Every year we read the list of those members of our congregation who fell in the First and Second World Wars. For the 100th anniversary of the conclusion of First World War, we thought of those members of our community we lost during that war during the Yom Kippur service. This is some information that is available from those on the roll (mainly from War Graves websites, some military company websites, some school sites, etc):
MAURICE AVNER, Private in the Army Service Corps. Son of Abraham and Rose Avner. Died on 6 April 1918 aged 22.
CHARLES WILLIAM JACK DANZIGER, known as Charley, Second Lieutenant in the Manchester Regiment. Son of Marcus Danziger, lived in Kersal. Went to Manchester Grammar School, then studied languages abroad and joined his father’s firm. Died on 15 May 1917, aged 20.
ABRAHAM FRANKS, Private in the Lancashire Fusiliers.
LIONEL FRANKS, Second Lieutenant in the East Yorkshire Regiment. From Hull (also listed on Hull Western Synagogue). Killed on the 5 May 1917, aged 19.
CYRIL JOSEPH FRANKENSTEIN, Second Lieutenant in the Tank Corps. Son of Harry and Sara Frankenstein from Higher Broughton. Died on 23 August 1918, aged 22.
WILFRID MAX LANGDON, Captain in the Cheshire Regiment. Born in 1889, son of Edward and Ada Langdon. His sister Margaret Langdon founded Delamere college and Langdon College is named after her. In 1891, the family lived in Rusholme. By 1901 they had moved to Palatine Road in Withington. Wilfrid went to Rugby School and New College Oxford and then was called to the Bar at the Inner Temple in 1913. He had planned to practice on the Northern Circuit but instead joined the Cheshire Regiment. He was commissioned as a Captain in December 1914. He went to the Western Front in September 1915 and died on 21 May 1916, during a concerted German attack at Vimy Ridge, aged 27.
HARRY LEON, Second Lieutenant, no easily available information.
HARRY LEVI, Second Lieutenant Royal Fusiliers. His family were from Southport. He was a solicitor, having been educated at Manchester Grammar and Cambridge. He was a member of Higher Broughton Synagogue as well as Manchester Reform (Rev Jacob Philips wrote an obituary in the JC). Harry died on 30 November 1917 aged 27. Just before he died, he had himself written to the Jewish Chronicle to tell them that he had been asked to recite the burial service over two Jewish servicemen whom he didn’t know, and was writing to the JC to ask them to contact the next of kin of the deceased. By the time they received his letter, they had already printed Harry’s own obituary.
GODFREY CYRIL MARKS, Private in the Army Service Corps. Son of Arthur and Rose Marks, of Bury New Rd, Kersal. Educated at Manchester Grammar School and entered his father’s business. After surviving four years’ army service, died on 17 November 1918 of influenza, aged 25 (that is, after the Armistice).
DAVID SILVERMAN, Private in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Son of Jacob Silverman, from Cheetham Hill. Died on 28 January 1918, aged 19.
SIDNEY TORRES, Private in the Royal Fusiliers. Originally from Ramsgate, educated at Manchester Grammar (listed as Saul David Torres), then went into the calico printing business. Died on 17 November 1916 during the battle of the Somme.
ELI YOUNGERMAN, Private in the King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment. From Cheetham Hill. Died on 25 October 1918, aged 19.
We have also done the same thing for those members of our congregation we lost during the Second World War
The BLOCK family have three names on our list. The Jewish Chronicle of February 6th 1942 had a feature on them, as having the unusual distinction of three brothers all serving in the RAF. Their parents were Joseph and Hettie Block, from Highbury in London, but the brothers had moved to Manchester. Sam and Phil were members of the Jewish Lads’ Brigade, Sam was a boxer and Phil was a keen footballer.
SAM BLOCK died in March 1942 when the Avro Manchester on which he was gunner hit a barrage balloon cable while returning from an air raid on Essen and crashed off the Essex coast. Sam was married.
DAVID BLOCK was lost in action on 31 May 1942. He served with the 49th Squadron which were conducting a raid over Germany. It is likely that his plane was shot down over the North Sea by a German fighter.
PHILIP BLOCK served in the War but appears to have died afterwards, there is no record of him on the War Graves Commission website. It may be that he was added to the roll later on to be remembered alongside his brothers.
RONALD COWEN, driver in the 502nd Armoured Brigade in the Royal Army Service Corps, son of Joseph and Gertrude Cowen, died on 18 March 1945, aged 29, serving on the Western Front.
IVOR DE LANGE, aircraftman second class in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, son of George and Julie de Lange from Bowdon; George was the first president of our congregation after Park Place was destroyed in the Blitz and so is the first name on the board downstairs. Ivor died on 16 July 1942, aged 32, fighting in the Orient. He was engaged.
DAVID FREEDMAN, radio officer in the Merchant Navy, son of Herman and Annie Freedman, died on 5th August 1942 on the SS Arletta which was torpedoed by a U-boat while on a convoy in the North Atlantic.
MERTON GAFFIN, corporal in the Royal Signal Corps, son of Belle and Samuel Gaffin went to MGS and was one of three brothers all of whom joined up. Merton died on 28 May 1943 of cholera, aged 23, while a Japanese prisoner of war in Thailand working on the Thailand-Burma railway.
PETER GREENBURGH was a pilot in the RAF. He was the younger son of Mark and Millie, brother of Leslie and Lilian, from Kersal, Salford. He died on 17 June 1944 on service in Greece or the Balkans and is buried in Greece. His sister Lilian was the mother of current members Mark Levy and Rhona Beenstock; his brother Leslie married Rita, the sister of another casualty, Joseph Noar. Peter is commemorated on our stained glass window with Ruth and Naomi on it along with his parents, dedicated by Leslie and Lilian.
KENNETH HOLME, navigator in the RAF, son of George and Agnes Holme, husband of Eileen and father of a son in 1940, died on 31 August 1943, aged 31, during a raid in Germany when his plane was shot down and crashed.
JOSEPH NOAR died in the same operation. Joseph was a sergeant and bomb aimer in the RAF was on one of two Wellington bombers which took off for the same raid in August 1943 but collided near Goole and crashed. He was 27.
HARRY HYMAN, radio officer in the Merchant Navy, died on 27 June 1941, aged 28 when his ship was sunk by a U-boat while on convoy in the North Atlantic.
DONALD ALEXANDER KOMROWER, major in the 102nd Royal Artillery, the Northumberland Hussars, was one of three sons of William and Adele Komrower; William was President of our congregation in 1943. All three sons served in the army. Donald had been to MGS and Manchester University, where he played rugby. In 1942 he had been reported missing in Libya but had in fact been taken prisoner by the Italians and was later freed. He died on 18 September 1944 in the Normandy campaign. His brothers survived the war, and our window showing the temple service is dedicated to him.
ALBERT LEVY, corporal in the Signals Corps, son of Marco and Zephyrine Levy of West Didsbury, died on 18 July 1944 during the Normandy campaign. His brother, Victor Levy, was the mother of our member Jean Tragen.
ARTHUR POGREL, sergeant navigator in the RAF, son of Joseph and Yettie Pogrell from Crumpsall, died on 19 August 1942, aged 25, when his Wellington bomber went missing off Wales during a training exercise.
ABRAHAM AUBREY STERNSHINE, private with the 1st Tyneside Scottish, The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment), son of Isidor and Nellie Sternshine, from Crumpsall, died on 26 June 1944, aged 19, during the fighting in Normandy.
JACK TAYLOR warrant officer in the RAF, son of David and Herta Taylor from Crumpsall, died on 2 July 1944, aged 23, in operations probably over North East India.
ROBERT HENRY VALENCIA, flight sergeant in the RAF, son of Jacob Emmanuel and Kate Valencia from London, died on 13 August 1944, aged 29, when his Lancaster Bomber was lost over Germany. His sister Lottie was mother of our member Jack Duinkerk.
May their memories be for a blessing amongst the fallen of Israel, as we remember them and all the very many of our fellow Jews, fellow countrymen and all of those who fell fighting to protect the freedom we enjoy today.
David Hoffman, Yom Kippur, 5780/2019