Showing 169 results

People & Organisations
Second World War (1939-1945)

Abbott, James Alexander, 1909-1944

  • GB-2014-WSA-01894
  • Person
  • 1909-1944

Abbott, James Alexander, son of Albert Abbott CBE, Chief Inspector Technological branch, Board of Education, and Nancy, d. of Edwin Hargreaves of Chorley, Lancs; b. 25 April, 1909; adm. Sept. 1922 (R); left July 1927; Ch. Ch. Oxf., matric. 1927, BA 1931; adm. a solicitor Dec. 1934; practised in London and Burton-on-Trent; RAFVR (FO Oct. J 942), invalided Nov. 1943; m. 15 Sept. 1939 Eleanor Dorothy, d. of Ernest Hastings Nicolls of Stevenage, Herts; d. 20 May 1944 of illness contracted on active service in North Africa.

James Alexander Abbott was born at Wolverhampton, Staffordshire on the 25th of April 1909 the only son of Albert Abbott CBE MA, Chief Inspector for the Technological Branch of the Board of Education, and Nancy (nee Hargreaves) Abbott of 130, Tettenhall Road, Wolverhampton, later of Catwell, Williton in Somerset. He was educated at Westminster School where he was up Rigaud’s from September 1922 to July 1927. He matriculated for Christ Church, Oxford in 1927 where he achieved a BA in 1931. He qualified as a solicitor in December 1934 and worked at Burton-on-Trent and in London, where he lived with his sister at 3, Templars Rise, Golders Green in Middlesex.
He was married at Hitchin, Hertfordshire on the 15th of September 1939 to Eleanor Dorothy (nee Nicolls) of Stevenage, Hertfordshire and the couple lived at Ivy House, Ickleton, Saffron Walden in Essex. They had a son, Roger, born on the 15th of June 1940.
He was commissioned as an Acting Pilot Officer on probation in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve on the 17th of October 1941 and was confirmed in his rank on the 17th of December 1941. He was promoted to Flying Officer on the 1st of October 1942.
He served in North Africa and later returned to England where he resigned his commission on the grounds of ill health on the 24th of November 1943.
He died at Cambridge from an illness he had contracted while on overseas service.
He is commemorated on the war memorial at Christ Church, Oxford.
He is buried at St George’s Church, Sampford Brett.

Alderson, John, 1915-1945

  • GB-2014-WSA-02018
  • Person
  • 1915-1945

Alderson, John, son of John Henry Alderson (qv); b. 24 Dec. 1915; adm. Sept. 1928 (KS); left July 1933; member Lloyds underwriting firm; Seaforth Highlanders 1940-5 (Capt.); attached Spe­cial Service troops; MC (Normandy) Aug. 1944; m. 21 Sept. 1939 Diana Mary, d. of Rt Hon. Edward Leslie Burgin MP LLD, Minister of Supply; killed in action in Western Europe Apr. 1945.

John Alderson was born in India on the 24th of December 1915 the only son of John Henry Alderson OW, a schoolmaster, and Dorothy Mogg (nee Stockwell) Alderson of Bruton in Somerset. He was educated at Westminster School, where he was admitted as a King’s Scholar and was up College from September 1928 to July 1934. He placed second for the Ireland Prize for Greek Verse in 1934. He was a member of the Colts Cricket XI from 1929 to 1931, winning his Colts Cap in 1929. He was a member of the 1st Cricket XI in 1932, 1933 and 1934, where he opened the batting in the latter year and of the Football XI in 1932, 1933 and 1934 where he played at inside left. The Elizabethan wrote the following on his 1932/33 season: - “With Symons constituted the brains of the attack. These two made many fine openings and played cleverly with each other and the other wing half backs. Alderson is a beautiful dribbler and strong with both feet, and a most indefatigable worker. If he is here next year, as it is hoped he will be, he should become an extremely dangerous inside-forward.” He was appointed as a School Monitor in 1933 and served as Hon. Secretary of the Elizabethan in the same year. The Elizabethan wrote the following on his 1933 cricket season: - “An attractive batsman, hooks and cuts splendidly, but his defence needs improving. Apt to get careless when well set and consequently did not make any large scores. A very safe fieldsman who, despite the smallness of his hands, catches nearly everything that comes his way.” He was appointed to the Monitorial Council in September 1932 and was a member of the Officer Training Corps where he was promoted to Sergeant in September 1933.
On leaving school he worked for a firm of Lloyd’s insurance brokers.
He was married at St Botolph’s Without, Aldersgate, London on the 21st of September 1939 to Diana Mary (nee Burgin); they had two sons, one of which was born on the 18th of September 1940, Christopher J., born on the 10th of August 1942 and a daughter, Philippa J., born on the 12th of December 1944.
He attended the 164th Officer Cadet Training Unit at Barmouth from the 24th of September 1939 before being commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Seaforth Highlanders on the 14th of January 1940. He was promoted to Lieutenant on the 14th of July 1941 and was later attached to No. 3 Commando where he was appointed to the command of No.6 Troop. He was promoted to temporary Captain on the 13th of March 1944 and was appointed as Regimental Intelligence Officer on the 30th of March 1944.
At 9.05am on the 6th of June 1944, No. 6 Troop, No. 3 Commando landed on Sword beach in LCI 290, which was already sinking as it touched down. The Troop had suffered some casualties on the run in to the beach and suffered more when they moved across it under shell fire. By the evening they were inland at Ranville and by the evening of the 7th of June they were based at the chateau at Amfreville.
At 10.13am on the morning of the 8th of June, No.6 Troop reported that enemy infantry was advancing astride the Le Plein - Languemare Road and they engaged them at close range at 11am with support from artillery and fire from the destroyer HMS Hunter which was offshore. At 11.30am No. 6 Troop counterattacked and drove the Germans back half a mile, “destroying” an enemy company and capturing thirty six prisoners. During this engagement John Alderton was wounded in the knee.
For his actions that day he was awarded the Military Cross, which was announced in the London Gazette of the 31st of August 1944; the citation read: -
“On the morning of 8th June 1944, this Officer was holding a position astride the Le Plein - Languemare Road with one Officer and forty-seven men. The Troop was attacked by a company of German Infantry which established itself in front of the position. Captain Alderson attacked with great determination leading the assault with a T.S.M.G. He himself accounted for a number of the enemy and his men were so inspired by his leadership that they carried on after he was wounded and cleared the entire wood which remains in our hands. Besides approximately 15 enemy killed there were 36 prisoners. Owing to Captain Alderson's skill and courage our own losses were no more than one killed and nine wounded. This success was largely due to Captain Alderson's fine leadership.”
He re-joined his unit as a Troop Officer in billets at Smakt in Holland on the 18th of March 1945. At 3am on the morning of the 7th of April 1945, No. 3 Commando received orders to cross the River Weser in order to support No. 45 Commando as part of a flanking movement to the north of the town of Leese. They moved to Stolzenau at 3.30am and crossed the River Weser in Goatley boats at 4.30am. By 6am they were established in farm buildings where they were under occasional shell fire. Five other ranks were wounded in this area. At 7pm they received orders to join No. 1 Commando Brigade for a night march to Leese. Their objective was the capture of factory which was producing V-2 rockets and they were to be supported by a squadron of tanks for the task. At 8am they began moving towards the northern edge of the Leese and at 8.05am three tanks moved forward to assist them in clearing the town which they entered at 8.15am. At 8.30am the tanks engaged enemy positions in the factory and in woods to the north east of Leese. At 8.45am John Alderson was badly wounded by a sniper and was evacuated to the rear in a captured ambulance at 10am. He died from his wounds later in the day.
When the factory was captured, at around 4pm, a number of rockets were found and around one hundred scientists and support workers were captured.
He is commemorated on the war memorial at Harpenden and on the memorials at Bruton and at Lloyd’s of London.
He is buried at Rheinburg War Cemetery Plot 13 Row B Grave 1

Antrobus, George Pollock, 1892-1940

  • GB-2014-WSA-02207
  • Person
  • 1892-1940

Antrobus, George Pollock, son of Edward Gream Antrobus, C.M.G., of Westminster, Chief Accountant, office of the Crown Agent for the Colonies, by Agnes Minnie, eldest daughter of James Edward Pollock, M. D., F.R.C.P., of London; b. Oct. 12, 1892; adm. Sept. 22, 1904 (H); Exhibitioner 1905; K.S. (non-resident) 1906; elected to an exhibition at Ch. Ch. Oxon. July 1911, matric. Michaelmas 1911; B.A. 1914; appointed a temp. clerk in the Foreign Office Sept. 20, 1915; a King's Messenger in the Foreign Office Oct. 4, 1919; O.B.E. March 30, 1920; killed in an air raid on London Nov. 1940.

George Pollock Antrobus was born at West Kensington, London on the 12th of October 1892 the only son of Edward Greason Antrobus CMG, an Accountant Officer of the Crown Agents of the Colonies, and Agnes Minnie (nee Pollock) Antrobus of 91, George Square, Westminster, later of 15, York Road, Leamington Spa in Warwickshire. He was christened at St Andrew’s Church, Kensington on the 14th of November 1982.
He was educated at Westminster School where he was up Homeboarders from the 22nd of September 1904 to July 1911 and was awarded an Exhibition in 1905. He was a non resident King’s Scholar from 1906 and was a member of the Debating Society in 1910 and 1911. He matriculated for Christ Church, Oxford in 1911 where he read History and achieved a Second Class BA in 1914. He was appointed as a temporary clerk at the Foreign Office on the 20th of September 1915 and was appointed as a King’s Messenger on the 4th of October 1919. He was awarded the OBE for - “services in Parliamentary Department, Foreign Office” which was announced by St James’s Palace on the 30th of March 1920.
He wrote the book, “King’s Messenger 1918-1940: Memoirs of a Silver Greyhound”, which was published by H, Jenkins in 1941. He retired from the civil service and went to live with his father at 15, York Road, Leamington Spa.
On the night of the 13th/14th of November 1940, the Luftwaffe launched a major attack on the city of Coventry, dispatching some 515 bombers which dropped 500 tons of high explosive bombs, 30,000 incendiaries and 50 landmines on the city. During the raid, one enemy aircraft passed over Leamington Spa which dropped a stick of seven bombs across the town. That night Edward Antrobus had been attending a party at the home of Mr and Mrs Millett at 32, Portland Place and had just returned home, on what was his 80th birthday, when a single high explosive bomb hit the house at 10.58pm, killing him and his son George. There were four others killed in the town that night.
Their funerals took place at All Saints Church, Leamington Spa
He is commemorated on the Leamington Memorial to civilians lost in air raids.
He is buried at Leamington Cemetery, Brunswick Street.

Aris, Jack Biddulph, 1915-1943

  • GB-2014-WSA-02236
  • Person
  • 1915-1943

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

Armstrong, Lindsay Crawford, 1912-1944

  • GB-2014-WSA-02254
  • Person
  • 1912-1944

Armstrong, Lindsay Crawford, son of Hugh Clayton Armstrong, solicitor, of Bromley, Kent, and Norah MacMahon, d. of William Henry Cortland Mahon of Dulwich; b. 21 June 1912; adm. April 1926 (A); left July 1929; a timber merchant; Roy. Sussex Regt 1940-4 (Lieut.); m.; d. of smallpox on active service in India 10 Apr. 1944.

Lindsay Crawford Armstrong was born at Bromley, Kent on the 21st of June 1912 the youngest son of Hugh Clayton Armstrong, a solicitor, and Nora Macmahon (nee Mahon) Armstrong of 7, Sanford Road, Bromley. He was educated at Westminster School where he was up Ashburnham from April 1926 to July 1929 after which he went to work as a timber merchant. He was married at Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1933 to Leonore “Nordie” Mary (nee Langton) of Chidham in Sussex.
Following the outbreak of war he attended an Officer Cadet Training Unit before being commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Sussex Regiment on the 21st of September 1940. He was later attached to the 1st Battalion, Sierra Leone Regiment.
On the 1st of February 1944, the 1st Battalion, Sierra Leone Regiment was advancing down the banks of the Kaladan River in Burma in pursuit of the retreating Japanese, who had placed a number of ambush parties in their path. D Company was patrolling in advance of the rest of the Battalion when Lindsay Armstrong singlehandedly killed an entire seven man Japanese patrol.
He was later contracted smallpox from which he died.
He is buried at Chittagong War Cemetery Plot 7, Row D Grave 8

Bailey, Francis Robert, 1913-1940

  • GB-2014-WSA-02471
  • Person
  • 1913-1940

Bailey, Francis Robert, brother of James Albert Norman Bailey (qv); b. 10 June 1913; adm. May 1927 (A); left July 1931; New Coll. Oxf., matric. 1931, BA 1935; articled to a solicitor; RA 1940 (Lance-Sgt); accidentally killed on active service 19 Oct. 1940.

Francis Robert Bailey was born in London on the 10th of June 1913 the youngest son of John Norman Bailey, a solicitor, and Agnes Elizabeth (nee Harrison) Bailey of 97, Elgin Crescent, Notting Hill, later of 4, Brunswick Gardens, Kensington in London and of “Westmead”, Avondale, Fleet in Hampshire. He was christened at St Peter’s Church, Cranley Gardens, on the 6th of August 1913.
He was educated at Westminster School where he was up Ashburnham from May 1927 to July 1931 and he matriculated for New College, Oxford in 1931 from where he achieved a BA in 1935. On leaving university he worked as an articled clerk for a firm of solicitors.
He was killed in an accident near to his base of RAF Harwell in Berkshire. His funeral took place on the 23rd of October 1940.
He is buried at Christ Church, Shamley Green.

Baker-Cresswell, Gilfrid Edward, 1914-1943

  • GB-2014-WSA-02528
  • Person
  • 1914-1943

Baker-Cresswell, Gilfrid Edward, son of Henry Gilfrid Baker-Cresswell AMICE, GPO engineer, and Vera Mabel, d. of Edward Foote Ward of Salhouse Hall, Norfolk, and niece of Gerald Charles Fanshawe (qv); b. 15 July 1914; adm. Sept. 1927 (R); left Apr. 1932; Trin. Coll. Camb., matric. 1932, BA 1935; RMA Woolwich 1935-7; RE 1937-42 (Maj.); m. 27 Sept. 1938 Anne Sylvia, d. of Sir John Charrington, coal merchant, of Crockham Hill, Kent; killed in action (Middle East) Oct. 1942; despatches (posthumous) June 1943.

Gilfrid Edward Baker-Cresswell was born at Edinburgh on the 15th of July 1914 the elder son of Henry Gilfred Baker-Cresswell AMICE, an engineer for the General Post Office, and Vera Mabel (nee Ward) Baker-Cresswell of Salthouse Hall, Norfolk, later of The Post House, Ellingham, Chathill in Northumberland. He was educated at Westminster School where he was up Rigaud’s from September 1927 to April 1932 He won a O.W.W. Masonic Lodge Prize for Science (practical) in 1930. He was a member of the Officer Training Corps and was promoted to Lance Corporal in September 1930. He won the Long Distance Race at Putney in 1931 and the Long Distance Race on the 8th of March 1932 and won a number of other cups for running during his time at the school.
On leaving school he attended the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich from where he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers on the 30th of August 1934. He was admitted as a pensioner at Trinity College, Cambridge on the 1st of October 1934 where he read engineering and graduated with a BA in 1936. He was promoted to Lieutenant on the 30th of August 1937 and to Captain on the 30th of August 1942.
He was married on the 27th of September 1938 to Anne Sylvia (nee Charrington) of Broad Oak End, Hertford. They had two children, Sally and Gilfred John, born on the 12th of December 1939. Shortly after he was married he was posted to Mauritius for garrison duty.
He was Mentioned in Despatches: - “In recognition of distinguished services in the Middle East during the period 1st May 1942 to 22nd October 1942”, which was announced by the War Office on the 24th of June 1943.
He is commemorated on a stone plaque in St Maurice’s Church, Ellingham and on the war memorial at Ellingham. He is also commemorated on the memorial at Trinity College, Cambridge.
He is buried at El Alamein War Cemetery Plot XI, Row E, Grave 1.

Balfour, Ronald Egerton, 1896-1941

  • GB-2014-WSA-02564
  • Person
  • 1896-1941

Balfour, Ronald Egerton, son of Brig.-Gen. Sir Alfred Granville Balfour, K.B.E., C.B., of Chelsea, by Frances Elizabeth, only daughter of Surgeon-General Sir Benjamin Simpson, K.C.I.E.; b. Aug. 24, 1896; adm. Jan. 19, 1911 (A); left Easter 1914; served in Great War I; temp. Sub-Lieut. R.N.V.R. Sept. 1, 1916; Lieut. Aug. 24, 1918; hydrophone officer; Lieut. ­ Cdr.; d. after a motor accident April 17, 1941.

Ronald Egerton Balfour was born at Hamilton, Lanarkshire on the 24th of August 1896 the youngest son of Brigadier General Sir Alfred Granville Balfour KBE and Agnes Frances Elizabeth (nee Simpson) Balfour of 7, Durham Place, Smith Street, Chelsea. He was educated at Westminster School where he was up Ashburnham from 1911 to 1914.
He enlisted as an Able Seaman in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve on the 6th of May 1915 for the duration of hostilities. He was appointed as a Midshipman on the 21st of July 1915 and was posted to the depot ship HMS Vivid for service with Rear Admiral Grant at Pembroke Dockyard. He was recommended for promotion in May 1916 when he was described as “A very talented young officer”, but this was not approved as he had not reached the required age of 20. It was also noted by a superior that: - “He is of great assistance to me, clear headed, keen on his work, but not very strong physically. Has had no training in seamanship or any experience afloat but is of great use in this office.”
He was promoted to Sub Lieutenant on the 1st of September 1916 and was posted to HMS President at Southampton as a Coding Officer on the 21st of June 1917. On the 13th of April 1918 he was posted to the battleship HMS Venerable for hydrophone duties and he transferred to Gibraltar on the 25th of June 1918 where he served on the Staff as a Hydrophone Officer on special duties.
He was demobilised from the Navy on the 20th of February 1919 and went to work as an artist and illustrator, being known too as a dress and costume designer.
In 1920, the publishers Constable & Company produced the “The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam” which was illustrated by Ronald Balfour and met with great critical acclaim. The Sphere magazine edition of the 20th of November 1920 carried the following: - “Mr Ronald Balfour, who has given us the newest edition of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, is, I am told, a cousin of Mr Arthur Balfour. What is of more importance, he is a very brilliant artist. In some of his pictures one suspects the influence of Beardsley, but then I am informed he had never seen Beardsley’s work when he made them. They are altogether a very charming interpretation of Edward FitzGerald’s great poem.”
The Scotsman edition of the 25th of November 1920 wrote: - “Mr Balfour’s designs are fancifully Oriental in character, touched with a considerable suggestion of Aubrey Beardsley, and it is possible that his rather lank divinities might not have entirely appealed to the imagination of the Persian poet. The designs, however, display a remarkable lightness and grace of line, and some of the little line drawings, printed upon the brown paper which is also employed for the letterpress, are extremely dainty, while the more elaborate designs in black and white, or in colour, printed on plate paper, are quite brilliantly executed.”
The Illustrated London News of the 27th of November 1920 wrote: - “Some of Mr Balfour’s illustrations to Omar Khayyam were done when he was little more than seventeen. Those most resembling the Aubrey Beardsley style were done before he had ever seen any of Beardsley’s”
The Times of the 9th of December 1920 wrote: - “The Rubaiyat” can be had with new illustrations by Mr Ronald Balfour (Constable, 21s. net), who, in spite of the influence of Beardsley on his drawing, gives us in a few colour plates and in many black and white drawings (some of them just touched with colour) a vision of the poem which is original and sincere if at times surprising. Even the audacity of showing us in one place a young man and woman in modern evening dress is carried off without shocking us too deeply, because it is what Mr Balfour honestly sees.” In 1928 and 1929 he participated in an expedition to the Himalayas which was chronicled in the book “Thin Air” by Constance Bridges published by Brewer and Webster of New York in 1930, and was illustrated by Ronald Balfour.
He was married at Westminster Cathedral on the 24th of April 1930 to Deirdre Phyllis Ulrica (nee Hart-Davis, later Wolfers, Brand and Inman); they lived at 24, Wellington Square, Chelsea and at Gadds Meadow, West Chiltington, Pulborough in Sussex. They had two daughters, Susan Mary, born in 1931, and Annabel Clare, born on the 20th of October 1935.
In 1934 he was appointed as the Art Director of Fox British Productions at Wembley and designed at least one costume for the actress Anna May Wong for the 1934 production “Java Head”.
On the outbreak of war he was recalled to the service with the rank of Acting Lieutenant Commander and he worked in the Map Room at the Admiralty.
His wife and daughters sailed from Liverpool to New York on board the SS Britannic on the 21st of July 1940.
On the night of the 16th/17th of April 1941 he was driving to his home in Sussex after a long day at the Admiralty. While he was driving on the Kingston bypass at Surbiton, Surrey he is thought to have fallen asleep at the wheel and was killed when his car left the road and crashed.
His brother, Major James Alfred Balfour, 1st Battalion, Highland Light Infantry, was killed in action on the 11th of January 1917.
He is not currently commemorated on the war memorial at Westminster School.
He is buried at St Mary’s Church, West Chiltington.

Barham, Geoffrey Cornelius Arthur, 1899-1941

  • GB-2014-WSA-02633
  • Person
  • 1899-1941

Barham, Geoffrey Cornelius Arthur, son of Cornelius Herbert Barham of Chiswick, Middlesex and Edith Mary Alice; b. Dec. 10, 1899; adm. Jan. 15, 1914 (G); left July 1915; served in the ranks of 28th Batt. London Regt. during Great War I; RAF during WW2; m. Mary Ellen; d. 27 May 1941.

Geoffrey Cornelius Arthur Barham was born at Leytonstone, Essex on the 10th of December 1899 the elder son of Cornelius Herbert Barham, a solicitor, and Edith Mary Alice (nee Long) Barham of 39, Forest Drive East, North Leyton in Essex, later of 29, Waldegrave Road, Upper Norwood, London SE19. He was christened at St Catherine’s Church, Leyton on the 14th of January 1900. He was educated at Westminster School where he was up Grant’s from the 15th of January 1914 to July 1915 and on leaving school he worked as a clerk.
He enlisted as Private 128277 in the Royal Flying Corps on the 13th of February 1918 and was posted for pilot training but was discharged on the 3rd of May 1918 as being unsuitable. He enlisted as Private 768243 in the 28th (County of London) Battalion (Artists Rifles) on the 5th of June 1918 and served with them until the 8th of February 1919. On the 12th of January 1921 he embarked at London on board the SS Glenapp bound for Yokohama but later returned to enlist in the Royal Air Force.
He enlisted at the RAF Depot, Uxbridge as Aircraftman 2nd Class 351156 in the Royal Air Force on the 31st of January 1922 for a period of eight years with a further four in the Reserve. At a medical examination, which was held on the same day, it was recorded that he was five feet ten and one half inches tall and that he had fair hair, blue eyes and a fresh complexion.
He worked as a storekeeper throughout his service, serving with No. 5 Flying Training School from the 12th of July 1922 and at an Electrical and Wireless School from the 11th of October 1922. On the 1st of February 1923 he transferred to 11 Squadron, based at Andover and four days later he moved to Y Group. He was posted to 45 Squadron based in Iraq on the 15th of September 1923 and was promoted to Leading Aircraftman on the 31st of December 1923. He was promoted to Corporal on the 31st of December 1927 and joined 208 Squadron on the 25th of October 1928. He was posted to the Seaplane Base Depot at Calshot on the 16th of February 1929.
He was married at Gosport, Hampshire in 1939 to Mary Ellen (nee Travers), a children’s nurse, and they lived at 15, High Street, Gosport.
He was appointed as an Assistant Clerk in the Air Service on the 22nd of December 1939 and later served as a Corporal in the Royal Air Force at No. 9 Recruits Training Centre, Technical Training Command based at Blackpool.
He is buried at St Swithin’s Church, Thorley, Isle of Wight.

Barrett-Lennard, John Archdale, 1917-1941

  • GB-2014-WSA-02752
  • Person
  • 1917-1941

Barrett-Lennard, John Archdale, son of John Barrett-Lennard CBE, of Kew, Surrey; b. 6 Sept. 1917; adm. Sept. 1931 (G); left July 1935; RAAF (Sergt), killed in action; d. Aug. 1941.

John Archdale Barrett-Lennard was born at Pinner, Middlesex on the 6th of September 1917 the only son of John Barrett-Lennard CBE, an army officer and a director of Imperial Airways, and Winifred Mary Lennard of 16, Brunswick Gardens, Kensington in London, later of 88, Styvechale Avenue, Coventry in Warwickshire. He was educated at Westminster School where he was up Grant’s from September 1931 to July 1935 and was a member of the Fencing team in 1935.
He enlisted in the Royal Air Force volunteer Reserve where he trained as an observer and rose to the rank of Sergeant. He was serving with 21 Squadron when he was involved in an accident while taxiing towards the flare path. He later transferred to 9 Squadron.
On the 26th of February 1941 he and his crew were flying just to the south of Cologne in Wellington Mk 1C WS-Z R1341 when the aircraft was hit by anti aircraft fire. On its return to England the aircraft was diverted to RAF East Wrethem where it landed safely with no injuries amongst the crew.
On the night of the 12th/13th of August 1941, Bomber Command dispatched 65 Wellingtons and 13 Hampdens for an operation on Hannover.
John Barrett-Lennard and his crew took off from RAF Honington at 9.20pm on the 12th of August 1941 in Wellington Mk IC R1341 WS-Z for the operation. The aircraft was carrying a bomb load of three 500lb general purpose bombs, three hundred and fifty 4lb incendiaries and two flash bombs. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after takeoff. It was attacked and shot down by Messerschmitt Bf110 D-3 G9+FP flown by Feldwebel Ernst Kalinowski and Unteroffizier Zwickl of 6./NJG 1. The aircraft crashed between Grafel and Anderlingen near Rotenburg to the east of Bremen at 1.56am with the loss of the entire crew. Theirs was one of an eventual four victories for Ernst Kalinowski before he was killed on active service on the 21st of March 1944.
The crew was: -
Sergeant Hugh Forster Barron (Wireless Operator/Front Gunner)
Sergeant George Barry “Don” Smith RCAF 2nd Pilot
Sergeant Ronald Ramsey Passmore RNZAF (Rear Gunner)
Sergeant Eric Lewin (Pilot)
Sergeant John Archdale Barrett-Lennard (Observer)
Flight Sergeant Charles William Albert Wells (Wireless Operator)
Thiers was one of four aircraft which were lost during the operation.
The crew was buried at Rotenburg Cemetery but their bodies were exhumed on the 6th of July 1946 and moved to their present location.
He is buried at Becklingen War Cemetery Plot 12, Row B, Grave 13.

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