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Thread: Info on a WW2 RAF War Grave Required..

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    Default Info on a WW2 RAF War Grave Required..

    Hello there, help needed if possible or at least pointers as have hit a dead end.

    Local parish church, parish population currently about 16, has an official WW2 War Grave in it.

    http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_details.aspx?casualty=2723873

    Name: VAUGHAN, ARTHUR JAMES
    Initials: A J
    Nationality: United Kingdom
    Rank: Sergeant (Pilot)
    Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    Unit Text: 242 Sqdn.
    Age: 41
    Date of Death: 26/04/1941
    Service No: 916680
    Additional information: Husband of Christine Vaughan.
    Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
    Cemetery: SOUTHEASE CHURCHYARD


    No amount of searching parish / BDM records can turn up the chap or wife. Total mystery as to why he is buried in this churchyard. The oldest village resident remembers the day the grave was dug, though there is no apparent connection to the village as he or this family never lived there.

    The 75 year rule has prevented the release of his records, so the village has come to a dead end in its research as to why he is there. (Edit this had now changed to 25 i hear)

    Pointers?

    The village is understandably very proud of the grave, yet would like to give more details to visitors and prominence to the grave itself.

    242 was Baders squadron as well.

    http://southeasevillage.info/html/the_war_grave.html

    Southease Village Church War Grave

    More info is...
    1 despite his records being in the name of Arthur James, his death certificate states Kenneth James Vaughan, I have a copy. At the time of his death his address is stated as Stanmer Villas, Brighton
    2 searched the BDM records for the UK for 10 years either side of his supposed date of birth and there is no Arthur James Vaughan or Kenneth James Vaughan or any variation registered.
    3 We know his wife was called Christine, again no marriage certificate exists for a Vaughan marrying anyone with a forename of Christine from 1910 to the day he died.
    4 Extensive conversations with the MOD historical records people and while they are unable to give out much information because of the 75 year rule, they did confirm that he was born in the 365 day window that age 41 on the date of his death would suggest, they also confirmed that he was born in the UK.
    5 Recently unearthed some details of passengers arriving in the UK in the 1920?s by ship, there are three records:

    a. 22-06-1925 Arthur James Vaughan arrives from Nyasaland, modern day Malawi, age 25, occupation planter
    b. 12-04-1926 Arthur James Vaughan & wife, Christine Vaughan arrive from Natal, he age 25, she age 23, occupation independent means.
    c. 02-9-1927 Arthur James Vaughan arrives from Port Said, age 27, occupation Royal Air Force

    Again I have copies of the passenger lists. In all 3, he states his address is c/o Sir Bernard Bircham, 46, Parliament Street, Westminster, London. Bircham was a solicitor and Parliamentary agent and the address was that of his offices. The firm still exists, or at least a descendant of it, and I have recently contacted them but their archive contains no information on a Vaughan.

    That is it so far, though now the 75 year rule has been changed to 25, so will be eliciting more info soon.

    And yes, exactly, what was a 41 year old doing in a fighter at that time?, most of them were in their 20's were they not?...he was either an exceptional pilot, well connected or were they really short on pilots?

    All help greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks

    Adrian
    Last edited by thethirdbrain; 19th January 2010 at 09:52.

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    Hi Adrian, not very far from you, a couple of thoughts, try posting on the Sussex pages of www.Rootschat.com for info and secondly what was cause of death? Due to service or illness? Pete

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    Speared into ground in Kent, between Chartham and Chilham, after running out of fuel returning to base, though conflicting reports as to he may have been shot at and then as a cause ran out of fuel.

    Sgt. Vaughan was taken to nearby Chartham Military Hospital which seems to have been one wing of St. Augustines Lunatic Hospital, and died of his injuries that same day.

    thanks for heads up on rootschat

    Adrian
    Last edited by thethirdbrain; 19th January 2010 at 11:17.

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    I've Hurricane II.A serial Z2666 twixt Chatham and Chilham.

    Regards,
    Henk.

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    Adrian,

    I'm not sure if it is possible that far back, but have you tried to find if he left a Will? Might just be a clue there if he did.

    Brian

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    Mason has it listed as a Hurricane II with Merlin XX engine, one of a series of Presentation Aircraft (Z2661-Z2705). It was a fairly new crate, built after 14 Jan 1941. He doesn't have it listed as going to 242 Sqn initially, but some a/c in that series went to 56 (F) Sqn, so maybe it was damaged and reassigned later.
    Last edited by dfuller52; 19th January 2010 at 15:55.
    David

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    dbfuller: I see someone else knows about the Sons of Damien!!

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    Hi Kevin, I did see your web site in a search for this one, but my info was taken from Mason's book, which I happen to be reading at the moment.

    As for the burial, Adrian, I have several of my Malvern RCAF chaps who were buried nearby their airfields, one of whom was washed ashore in another area and brought back to the air base for his funeral. A newspaper report at the time suggested he was going to be buried in Yorkshire, where he had family connections but it didn't happen. He had no connection to the town other than he was stationed there.
    David

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    Aha, I now see Sons of Damien...most interesting....

    Thanks for the info dfuller, I am wondering if there are any surviving members left of the 242 who remember Vaughan, as he was an older pilot even then.

    I presume there will be records from 242?

    Many thanks Adrian

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    Default Sgt Vaughan

    There is scant mention of Sgt Vaughan in Hugh Halliday's "242 sqdn, The Canadian Years" stating "...on April 26, Sgt Vaughan also died in a flying mishap" - thus suggesting an accident rather than combat.

    Perhaps Hugh will pick up on this item?

    Regards,

    Ian

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