Jim Dunning died in 2009. Bryan Woodward, Jim's son-in-law, has asked that the obituaries he wrote for the Yorkshire Post and the Hull Daily Mail at the time should be made available on the village web site.

JAMES (JIM) DUNNING James Maxwell Dunning of Barn House, Bishop Burton, died at home on 8th January 2009, aged 86. Loving husband of Dorothy (nee Wreathall), father of Joy, Peter and Pauline, and both grandfather and great-grandfather. The funeral will be at All Saints Church, Bishop Burton, on Monday 19th January 2009 at 10.30am and afterwards at the Village Hall. Family flowers only please, if desired donations may be made to Marie Curie Cancer Care.

James Maxwell Dunning - Yorkshire Post

Published on Saturday 24 January 2009

JAMES Maxwell (Jim) Dunning was a Second World War veteran of the Burma campaign, serving with General Slim's "forgotten" 14th Army. He served with the Green Howards and was a holder of the Burma Star.

He was born in January 1922 with his twin brother John. He attended Beverley Grammar School and Pocklington School, then joined the Royal Armoured Corps as a Territorial in April 1939.
He was called up for regular service on September 1, 1939, and was transferred to the infantry in June 1940 due to a shortage of tanks after the evacuation of Dunkirk. He subsequently served with C Company, 2nd Battalion of Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own Yorkshire Regiment, known as The Green Howards. Jim was immensely proud to have served with this famous regiment, whose origins can be traced back to 1688.

He joined his battalion in India. After 18 months on the NW Frontier in operations against tribesmen, he spent four months jungle training near Calcutta before making three sea-borne landings in Burma.

For the main operation Jim's battalion sailed from Chittagong with the 26th Indian Division to invade Ramree Island as the second wave of the assault force after a naval and air bombardment. They advanced southwards across the island until the Japanese retreated into a 10-mile mangrove swamp, where hundreds of them died from starvation, thirst, drowning, scorpions and saltwater crocodiles.

In a note found after he died, Jim wrote: "The Japanese would not surrender and about 480 of them were killed by crocodiles - this is recorded in the Guinness Book of Records."

Jim's second and third landings were on the Burmese mainland. During one battle the Green Howards fought until their ammunition was exhausted and they were forced to withdraw. When they counter-attacked, Jim's platoon commander was killed and he later wrote: "I was second-in-command to the lieutenant and took over command of the attack when he was killed by my side."

Throughout the Burma campaign the conditions were appalling, with heat, humidity, mosquitoes and lack of drinking water.

Jim served seven years in the Army before finally returning to farming in 1946. For the rest of his life he lived modestly in Bishop Burton, where he was church warden and school governor for many years.

As parish council chairman his proudest achievements were when Bishop Burton won the Yorkshire Best Kept Village competition in 1961 and 1970 and was runner-up in the UK Britain in Bloom competition in 1972.

He was also chairman of the village hall committee for 28 years, a member of the Hansby Charity and the Gee Charity, and he was involved from the start, in 1971, with the Bishop Burton News.
Everyone who knew Jim, who died at home on January 8, aged 86, will remember him and revere him for his genuine humanity, for his modesty and for his lifelong interest in every facet of life in his beloved Bishop Burton. Jim had a quiet sense of humour and his integrity was respected throughout the local community. Everyone regarded him as a friend and many described him as "a real gentleman". Typically, he never mentioned his service in Burma and India and very few people knew anything about his heroic actions there, for which he received the Burma Star and four other campaign medals.

James Maxwell Dunning is survived by his wife of 61 years Dorothy, children Joy, Pauline and Peter, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

His funeral took place at Bishop Burton on January 19 2009.

James Maxwell Dunning - Hull Daily Mail

26.01.2009: Bryan Woodward wrote

James Maxwell (Jim) Dunning was a decorated Burma campaign veteran, who served seven years in the army before devoting the rest of his life to the service of his local community in Bishop Burton. He was born on 27 January 1922, with his twin brother John, attended Beverley Grammar School and Pocklington School, then joined the Royal Armoured Corps as a Territorial in April 1939. He was called up for regular service on 1 September 1939 and was transferred to the infantry in 1940. He served with C Company, 2nd Battalion, The Green Howards in India, then in Burma with General Slim's "forgotten" 14th Army. For his service in Burma, which included three sea-borne assault landings, he was awarded the Burma Star. He returned to farming in 1946 and became immersed in local affairs as churchwarden and school governor for many years. As chairman of the parish council his proudest achievements were when Bishop Burton was voted Yorkshire's Best Kept Village in 1961 and 1970 and runner-up of Britain in Bloom in 1972. A "real gentleman" of extreme modesty, Jim is survived by his wife of 61 years Dorothy, children Joy, Pauline and Peter, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Jim Dunning (seated at front) with 2nd Battalion, The Green Howards, Razmak, North-West Frontier, India, 1942 (photo to the left).

Jim Dunning (seated, centre) in Meerut, India after his return from Burma, September 1945 (photo below)

 

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