DEL STROTHER, Edward Alfred

94021 Sgt Northumberland Fusiliers, ‘of Hathersage’. He also served in the RAF in WW2. He was born in Moscow in 1900, of English parents and was brought up in Russia – his English still had a slight Russian accent. He and his family left because of the Revolution. He came over with his sister Vera Edith Emily (1904-1991) in 1910 first class from the U S A. The naturalization Papers for Edward & Vera are a bit vague and do not mention nationality.  He first appears in Hathersage in 1918 when he applies for exemption from the army on the grounds that his English is not very good, but was told the best place to learn English would be in the Army, so exemption denied. (DC 7/9/1918). From 2/6/1918 to 11/1919 he was a soldier. He possibly started off in the 5/8 Bn (Res) D L I., but ended his service as an acting Sergeant in a Battalion of the Northumberland Fusiliers. Presumably because he could speak fluent Russian (and German) and they were taking part in the North Russia campaign (1919), where he saw some terrible scenes.

It is thought their father was Egmont Henry Roberts Del Strother, b 1871, d 1934 at Springvale Road, Sheffield, leaving his estate to Edward and Vera. In 1933 he marries Margaret Jessie Anthes (registered at Bakewell District). She was the daughter of Charles Anthes (see above).

During WW2 he was in the RAF 28/1/1940 – 17/2/1946. He first served in the South Yorkshire area, Barrage Balloon, then 941(WR) Squadron. By early August 1941 he was at Bletchley and very soon after was on intelligence work at their out-station at Cheadle, Staffs. By November 1942 he was a sergeant and serving in North Africa. Later movements are not known. He became a Flying Officer in September 1943 and by the end of his time he was again on intelligence work at Cheadle. (Number 870232, Personnel number 155283). Medals received; – 2xWW1, Africa star, Defence and another WW2 medal and the Air Defence medal.

During all this second war service his wife was living in Hathersage looking after her parents. He continued working as a civilian for the RAF on top secret intelligence work at Cheadle, and then RAF Digby, (Lincs) with his wife, until he died there in 1962, not long before he was due to retire. He and his wife were very involved with the Scouting movement, and both receiving the Scouting Order of Merit, while living in Lincs, the first husband and wife to receive a Bar to that award (August 1961).  (Most of this information came from Cathy Charles Anthe’s great-grand daughter).