Ajax Public Library Digital Archive
Ajax Veterans Street Dedication: Simpson Road
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Ajax Veterans Street Dedication: Simpson Road


Street Name: Simpson Road Name of Veteran: William Ernest Simpson 1908 -June 30, 1940 Rank: Sick Berth Attendant Petty Officer Ship Served: HMS Ajax Date of Service on Ship: 1939 to 1940 Year of Visit/Dedication: Visit in October 1999, dedication in June 2002 Veteran or Family Visit: Vivienne Coombe, daughter Veteran of the Battle of the River Plate: Yes Died at Battle: No William Simpson died while serving HMS Ajax. It was believed that he died as a result of injuries sustained during the Evacuation of Dunkirk. Thousands of soldiers were evacuated from Dunkirk in May and June of 1940 because they were desperately needed on the home front to defend against an advancing German army. British soldiers were carried across the channel by all types of crafts. Fishing boats, yachts, and other civilian ships aided in the crossing. William Simpson was thirty two years old when he died. He left behind a wife, Lily Amelia Simpson (nee Ritchie) who served the remainder of the war in the Women’s Royal Naval Service. She died in 1991. William and Lily’s daughter Vivienne visited the Town of Ajax during the 60th Anniversary celebrations. A Tree was planted in honour of William by the town council under the Millennium Tree Planting Project in June 2002.