Herbert Randal Mollekin (known as Molly), born in 1923 in Rotherham, is my second cousin, once removed and the only child of George Herbert Mollekin.
The Italian Campaign of World War Two was the name of Allied operations in and around Italy, from 1943 to the end of the war in Europe. It is estimated that between September 1943 and April 1945, some 60,000-70,000 Allied and 60,000-150,000 German soldiers died in Italy, one of them being Herbert Randal Mollekin. Herbert served in the Medical Corps during the war and whilst serving in Italy, he was ‘holed’ up in a house when his Captain was injured in a nearby pathway. Herbert attempted to help but was shot by a sniper.
In 2011, I was contacted by a lady from overseas whose mother, Margaret, had been Herbert’s girlfriend. Margaret was born in Newcastle, but during World War Two, she was stationed at Whitby in NAAFI (The Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes). Presumably, this is how Herbert and Margaret met. After Herbert had been killed, Margaret and Herbert’s parents kept in touch and Margaret was sent a number of photos and even Herbert’s military decorations. Margaret treasured these for the rest of her life and after she passed away, her daughter kindly posted them to me.
Herbert is remembered on two war memorials; on Maltby war memorial and on the Rotherham cenotaph located in Clifton Park.
Herbert had been due to study at Cambridge University before being ‘called up’ to serve in World War Two.
There is sadly no mention of Herbert’s bravery in any edition of the Rotherham Advertiser.
Herbert’s first cousin, John Herbert McGlade, was also killed in World War Two.