Column.  He was buried yesterday in a military cemetery and we gave him the best funeral which could be arranged at which his comrades were present.  His grave will be properly looked after.  I am very sorry this should have occurred, and can only offer you my sincerest condolences.  His platoon officer will write to you.
Yours sincerely
R E Tuckey
(Major, 1st Bn the Worcestershire Regt)

Tobruk Military Cemetery
Tobruk military cemetery in 1942, before the fall of the town to Axis forces.
Eric Camden's grave.
Eric Camden’s grave in Tobruk War Cemetery.

Historical context

The battles between the Eight Army and the Axis forces ebbed and flowed along the Libyan and Egyptian coast plain during 1940-42. Tobruk was cut off and besieged by the Axis from late April 1941 until the Eight Army relieved it in early December 1941. Another Axis campaign in 1942 led to the fall of Tobruk in June 1942.