View Full Version : 400706 - Unaccounted airmen - 6-7-1940

Henk Welting
12th January 2008, 12:45
Sorry for so many names this time.........................
What caused the death of:

P/O (Pilot) Jack C. BURRASTON - 42379 (from Australia ?) - died of wounds or injuries received on active service (Flight Global), buried Cranwell (St.Andrew) Churchyard, Crandwel & Byard's Leap, Lincolnshire (UK1931).
P/O Burraston allotted same svcnr (42379) as P/O A.F.B. RAMSAY - 4 Sqn - killed 21-4-1940 and buried Trefcon British Cem., Caulaincourt, France.
In same cemetery as Burraston lies buried with same date of death:
LAC (Pilot) Ronald H.W. PARKER - 905524 - died of wounds or injuries received on active service (Flight Global), and

LAC Basil DREAPER - 529489 - whose name I can't find in The Times and Flight Global archives, buried Henlow (St.Mary) Churchyard, Bedfordshire (UK3102), and

Sgt Edwin C. JACOBS - 581101 - previously reported missing later believed killed on active service (Flight Global), commemorated on Panel 15 of the Runnymede Memorial, and

Sgt (Pilot) Robert B. MURGATROYD - 519962 - 9 Sqn Honington, Suffolk - killed in action (while flying in operations against the enemy - Flight Global), buried Honington (All Saints) Churchyard, Suffolk (UK2856).
He may have been killed aboard an aircraft that safely returned to base, and

Sgt (WOp/Ag) Shepherd SOTHERAN - 751010 - killed on active service (Flight Global), buried Hartlepool (Hart Road) New Cem., Durham County (UK341).

Aircraft losses for this date:
Blenheim I - N3555 - 2 SAC - collided with another aircraft during take-off at night and crashed 2 miles west of Andover, Hampshire (already have as a casualty: P/O George R. LAMBERT - 42846 - RAF [from Canada]).
Blenheim IV - L8855 - 264 Sqn - crashed (no further details).
Gladiator II - N2266 - FF Shetlands - crashed on take-off Sumburgh.
Hind I - K5413 - RAFC - flew into ground 1 mile south of South Clifton, Nottinghamshire.

Regards and thanks for your help.

12th January 2008, 13:20
Burraston was Australian. There is a bio and photo at these links (note that the second link gives the wrong date):


Though the other pilot and aircraft details are not given though the aircraft crashed into River Trent so it seems likely to be the Hind

Hope that's a start


Henk Welting
12th January 2008, 13:37
Thanks Amrit, that was a start for this date.

Doug Cuthbertson
12th January 2008, 14:10
Also on this date was Oxford P1083, 2 FTS, Brize Norton. (From Air Britain Serials).

12th January 2008, 14:18
Hello Henk,

A little bit more details:

P/O A.F.B. RAMSAY - 4 Sqn - killed 21-4-1940 and buried Trefcon British Cem., Caulaincourt, France.

First name Alexander, 42379

Sgt Edwin C. JACOBS - 581101 - previously reported missing later believed killed on active service (Flight Global), commemorated on Panel 15 of the Runnymede Memorial.

1 AACU (1 Anti-Aircraft Co-operation Unit).

Best regards

Finn Buch

Henk Welting
12th January 2008, 14:56
Thanks Doug for the Boston info. Was not listed 'Crashes in UK' Air Britain Aeromilitaria from which I quoted.
Thanks Finn for info on unit Jacobs. Checked oncemore svcnrs of Ramsay and Burraston and both are identical. Also Burraston not listed on the Australian Nominal Roll.
Let's wait for Dave whether he has more info on these casualties.
Good weekend,

12th January 2008, 15:00
Hi Henk
Murgatroyd's name is in Chorley Vol 9, the Roll of Honour, but there is no entry in the 1940 Vol, there is a death of a Robert B Murgatroyd, age 24, registered at Bury St Edmunds which is close to Honington and this may support your idea that he was brought back dead or died after an otherwise safe return.Southeran's death is recorded at Andover which is consistant with Blenheim N3555 and his name is recorded against that a/c in Warner's "Blenheim"
I can find a Jack c Burraston age 22,death registered at Retford ( which is close to S Clifton)and B Dreaper age 22 registered at Biggleswade
The apparent duplication on numbers for Burraston would not be impossible if he is Australian and the other person is not I have found similar duplication between RAAF and Australian Army

Henk Welting
12th January 2008, 15:01
Sorry for 'Boston' in lieu of 'Oxford'.

Henk Welting
12th January 2008, 15:05
Thanks Dick for your info, much appreciated.

Henk Welting
12th January 2008, 16:20
and those also interested in...........
Thanks to your info on Sgt E.C. JACOBS - 581101 (1 AACU) I could find the matching aircraft. It was Henley TT.1 serial L3418 that dived into the sea off Malltreath Bay, Anglesey, caused presumed as glycol leak. The body of the pilot, Sgt Robert I. PERRY - 562264, may have been recovered from the sea. He lies buried at Pwllheli Bourough Cem., Caernarvonshire (UK8493).

12th January 2008, 16:41
Hi Henk,

Here is the RNLI record for L3418

An aeroplane had crashed into the sea in Aberffraw Bay, but nothing could be found.
- Rewards. £6 5s.

RNLI Records of Service 1939-46


Henk Welting
12th January 2008, 17:28
Thanks for info on L3418. What is preferred as possible crash location to add in my files: Aberffraw Bay or Malltreath Bay ?
NB: Also have an outstanding e-mail re aircraft type (PR or not PR).

8th May 2009, 10:20
Hello Henk & Others,

Need to revisit this thread. It is claimed here, that P/O Jack Clarence BURRASTON was allotted the same RAF service number as, P/O Alexander Francis Burnett RAMSAY. Afraid, not so.

Burraston's RAF service number was 43279, Ramsay was allotted 42379. I don't know where or when this error crept into the records, but it has been perpetuated by both the CWGC and the AWM.

As stated elsewhere, Burraston, an Australian, accepted a Short Service Commission in the RAF. He, along with 16 other Australians were granted their SSCs on 10 April, 1940. This is shown conclusively in the Alpha/Numeric sequencing of their commissioning.

See: London Gazette. Issue No.34849 Published 14th May, 1940 p.7 of 56.


8th May 2009, 11:48
I've popped the CWGC a message, I'll post here in a few weeks if/when I hear back from them. They may get sick of hearing from me.

Henk Welting
8th May 2009, 16:42
.........and sick from me as well as I've still 8 outstanding e-mails to the CWGC !

8th May 2009, 18:10

Re Burraston and Parker.

At Cranwell the 6th July, 1940 was the usual English day. Flying carried on and Jack (Burraston), went out with another pilot at the controls. They were practising aerobatics as part of their training. It was during a stall turn that the aircraft failed to recover and dived into the ground, ending up in the river Trent.

Both men were killed.

Jack and his colleague, Ron Parker, were buried on the 10th July, 1940 with full military honours. After the service the men slow-marched through Cranwell village to the small churchyard to the tune of the funeral march.

Twenty two Temporary Gentleman.
n.p.:Author, n.d

In August 1939, Burraston had, along with 21 fellow-Australians, sailed for the UK, to take up his Short Service Commission in the RAF.


Henk Welting
9th May 2009, 14:50
Thanks Col for additional info on BURRASTON and PARKER. Now known that the correct svcnr for BURRASTON must be 43279 (in lieu CWGC 42379).

15th July 2009, 10:35
Henk may have told them also but just got confirmation from CWGC:

"You may recall that you wrote to us in June, drawing our attention the fact that both the above mentioned Officers were shown with the same Service Numbers in our records.

I am writing to advise that we have now received confirmation from the RAF that P/O Burraston ‘s correct service no is 43279 and Ramsay’s is 42379.

We have amended our Records accordingly."

28th February 2013, 12:44
Just a quick clear up for MURGATROYD, Robert Beattie 519962:

According to 'Bombers, First and Last' by Gordon Thorburn, page 24, he was killed on Wellington L7786 WS-X, hit by flak on return from Hamburg over the Dutch coast. He was in the bomb aimer's position trying to get a pinpoint for the Navigator, and a flak shell burst hit him in the chest.



Alex Smart
10th September 2021, 13:19

400706 - Unaccounted Airmen - 06-07-1940

From Henk's list -

BAKER, Alfred Arthur - Cpl - 336043 - RAF.
Halton (St. Michael) Churchyard, Buckinghamshire, UK.
Cause of death ?

BURK, Leslie Alexander - Sgt - 1732 - RCAF.
Whyteleafe (St. Luke) Churchyard, Surrey, UK.
Cause of death reportedly a motor cycle accident.

DREAPER, Basil - Lac - 529489 - RAF.
Henlow (St. Mary) Churchyard, Bedfordshire, UK.
Reportedly died from rifle fire.

MURGATROYD, Robert Beatie - Sgt - 519962 - RAF .
Honington (All Saints ) Churchyard, Suffolk, UK.
Wellington I - L7786 - 9 Sqn.

From CWGC -

SEXTON, Gerald Francis - Sgt - 755373 - RAFVR .
Amsterdam New Eastern Cemetery, Noord-Holland, Netherlands.
Wellington Ic - R3170 - 99 Sqn.

BURRASTON, Jack Clarence (Australian) - P/O - 43279 - RAF.
PARKER, Ronald Halford Walker(Egypt) - Lac - 905524 - RAFVR - FTS.
These two airmen rest at Cranwell (St.Andrew) Churchyard, Lincolnshire, UK.
They were crew of Hind - K5413 - ATS.

COOK, Matthew - AC2c - 620895 - RAF.
Cramlington (Mayfield) Cemetery, Northumberland, UK.
CURRY, Patrick Joseph (Irish Republic) - AC2c - 573507 - RAF .
Finningley (Holy Trinity and St. Oswald) Churchyard, Nottinghamshire, UK.
HIGGS, Granville John - AC2c - 649099 - RAF .
Mynyddislwyn (St. Tudwr) Churchyard, Monmouthshire, UK.
These three airmen were crew of Hampden I - L4181 - 106 Sqn.

PERRY, Robert Ivan - Sgt - 562254 - RAF.
Pwllheli Borough Cemetery, Caernarvonshire, UK.
Henley - L3418 - 1 AACU.

LAMBERT, George Robert - P/O - 42846 - RAF.
Andover Cemetery, Hampshire, UK.
SOTHERAN, Shepherd - Sgt - 751010 - RAFVR.
Hartlepool West View Cemetery, Durham, UK.
These two airmen were crew of Blenheim IV - N3555 - 2 SoAC.

JACOBS, Edwin Clifford - Sgt - 581101 - RAF.
Henley - L3418 - 1 AACU.
McVEIGH, Robert Alexander - Sgt - 745470 - RAFVR.
Blenheim IV-L8842 - 254 Sqn.
PATTISON, Vincent James -P/O - 33442 - RAF.
Blenheim IV - P6950 - 254 Sqn.
These three airmen are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, UK.



10th September 2021, 13:48

BURK, Leslie Alexander - Sgt - 1732 - RCAF - his R.C.A.F. Service File records that he died at Croydon Aerodrome due to anaphylactic shock following administration of a tetanus anti-toxin. He was being treated for abrasions suffered when the motor cycle on which he was riding pillion collided with an omnibus, and was also suffering from septic tonsils.

DREAPER, Basil - Lac - 529489 - died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, as reported in the Bedfordshire Times and Independent of July 12th 1940 in the link you posted.



7th March 2022, 18:21
Alfred Arthur Baker 336043 , attached to 13 MU , died in RAF Hospital, Halton of carcinoma of the colon