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Thread: Committee of Adjustment?

  1. #1
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    Default Committee of Adjustment?

    On 14 September 1939, 41 Squadron's Plt. Off. James Copley was killed in his Spitfire when he hit the Watch Hut on take-off from Catterick.

    A Court of Enquiry was held the following day, presided over by Wg. Cdr. Richardson, after which Copley’s body was released to his family. He was the son of Sqdn. Ldr. Reginald J. and Josephine Copley, of Newton, Cambridgeshire.

    On 15 September 1939, records the ORB, a Committee of Adjustment was appointed, consisting of Flg. Off. J. Terence Webster and two officers from 609 Squadron. Wg. Cdr. Richardson was President of the Court of Enquiry.

    Questions:

    1. Can anyone suggest who "Wg. Cdr. Richardson" was? Was he perhaps Eric Hardy Richardson or George Thomas Richardson? Is one or the other the more likely candidate? Or someone else altogether?

    2. Was Copley's father, Sqdn. Ldr. Sqdn. Ldr. Reginald J. Copley, an active or retired member of the RAF at the time?

    3. I understand the Court of Enquiry (C.O.E.) into Copley's death was held the day following the accident (15 Sep. 1939), but does the "Committee of Adjustment" have anything to do with it? Can I assume the C.O.E. and Committee of Adjustment were the same event? I have never heard of a C.O.E. referred to as the former... or are these two separate events?

    Thanks
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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    Don't have the reference in front of me, but I seem to recall that the Committee of Adjustment was tasked with sorting out the deceased person's kit, and deciding what belonged to the Crown, what went to family, what could be used to pay off any debts, etc.

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    Bill is correct: the term goes back to at least Victorian days, if not earlier, and was a regular part of any colonial regimental officers duty. Part of the task, usually carried out by the deceased soldiers superior officers (or his piers), was to ensure nothing indiscrete or hurtful was returned to the next of kin. There was often a Standing Committee of Adjustment formed in wartimes to deal with higher volumes of cases.

    Bruce

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    Default R J Copley

    Gazette Issue 34718 published on the 27 October 1939. Page 8 of 74
    Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    ADMINISTRATIVE AND SPECIAL DUTIES BRANCH.

    The undermentioned are granted commissions in the ranks stated with effect from ist Sept. 1939 and with seniority of the dates
    stated: —
    Squadron Leaders.

    6th Jan. 1936.
    Flying Officer Reginald James COPLEY
    (75185).

    The men that he is listed with some are "RAF retired" men and since he was commishioned back into the RAF it must be for a special role of some sort. He was born in 1891.

    His service number does not seem to return in the gazette for remainder of the war.

    He was perhaps previously mentioned in LG as:
    Gazette Issue 34570 published on the 15 November 1938. Page 11 of 74
    ROYAL AIR FORCE RESERVE.
    Reserve of Air Force Officers.
    The undermentioned are transferred from
    class C to class CC. 7th May 1938: —
    Flight Lieutenants.
    Reginald James COPLEY.

    Previous to this again:
    Gazette Issue 34259 published on the 25 February 1936. Page 11 of 72
    ROYAL AIR FORCE RESERVE.
    Reserve of Air Force Officers.
    GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH
    Flying Officer Reginald James COPLEY is granted a commission as Flight Lieutenant in class C on re-appointment. 6th Jan. 1936.


    And in 1931:
    Gazette Issue 33701 published on the 24 March 1931. Page 11 of 74
    The undermentioned- relinquish their commissions on completion of service:
    Flying- Officers.

    Reginald James COPLEY. 19th Dec. 1930

    He served as an RFC airman I think during the first world war, you can check using the Flight archives.
    http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/

    He is on a family tree on ancestry.com and the owner might know something about him and the family.

    Dennis
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Hi Bill, Bruce and Dennis

    Thanks for your explanations. I was aware that a pilot's possessions were sorted before they were turned over to the family, but not that this was called a 'Committee of Adjustment'. I'd always assumed this was a more casual arrangement.

    There was one case in 41 Squadron during WWII where a pilot's colleagues disposed of his diary, with girls' addresses, etc., after he was shot down, only for him to evade over the border to Spain and return a little while later and be miffed he no longer had all his contact details for the girls he'd met!

    As for Copley senior, Dennis, it looks like he may well have been retired. Thanks also for the mention of Ancestry.com; I'll check with the tree's owner.

    Regards
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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    I realise this post is a little old, and most of my query has been answered already, but can anyone identify a likely candidate for my "Wg. Cdr. Richardson" (Question 1, above), please?

    Thanks
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

  7. #7
    Eddie Fell Guest

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    Hi Steve

    Flight has a W/Cdr G.T. Richardson who commanded Church Fenton and Leconfield in the late 30's?

    Cheers

    Eddie

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    Hello,
    This pilot must have been in 41 Squadron's Spitfire K9849 ?
    Alex

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    Hi Eddie - Thanks for that; looks like George Thomas Richardson is a likely candidate.

    Hi Alex - Yes, that's correct.

    Cheers
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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