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Thread: 31 October 1942 - Runnymede Casualties

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    Default 31 October 1942 - Runnymede Casualties

    Hello All:

    I'm chasing details of a German claim at sea on 31 October 1942. I can't find anything which matches yet, however the CWGC lists the following men as lost on that date, remembered on the Runnymede memorial. Does anyone have details of their loss?

    Grey, Henry Marshall, Sergeant, RAFVR 1081473
    Burchell, Geoffrey Maurice, Warrant Officer, RAF 564123
    Riley, William Leo, Leading Aircraftman, RAFVR 1512769
    Sinniah, Seva Suriyapillai, RAFVR 1800190
    Thomson, Peter Yeats, Sergeant, RAF 656526

    Many thanks for any details,

    Mark

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    Mark,

    Perhaps it helps if you can tell us where this happened and what type of aircraft was claimed?

    You refer to the claims by Uffz. Bölter and/or Ltn. Knoke north of Wangerooge (Blenheims)?
    May have been other two-engined types as well... (Beaufort, Beaufighter, Wellington).

    Regards,

    Leendert

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    Hi Leendert:

    I do indeed refer to the two claims you've mentioned - can't find anything from Bomber Command, so I'm looking for "something else".

    What the something else is, I have no idea, but with two aircraft reported having fallen in flames well out to sea, I wondered if the Runnymede losses might provide some clue.

    Cheers,

    Mark

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    If not Bomber Command, then Coastal Command comes into mind.

    I'm sure someone can look up if any CC losses were recorded that day in that area...

    Regards,

    Leendert

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    Mark,

    RAF Overseas War Deaths 1939-48 :-

    Grey, Henry Marshall, Sergeant, RAFVR 1081473 - 1 (O) A.F.U
    Burchell, Geoffrey Maurice, Warrant Officer, RAF 564123-England Death Register -Durham W
    Riley, William Leo, Leading Aircraftman, RAFVR 1512769 - 1 (O) A.F.U
    Sinniah, Seva Suriyapillai, RAFVR 1800190 (no overseas ?, no England Death Register)
    Thomson, Peter Yeats, Sergeant, RAF 656526 - 1 (O) A.F.U

    All the best

    Mark

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    Default Re: 31 October 1942 - Runnymede Casualties

    Hello,

    The format for the RAF listings follows that of earlier publications in this series. For each machine, every unit is listed with which it served (except storage units), and where it can be traced the code marking is listed in parenthesis after the relevant unit. In the case of aircraft serving with the Air Transport Auxiliary, this is shown as "ATA" followed in square brackets by the Ferry Pilot Pools (later Ferry Pools) with which it served.

    See:
    The Anson File.
    Sturtivant,Ray (comp.).
    Tonbridge:Air-Britain(Historians),1988.
    p.3

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 6th September 2020 at 05:51.

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    Hi Mark
    There is not enough information to be certain but it seems the incident is mentioned in Heinz Knoke's book "I Flew for the Fuhrer". He reports that his unit was engaged that day in Convoy patrols and that the convoy was attacked at about 1414. Knoke took off soon after to re-inforce those already airborne who were engaged with 4 Blenheims and running short of fuel. Knoke arrived 10 Mins after t/o and saw 1 Blenheim go into the sea in flames. He attacked another and set an engine on fire but it climbed into cloud. A later report from a German crash boat is of a Blenheim falling out of cloud into the sea. He gives a map ref. Anton-Quelle-3. Knoke was credited with it's destruction. I would agree with Leendert that the most likely source of the Blenheims was Coastal Command and don't forget the possibility of faulty A/C recognition. Warner's Blenheim doesn't seem to have any losses for the Date
    Regards
    Dick

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    Hi Both:

    Dick - Yes, that's the one. I hadn't been able to find any matches through the conventional sources, was hoping the Runnymede info might turn something up.

    Mark - Many thanks for that. I take it from your info that an Advanced Flying Unit (Observers) aircraft must have gone down somewhere.

    Ross - Any CC losses that day?

    Cheers all,

    Mark
    Last edited by mhuxt; 21st September 2008 at 00:11. Reason: brain trouble

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    Default Re: 31 October 1942 - Runnymede Casualties

    Hi

    I have been carrying out some family history research and came across a distant relative, 564123 Warrant Officer Geoffrey Maurice Burchell. His is on the Runnymede Memorial having died on 31st October 1942. I know nothing of the circumstances of his death but what I have found out whilst doing some research is that he is buried in his local cemetery in Caterham, Surrey. I visited the graveyard yesterday but was unable to locate the grave, it is a vast graveyard with lots of fallen down, laid down stones etc etc. However, the burial records for the church (St Mary's Caterham ) show that he was buried there on 5th November 1942. My main query is that if he is buried in this graveyard why is he listed on the Memorial at Runnymede.

    Steve

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    Default Re: 31 October 1942 - Runnymede Casualties

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveAtt View Post
    Hi

    I have been carrying out some family history research and came across a distant relative, 564123 Warrant Officer Geoffrey Maurice Burchell. His is on the Runnymede Memorial having died on 31st October 1942. I know nothing of the circumstances of his death but what I have found out whilst doing some research is that he is buried in his local cemetery in Caterham, Surrey. I visited the graveyard yesterday but was unable to locate the grave, it is a vast graveyard with lots of fallen down, laid down stones etc etc. However, the burial records for the church (St Mary's Caterham ) show that he was buried there on 5th November 1942. My main query is that if he is buried in this graveyard why is he listed on the Memorial at Runnymede.

    Steve
    Steve, welcome to the Forum.

    Afraid I don't have much on 564123 W/O Geoffrey Maurice BURCHELL RAF. I can tell you that he was one of "Trenchard's Brats". He entered Halton in the No.21 Entry (564049-564576, January, 1930). Several of his contemporaries were:

    564120 Sgt (Obs.) William Locke BALMER RAF (27) - + 12/04/1940 - 9 Sqn - Wellington IA P2520.

    564122 Sgt (Obs.) John Royal BRANTON RAF (27) - +07/04/1940 - 226 Sqn - Battle I P2265.

    564125 Sgt (Pilot) Trevor BUDDEN RAF (27) - +17/09/1940 - Special Duties Flight - Blenheim IV P4830.

    They are all mentioned on the Old Haltonians Roll of Honour. W/O Burchell's entry is sadly lacking in detail.

    http://www.oldhaltonians.co.uk - click on Tribute - then click on The Roll of Honour - go to 'B' (Alpha), or Order Entry, No.21.

    Geoffrey Burchell's entry in Chris Hobson's, "Failed To Return", is similarly disappointing:

    Burchell, Warrant Officer Geoffrey Maurice, Royal Air Force (564123), 31 October 1942, Died, Runnymede Memorial, Surrey - That's it!

    See:
    Failed To Return Airmen Died in the Second World War 1939-1945 The Roll of Honour of the British, Commonwealth and Allied Air Services Part 2: A-B.
    Hobson,Chris (comp.)
    Uckfield:Naval & Military Press,2019.
    p.1101

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 6th September 2020 at 08:24.

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