Aris, Jack Biddulph, brother of George Biddulph Aris (qv); b. 27 June 1915; adm. Apr. 1929 (A); left Mar. 1933; RAFVR 1942-3 (FO); m.; killed in action 1943.
Jack Biddulph Aris was born at Edenbridge, Kent on the 27th of June 1915 the younger son of Thomas Biddulph Aris, an Executive Advertising Assistant for the London Passenger Transport Board, and Janet Elsie (nee King) Aris of 21, Purley Rise, Purley in Surrey. He was the twin of his sister Mary Biddulph.
He was educated at Westminster School where he was up Ashburnham from April 1929 to March 1933. On leaving school he went to work as a buyer’s assistant for a biscuit manufacturers.
He was married at St John’s Church, Shirley, Surrey on the 27th of April 1940 to Joan Elizabeth “Joey” (nee Potter, later Aston), a member of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force.
He enlisted in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve where he rose to the rank of Sergeant before being commissioned as a Pilot Officer on the 7th of March 1942. He and his crew attended No. 10 Operational Training Unit before becoming operational when they were posted to 158 Squadron based at RAF East Moor on the 9th of July 1942, and flew on their first operation together to Nantes on the 21st of July 1942. They took off from RAF East Moor on the night of the 31st of July/1st of August 1942 in Halifax Mk II W7777 for an operation on Dusseldorf. While over the target their aircraft was hit by anti aircraft fire which put aircraft into a loop and caused a loss of control. The pilot, Charles Sparke, put the aircraft into a dive at 330 mph before he managed to regain control and return to East Moor where they landed safely in the early hours of the morning with no injuries to the crew reported.
He was promoted to Flying officer on the 1st of October 1942.
On the night of the 10th/11th of December 1942 Bomber Command dispatched 48 Halifaxes, 20 Lancasters, 8 Stirlings and 6 Wellingtons for an operation on Turin. More than half the force was forced to turn back before they reached the Alps due to severe icing conditions but twenty eight crews went on and claimed to have bombed the target. The city reported that only three high explosive bombs had landed on the city of which two had failed to explode.
Jack Aris and his crew took off from RAF Rufforth at 4.45pm on the 10th of December 1942 in Halifax Mk II DT579 NP-V for the operation. The aircraft came down at 8.45am the following morning near the village of Villeneuve-en-Montagne, eight kilometers to the east of Le Creusot, just thirty meters from a farm building owned by Monsieur Monneret, with the loss of the entire crew.
The crew was: -
Flying Officer Jack Biddulph Aris (Navigator)
Pilot Officer Denis Ralph Collyer (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant Ronald Edlington (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant John William Furniss (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flying Officer Harry Middleton (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Flight Lieutenant Charles Lionel Sparke (Pilot)
Flying Officer Rayden Frederic Watson RCAF (Air Bomber)
Thiers was one of 4 aircraft which failed to return from the mission.
The crew was buried in the local cemetery in a ceremony which was led by the Mayor, Monsieur Bourogoyne, and was attended by all of the people of the town, in spite of the presence of the Germans.
A stone memorial was placed at the crash site in 1992.
He is buried at Villeneuve-en-Montagne Communal Cemetery, Collective Grave