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Thread: Percy or Percival TOTTLE

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    Default Percy or Percival TOTTLE

    Would someone please be able to confirm for me if one or more of the above named served with the RAF in WW2? Service number(s) would be a bonus!

    Cheers,
    Errol

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    Errol

    AIR78 does not show a Percy or Percival Tottle, although there is a P Tottle (743751) in the index.

    Hope that helps in some way

    Regards

    Pete
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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    Errol, Hi,

    743751 is fairly early on in the Block 740000-759999 (RAFVR Pilots, Jan 1937 onwards)
    FREEBMD gives no Percy Tottle in the time frame. There is a Percival Tottle (b. 13 May 1904, Reg Plymouth 5b 218), but he would have been 33 in 1937, which is possibly a bit old for RAFVR?
    He’s still in Plymouth in the 1939 Registration. d. Q1 1982 Plymouth 21 2260 (Findmypast).

    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    There's a Percival Tottle mentioned several times in the book 'Down in the Drink', by Ralph Barker, possibly during the occupation of Batavia and fall of Singapore in 1942, and is described as being 37, and from Plymouth:

    Links:

    https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...0rafvr&f=false

    https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...0rafvr&f=false

    Regards

    Simon

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    Many thanks Pete and Peter for your prompt responses, much appreciated.

    I 'm looking to confirm (or otherwise) the Tottle mentioned in a book by Ralph Barker which appears in an entry I have in Volume 3 of my For Your Tomorrow trilogy:

    Sat 28 Feb 1942
    FAR EAST
    Evacuation flight from Java
    Royal Netherlands East Indies Naval Air Force (Java, Netherlands East Indies)
    Dornier Flying Boat (unidentified type but either a Do Wal or Do 24K) – according to an account in Ralph Barker’s Down in the Drink, took off from a deserted cove in the Batavia area early in the morning piloted by ‘Jan’, but a few hours into the flight caught fire following an unexplained explosion and fell into the sea. All but two of the dozen or so on board are believed to have been killed in the crash. Two passengers who were accommodated in the baggage compartment near the door succeeded in baling out, but only one survived, being picked up by a small sailing boat after many hours in the water. According to Barker the survivor was an RAF sergeant named Percival Tottle, who had been wounded in the legs during a bombing raid on Batavia the previous day. Tottle, in recounting the event, said that he owed his life to his companion in the luggage compartment, whom he had met for the first time just prior to take off. He had said to Tottle – ‘My name’s Mitchell. I’m a New Zealander. I had a job in a Dutch bank in Batavia’. ‘Mitchell’, who was already dead and his body lying in the boat when Tottle was picked up, had clipped a parachute on to the incapacitated Tottle, inflated his Mae West, then dragged him to the door and pushed him out. All attempts to identify exactly who ‘Mitchell’ was and to confirm his death, however, have proved unsuccessful.

    As can be seen, I've not had any luck in identifying or confirming exactly who 'New Zealander Mitchell' was either. I'm beginning to wonder just how much credence one can give to Barker's story. A similar account appears in Volume Two of Bloody Shambles by Shores, et al but which seems in turn to be based on the Barker book's description.

    Cheers,
    Errol

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    Errol,

    Forgive me if you've been down this route, but have you identified which Dutch banks were established in Batavia at the time? I'm thinking that if any still operate in the area there might be a roll of honour for the bank in question.

    Brian

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    Errol

    I wonder if perhaps that was his "middle name" (which he used on a day to day basis [which seemed to be common practice in my family of that era]) or perhaps the wrong forename ... do you want a fill list of Tottle's from AIR78?

    Regards

    Pete
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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    Hi,

    743100 + Ground crew enlistment

    743143 AC1 F. PARTON Died 17-6-1940 RMS Lancastria Age 43
    743266 AC2 W.H WARRINGTON Died 15-4-1940 Age 56
    743685 AC2 G.S CROSS Died 25-3-1940 Age 42
    743793 F/S J.W TOVEY A/G Enlisted 4-4-1939
    743804 AC1 J. ELDER PoW Crete 6-41 Enlisted13-3-1939

    Mark

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    Gents,

    Many thanks for your rapid fire replies. I've revisited Barker's book (after an absence of nearly 20 years) and note that he says 'Sergeant Percival Tottle, R.A.F.V.R., equipment assistant and former pilot in the Civil Air Guard.' Also says he was aged 37 at time (Feb 42) and was from Plymouth. All this ties in with Peter's info - and thus confirming the man as 743751 Percival Tottle.

    Brian, I hadn't thought about the Batavia banks aspect and possible rolls of honour. Something for me to now explore.

    Cheers,
    Errol

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