A Poppy
A Poppy

Memorials & Monuments
on the Isle of Wight
- People -
- Newchurch - John Bamford -


Captain P/126049 John Bamford, Intelligence Corps


Biography from the Book of Remembrance, All Saints Church, Newchurch, Isle of Wight.
Biographical information

CAPTAIN JOHN BAMFORD was born at Newchurch Vicarage on 10th September 1900, the son of the Reverend Francis John Bamford, Vicar of Newchurch, and Louisa Gordon Bamford. The Reverend Bamford had been the much loved incumbent of 38 years from 1898 to 1934 and almost 50 years after his death the Bamford family still retain a special place in the hearts of the older parishioners.

John was educated at Cranleigh School in Surrey when he was awarded a St Nicholas scholarship. From Cranleigh, where he did extremely well, gaining a King's Cadetship having passed out in ninth place out of over a thousand candidates, he went to the Royal Military College at Sandhurst. He was subsequently commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Hariana Lancers, an Indian Army Regiment, but his Service career was cut short, as were so many more, under the "Inchcape Axe", a desperate economic measure introduced by the Government of the day under which the Armed Forces were reduced to a dangerously low level.

On leaving the Army John went to France for six months to perfect his French and then joined the shipping firm of Wilson's of Hull. He went to Dakar in French West Africa where he spent several years during which period he acted as official interpreter in the Courts of Justice there, later being transferred to Brazil where he spent a period in Rio de Janeiro. He subsequently returned to Dakar but was forced to resign for health reasons in 1933 and returned home to Newchurch being at home when his Father died in February 1934. Later he became assistant Secretary to the Guildford Diocesan Board of Finance in which he did extrememly valuable work particularly in connection with the fund raising money to build Guildford Cathedral.

From his Father John inherited a love of the classics and could read for pleasure in both Greek and Latin. He was a fine linguist fluent in French, Spanish and Portuguese and could also speak Hindustani with many of its local dialects.

Whilst he was at home at the Vicarage John took a keen interest in the life of the village for he had an abiding love of the Island in general and Newchurch in particular, and he was always ready to join in village activities. He is remembered for his participation in village concerts and, an enthusiastic dancer, he was always quite happy to join in the village socials. He was a keen golfer, a tennis player and a brilliant exponent of Bridge.

At the outbreak of War in 1939 he was very disappointed at not being called up immediately, being on the Reserve of Officers, and he promptly joined the Field Security Police as a private. Howver, within weeks he was commissioned in the Intelligence Corps and was very quickly in action being a member of the Expeditionary Force sent to Norway at the beginning of 1940. He was involved in the short bitter struggle centred around Andalsnes, through which small port the gold bullion reserves of the Norwegian Government were shipped to the United States after a dramatic journey from Oslo, and he was finally evacuated in the last ship to escape out of Andalsnes for Britain.

After his adventures in Norway John was posted to Headquarters, Southern Command, at Wilton, where he remained until early 1942 when he received a posting to India. A few days after his arrival at Bombay Captain John Bamford was accidentally killed during pistol practice - a most tragic end for a highly gifted man of so many diverse interests whose ease of manner and gift of tact had endeared him to persons in every walk of life. His death occurred on 18th May 1942 at the age of 41 and he is buried in the British Military Cemetery in Bombay.

CWGC record ...


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