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Thread: Kenneth Jones

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
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    Default Kenneth Jones

    Hi guys. Am trying to find some background on my uncle Kenneth Jones who was an aircraftsman 1st class in the 918 balloon sqdn based in Derby. He died on 26th July 1940... apparently suicide whilst on guard duty after a family altercation a couple of weeks earlier whilst on leave. Whilst this may not have been the most gallant death in service on record, I am sure he was not the only one in those times.
    I would appreciate any info anyone out there may have on both the squadron, its duties and obviously this particular incident or where I may find further information. My older family are all deceased now so no options there!!
    Many thanks for your time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Thanked 25 Times in 24 Posts


    Have you got s copy of his death certificate from the GRO.
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Reading, Berkshire, UK
    Thanked 12 Times in 12 Posts


    Colin, welcome to the Forum.

    Following on from Dennis' post:
    Deaths Q3 1940
    Jones, Kenneth. Aged 19. GRO Registration Reference Derby Vol 7b Page 953

    If he was aged 19 at Death then he must have been born in 1921 (There are many Kenneth Jones in FREEBMD around this time!!!).
    His Service Number 647939 (from CWGC) is in the Block 610000-654721 which was Allocated to Civilians Enlisting after 1 Mar 1938.
    If he was born in 1921 then he would have been 17+(?) in Mar 1938, so it is possible he Enlisted on his 18th birthday?
    His Service Record (see You may have to jump through several ‘hoops’ to get an un-redacted version!) will reveal a great deal.
    An apparent suicide would have, almost certainly, involved the Police, and a Coroner’s Inquest. If the records of those proceedings have survived (and are accessible!) they, too, will provide much information and, probably, further leads.
    Good luck! Let us know how you get on!
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Thanked 38 Times in 36 Posts



    647939 AC1 Kenneth JONES mentioned previously:

    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 8th July 2017 at 09:09.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Sydney Australia
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts


    Hi Colin,

    Rest in peace, Kenneth.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Northumberland, UK
    Thanked 64 Times in 61 Posts



    His death, and the circumstances behind it, were reported in newspapers at the time. It must have been very difficult for his family, top say the least, for all the details to be made public

    This from the Derby Telegraph, August 1st 1940:

    A statement made by a dying aircraftman to the chaplain of his unit was quoted at the inquest at Derby yesterday on Kenneth Jones (19), of 17, Newtown Street, Eaton Park, Manchester, who died at Derby Royal Infirmary on Friday.
    Aircraftman Jones had been in the Royal Air Force since April last year, and had been stationed in Derbyshire. He was admitted to the Infirmary suffering from a rifle bullet wound.
    The assistant Deputy Borough Coroner, Mr. R. D. Craig, recorded a verdict that Jones committed suicide whilst the balance of his mind was disturbed.
    Mr. Harry Jones said that his son was happy and contented with life in the Air Force, but a month ago he said that he wanted a change from Manchester.
    Leading Aircraftman Thomas Crumpton said that Jones was of a retiring nature. In May new renewed contact with Jones, who appeared to have become more reserved and was not quite the same worker. He was also insubordinate to a senior officer and when spoken to he expressed disappointment because he was not in the flying section.
    After a while Jones relapsed into a moody nature. On one occasion he got into trouble for refusing to attend a church parade and was confined to the site for some days.
    Last week Jones would hardly speak. About 5 a.m. the next day they were on guard duty, and about an hour later, when they changed duty, Jones was in a nervous state.
    "About 6.30 a.m. I heard the sound of a rifle being discharged, and looking across the field I saw Jones stagger out of a tent and fall down," said Mr. Crumpton. "I went to him, asked him what he had done, and he replied that he had shot himself. I took him into a tent, and then asked him why he had done it. He replied, 'I wanted to die.' "
    Aircraftman Robert Campbell told the Coroner that before the accident Jones was looking very miserable and told that he was fed up with things.
    The Rev. Herbert Henry Little, chaplain to the unit, stated that he visited Jones at the Infirmary and was told by him that he was fed up with being on the site and that he might as well end things.



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