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Thread: Air Cdre. Robert Dick GILLESPIE.

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    Default Air Cdre. Robert Dick GILLESPIE.

    Gretting All,

    Is there anyone who could tell me anything on Air Cdre Gillespie’s demise please?

    He died 30 October 1945, and has a no known grave, and his name is on the Runnymede Memorial – Panel 289

    He lived just outside Midhurst, Sussex and was a psychiatrist of some renown.

    I believe but not sure that he was a Wt. Off. RAF in 1937

    Thanks,

    Digger.

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    Hello Digger,

    GILLESPIE, Robert Dick, M.B., M.D. (Hons. Gold Medal), F.R.C.P., D.P.M. Born: 15 December, 1897; son of Campbell Gillespie, Glasgow; married 1930, Audrey Margaret Mary, er. daughter of late C. R. Howard, O.B.E., M.D.; one daughter. Died 30 October, 1945.

    See: Who was Who. Vol.IV. 1941-1950. pp.435-6.

    DEATHS.

    GILLESPIE, On Oct. 30, 1945, at Guy's Hospital, ROBERT DICK GILLESPSIE. M.D., F.R.C.P., D.P.M., (late Air Commodore, R.A.F.V.R.), husband of Audrey M. M. Gillespie, of Brown's Copse, Heyshott, Midhurst, Sussex. Cremation private. Flowers or donations to the York Clinic, Guy's Hospital.

    See: The Times. Thursday, November 1, 1945. p.1 (p.6 has an Obituary).

    A colleague reported that he died of "Heart Exhaustion", at 48. Looks as if his ashes may have been scattered.

    From the London Gazette:

    Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.

    MEDICAL BRANCH.
    The undermentioned are granted commissions for the duration of hostilities in the ranks and on the dates stated:-

    Wing Commander.

    11th September, 1939.

    Robert Dick GILLESPIE, M.D., F.R.C.P. (77564).

    LG. 12 November 1939. p.7647

    ROYAL AIR FORCE VOLUNTEER RESERVE.

    MEDICAL BRANCH.
    Commission relinquished.

    Sqn. Ldr.. (temp. Gp. Capt.) R. D. GILLESPIE, M.B., F.R.C.P., D.P.M. (on account of medical unfitness for Air Force service), retaining the rank of Air Cdre. 28th Apr. 1945.

    LG. 15 May, 1945. p.2521

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 2nd June 2011 at 05:24.

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    Before you ask, he's on the Runnymede Memorial because that was the most appropriate place to commemorate him, as the crematorium did not have a wall on which he could be recorded in lieu of a grave.

    O-D

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    Interesting, I wonder what factors the CWGC took into account when the decision was made to add his name to The Runneymede Memorial. Do the names of other personel who died on active service and were cremated appear there?
    Ian Macdonald

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    What a lot of interesting replies!

    Col,

    Thanks for all you have sent me. My contact in Midhurst will be most interested indeed in the answers you have given.

    ‘Old duffer’ (From another!)

    On knowing his name was on the Runny7mede Memorial I took a guess that he had got a ride and the aircraft came a cropper and he had no known grave through an incident like that. This has opened my thoughts on other servicemen who were cremated, Thanks.

    Ian,

    I am, rather like yourself, rather surprised to see his name at Runnymede, when I next see a serviceman had been cremated, I must double check. I didn’t think this happened. Most interesting isn’t it?

    To all who answered – many thanks indeed, most appreciated

    Digger.

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    I was 'caught out' by Gillespie when researching a book and also thought he must have been in an air accident. A bit more digging put me straight!

    As to the CWGC, they make a commemoration to all eligible personnel by way of a marked grave or an inscription on a memorial. At some of the larger crematoria there are panels for this and in some places there are separate cremation memorials, particularly where cremation is the religious imperative. As I mentioned earlier, Runnymede was the most appropriate place - had Gillespie been a soldier, it would have been Brookwood.

    Old Duffer

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    This thread, brought to mind AVM C.D BREESE CB AFC died 5/3/1941 in the crash of a Hudson 224 Sqn. Body buried at sea with full Military and Naval Honours. Commemorated on the Runnymede Mem !
    Coastal Command Losses Vol 1 1939-41 Ross McNeill

    Mark

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    Thanks Mark,

    Thanks for your input.

    I agree with you as I recently had a project relating to a number who crashed on the isle of St Kilda and then bueid at sea, but it did appear unusual to me that Gillespie dying in Guys hospital at home and his name comes up on the Runnymede Memorial, but I live and learn eh?
    Thanks.
    Digger

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    Any idea if he was a relative of F/O R Gillespie who was 16 Squadrons Adjutant until 18/5/43?

    Motherbird

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    Hello Motherbird ( I like that name!)

    I am not sure but hope we hear from someone who has the answer.
    I will make enquiries to my contact in Midhurst for you.

    Digger (the very old ex Surrey man)

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