In memory of Raymond Wookey
Raymond Wookey was the second son of Frederick and Margaret Wookey, of 59 Morden Road, Newport. His siblings included brothers Cliff and Ken and sisters Winnie, Margery and Cora.
After leaving Durham Road School he became a lorry driver. He lived with his wife Marian Jean Wookey at 3 Park View, Cross Keys. Their son Peter was born around the time Raymond enlisted with the army in 1940.
Raymond joined the 6th Battalion of the South Wales Borderers which was raised in Glanusk Park, Crickhowell. After training in infantry and tank warfare, the battalion sailed for India in October 1942. In late March 1944, the 6th was sent to Burma to help take a Japanese stronghold close to the Mayu Hills. Its objective was the capture of two tunnels and a spur of land used by the enemy for storage and as gun emplacements. A fierce battle ensued and eventually the enemy was driven back.
Sgt Wookey died, aged 26, on 3 April 1944, one of 11 men who lost their lives when the battalion took control of the Mayu tunnels. This area was later renamed Tredegar Hill and some years later soil taken from it was brought back from Asia in memory of the soldiers who had fallen. The soil is kept in a casket at Bedwellty House, Tredegar.
Eight days after Jean was officially notified of her husband’s death, she received a delayed telegram in which he said he was fit and well. After the war his remains, along with the remains of more than 5,000 other Allied war casualties, were moved to Taukkyan War Cemetery, a centralised facility which was easier for relatives to visit than the various graveyards near battlefields.
Sgt Cliff Wookey also served in Burma. Ken Wookey served in Italy.