View Full Version : Late 1930' RAF College Cranwell Flight Cadets Some with Dual Service Numbers ?

5th January 2017, 17:20
I have a series of Service Number in the 33NNN Range

It looks like these were Exclusively allocated to Flight Cadet's at Cranwell

However... I have found at least 3 which seem to have duplicates (they may of course be different people but I am not convinced)

Stephen Percival WILKINS 33496 - Also quoted as 45114 - Killed January 1942. Age 22 as F/O on Singapore Memorial with 33496. But in London Gazette Stephen Percival WILKINS (45114) is granted a permanent commission as Pilot Officer on probation. 22nd Dec. 1940 - There is at least two entries on London Gazette

Geoffrey Edgar CRUWYS 33510 also 43426 (very unusual name unlikely to be two of them) (43426 is on London Gazette see below)

Ian Robert CAMPBELL 33557 (later AVM) but also quoted as 43427 - Suppose this is possible to be two people with same name (43427 is on London Gazette see below)

The undermentioned are granted permanent
commissions as Pilot Officers on probation.
I2th May 1940.
Ian Robert CAMPBELL (43426).
Geoffrey Edward CRUWYS (43427).

Could these have been allocated in duplicate by mistake?

Certainly for CRUWYS & CAMPBELL I Can only find 1 entry on London Gazette?

6th January 2017, 00:43

As far as Campbell was concerned, he ended up in the bag:


Wilkins was lost aboard No.205 Sqn Catalina W8409:



6th January 2017, 11:05
Hi Paul

I wonder if it is to do with the fact that they were on one of the last Flight Cadet intakes before this form of training was ended.

Campbell and Cruwys were both commissioned as Plt Off on Prob as opposed to substantive Plt Off as was the case normally for Flight Cadets.

Perhaps someone used numbers from the 'non-Flight Cadet' list and when it was realised that they were in fact ex Flight Cadets, they were changed.

I haven't come across 43426 for Campbell in the AFLs and both he and Cruwys are shown with numbers in the 33xxx range in the AFLs


6th January 2017, 13:51


I think you have he answer Malcolm, it is obvious that all Flight Cadet's (at least in Mid to late 1930's) were allocated Service Numbers on joining. This is evidenced by the fact that gaps exist in the list of allocations (which could be filled by individuals not completing the course, or being killed in training or before the start of ww2

Also, some Cadets appear to have moved down a term or so maybe as a result of deferment, injury or illness or being naughty (rusticated)!

Here are some examples what I mean

Rank Previous Rank Name Service Number Date Branch Course Notes

P/O Flight Cadet James Bernard GRANT 33313 18th Dec. 1937 GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH
P/O Flight Cadet James Reed GUTHRIE 33314 18th Dec. 1937 GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH
P/O Flight Cadet Percy Robert HATFIELD 33315 18th Dec. 1937 GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH
P/O Flight Cadet Peter Francis Gordon JAMESON either 33316, 33317 or 33318 18th Dec. 1937 GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH .>

30.1.39 L4836 Blenheim IV, 53 Sqn, Odiham Hit telegraph wires and crashed, Odiham Plt Off Peter Francis Gordon Jameson (21) killed

P/O Flight Cadet Charles Brian Fabris KINGCOME 33319 30th July 1938 GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH
P/O Flight Cadet John Hugh LAPSLEY 33320 18th Dec. 1937 GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH
P/O Flight Cadet Ronald LLOYD 33321 18th Dec. 1937 GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH

KINGCOME joined Cranwell as in 9-36B (Sept 1936 B Flight?) but Graduated later than his contemporary service numbers - I wonder if he deferred as his number is from ones allocated to (1-36)

Peter Francis Gordon JAMESON has to be either 33316, 33317 or 33318

But at least 2 other Cranwell students never completed there course - The numbers were allocated alphabetically so we are looking for two missing names


6th January 2017, 15:39
Hello All,
I have several large Officer number blocks (numbered sequentially) of all Met Officers. One such block, 140000-140198, were all Commissioned on 1 Apr 1943. Within that block there are 11 numbers where no name can be subsequently found in the LG. I had tentatively annotated these ‘gaps’ as “Not Allocated”.
Now, however, and in view of Paul’s (et al) work on the Flight Cadets (above) might it not be the case that these Met Officer ‘gaps’ were – more likely – caused by discoveries subsequent to the allocation of the number to an individual.
These 11 bodies (as were the rest) were all ‘volunteers’. I suspect that some – at the perfunctory ‘medical’ – were discovered to be below A4 G1 Z1 (or whatever its equivalent was in 1943!). Some, indeed, may have discovered that they had medical conditions they had not been aware of up until the Commissioning medical? There may also have been social, financial, etc, reasons not to proceed with Commissioning.
I, too, would dearly like to know the names initially allocated to these numbers – if only just to ‘tidy up loose ends”!!
Peter Davies

PS I do have a same chap (knew him!) who had two Officer's Service Numbers - 73805 and 142647!