View Full Version : Cranwell 1934

alain charpentier
31st October 2009, 02:31

I would like to know what became these futur Officers who were at the final of their course at Cranwell in summer 1934:

F/C Sgt RJ Burrough - F/C Sgt H Molyneux - F/C Sgt D Saward - F/C UO PJA Riddell
F/C UO PW AShton - F/C UO AF Hards - F/C Sgt RG Yaxley - F/C Sgt DG Stokes

F/C JE Kirk - F/C RCF Lister - F/C Sgt ND Ahston - F/C C Charlton-Jones - F/C Sgt EE Vielle
F/C Cpl CLY Wright - F/C RE Curry - F/C Cpl ARD MacDonell - F/C DW Williams - F/C Cpl HD Beck

F/C WA Hugues - F/C Cpl KE Cornabe - F/C AF Spurrier - F/C H Runganadhan -
F/C TR Manson - F/C HJ Hobbs - F/C JE Lowe - F/C Cpl GAV Clayton - F/C PDW Hackforth.

Thank you for your help.


31st October 2009, 07:32
Hi Alain, try a search of flight magazine and you will get most of their postings from Cranwell. See this page in particular:
Go down to appointments and then Pilot Officers:

You can get their full names from the london gazette and then just checking a couple of the names on CWGC i have found a couple too.

Yaxley is one i checked and a quick google search brings up an entry on this very website for his MC citation in 1936:

Plenty of sources to look up for info thats for sure!

Cheers, Tom

Steve Brew
31st October 2009, 17:12
Hi Alain

d/u indicates 'date unknown'.

F/C UO AF Hards is:

ALAN FREDERICK HARDS, 43367; b. Beckenham, May 1914; app. to perm. com as Plt Off on grad. from RAFC Cranwell, 28 Jul 1934; 41 Sqn, 28 Jul 1934; 802 Sqn, HMS Glorious, Jul 1935; Fg Off, 28 Jan 1936; 24 Sqn, d/u 1937; Flt Lt, 28 Jan 1938; Sqn Ldr, d/u; 206 Sqn, d/u; Temp Wg Cdr, 1 Sep 1941; DSO (206 Sqn), 7 Jul 1942; MiD, 1 Jan 1943; RAE, Farnborough, d/u Jan 1944; Wg Cdr (WS), 14 Aug 1944; Gp Capt, d/u; CO, RAF Farnborough, d/u; KIFA whilst flt. testing Dornier 335, 18 Jan 1946, aged 31; s. of AVM Frederick G D Hards CBE DSO DFC & Alice Hards, & husb. of Rosemary Hards of Cuckfield, Sussex; rem. on Panel 2 of Woking (St. Johnís) Crem., Surrey; medals auctioned, Sep 2004

F/C RCF Lister is:

LISTER, ROBERT CHARLES FRANKLIN, 33118, RAF; b. 23 Aug 1913; grntd. perm. com. as Plt Off on grad. from Cranwell., 28 Jul 1934; 13 Sqn, 28 Jul 1934; 20 Sqn, 28 Feb 1935; Fg Off, 28 Jan 1936; Actg Flt Lt, 10 Nov 1937; Flt Lt, 28 Jan 1938; MiD, 18 Feb 1938; DFC, 16 Aug 1938; FIC, CFS Upavon, d/u; 10 FTS, Tern Hill, d/u; Adjt., 614 Sqn AuxAF, 2 Jan 1939; EF on TO & CL, fracturing spine, late 1939; NE sick, 9 months, late 1939-1940; Sqn Ldr, 1 Jan 1940; Temp. Position, Air Min., d/u 1940; 7 OTU, d/u; CO, 41 Sqn, 8-14 Sep 1940; SD/WIA by Me109 & baled out, 14 Sep 1940; Supry. & subs. CO, 92 Sqn, 22 Sep 1940; WIA by Me109s over Maidstone, but managed to land & admtd. to Farnborough Hosp., 24 Sep 1940; declared med. unfit for flg. duties, Jun 1941; Controller, Ops. Room, Bgn. Hill, d/u 1941; Temp. Wg Cdr, 1 Dec 1941; SASO, 219 Grp., Apr 1942; CO, 209 Grp., Oct 1943; Wg Cdr (WS), 10 Apr 1944; Staff, AHQ Eastern Med., Sep 1944-Jul 1945; CO, RAF Amman, Aug 1945-Mar 1946; CO, RAF Wattisham, d/u; Wg Cdr, 1 Oct 1946; SAO, HQ 64 Grp., d/u; Stn. Cdr., RAF Newton, d/u; ret. 31 Oct 1954, rtng. Gp Capt; d. Mar 1998

Sorry, I know these have a lot of blanks, but it should give you an idea of these pilots' careers. Can you or anyone else fill any of the blanks for me?

May I ask your interest in these men, please?


alain charpentier
1st November 2009, 01:10
Thank you Tom and Steve !

My interest in these Officers is that they were all with G/C J R Jeudwine OBE DSO DFC at Cranwell in the same course in 1934.
I want to know what they became, if they survived to the war and if they did a long service in RAF.
Jeudwine went to Cranwell in 1932,get out in summer 1934,to 12 sq in 1935,then 823 Sq until 1939,in Wireless Intelligence Service in Egypt ,then 70 OTU in september 1941.
C/O of 84 Sq from january 42 , C/O of 55 Sq in July 42 to November 42.
C/O of Nį6 Ferry Unit, then C/O of 619 Sq, BASO 54 Base 1944, then Station Commander
of RAF Dunholme Lodge and Strubby until the end of the war.
Killed in a flying accident 19/10/45 at Little Staughton...

I got a poor photograph of all these young men taken in July 1934 at Cranwell.All proud futur Officers in RAF .

I did not know that RAF tested the Do 335...could have been the same kite tested in France ??


1st November 2009, 10:34
hello Alain,

To reply to your question about the Dornier Do-335, these machines were others than the ones tested in France.

The best book on the subject is "War Prizes" by Phil BUTLER. On page 107 there's a short history of Dornier Do-335A-12 WNr 240112 which received Air Ministry number AM223. This aircraft was surrendered to US forces at the Dornier factory of Oberpfaffenhofen to the west of Munich and was flown under supervision of the airfield of Neubiberg to the south east of the city with a number of other Do 335s. It was later handed over to the British Air Intelligence organisation and was flown from Neubiberg to Strasbourg and Reims on 7th September 1945 bu S/L McCarthy. On the following day it contined to Farnborough via Manston. This was a two-seat trainer version of this large tandem-engined fighter. It made a test flight on 1st October 1945 but then remained grounded until a second test flight on 15th January 1946, appearing in the meantime in the static display of the German Aircraft Exhibition. On 18th January 1946 it made a third test flight and caught fire in the air after the rear engine overheated and crashed at Cove near Farnborough, killing G/C Alan F. HARDS, C.O. Experimental Flying at Farnborough. After this accident severe restrictions were placed on the flying of ex-Luftwaffe aircraft at Farnborough.

There was another Do-335 intended for use by Farnborough, a single seater, which received Air Min number AM225 but during its ferrying flight from Reims to U.K. on 13th December 1945, but made a forced-landing at Merville, 20 km from my home, with its nose wheel retracted. The Dornier was scrapped locally.


Errol Martyn
1st November 2009, 10:34

Richard James Burrough, DFC, mid
Retired as Wg Cdr 12.1.58

Henry Molyneux
Fg Off, Killed flying accident 11.8.36

Dudley Saward, OBE, mid
Retired as Gp Capt 8.8.45

Peter John Archibald Riddell, CBE, mid (3)
Retired as Gp Capt 1.3.47

Paul Wingrave Ashton
Fg Off, killed in flying accident 23.5.36

Alan Frederick Hards, DSO, mid
Gp Capt, killed active service [no date]

Robert Gordon Yaxley, DSO, MC, DFC
Gp Capt, missing, death presumed [no date]

Donald George Stokes
Retired as Gp Capt 12.6.59

John Enfield Kirk, OBE
Retired as Gp Capt 18.9.58

Robert Charles Franklin Lister, DFC, mid
Retired as Gp Capt 31.10.54

Norman Dorrington Ashton (not Ahston)
Plt Off, killed in flying accident 27.6.35

Cecil Charlton-Jones
Wg Cdr, killed in action [no date]

Eugene Emil Vielle, OBE, AFRAeS
Retired as Gp Capt 14.11.57

Christopher Louis Yser Wright
Wg Cdr, missing, death presumed [no date]

Ronald Ernest Curry
Retired as Sqn Ldr 27.2.45

Aeneas Ronald Donald MacDonell, DFC, mid
Air Cdre [no date, still serving at time of listing?]

Douglas Walker Williams, CBE, mid (2), AFRAeS
Retired as Gp Capt 11.2.61

Hugh Denis Beck,
Sqn Ldr, killed on active service [no date]

William Arthur Hughes (not Hugues)
Wg Cdr, killed on active service [no date]

Kenneth Ernest Cornabe
Wg Cdr, 'left the service' 19.6.45

Arthur Frederick Spurrier,
Plt Off, deceased [no date]

Henry Runganadhan
Indian Air Force

Timothy Roderick Manson
Flt Lt, killed on active service [no date]

Harold John Hobbs, CBE
Gp Capt [still serving at time of list?]

James Henry [note initials not JE] Lowe
Sqn Ldr, killed in action [no date]

George Arthur Vere Clayton, DFC, mid
Retired as Gp Capt 19.12.57

Peter Dudley Walter Hackforth
Retired as Wg Cdr 1.12.54

Source: List of Graduates, RAF College Cranwell, 5.2.40 to 18.12.62


1st November 2009, 11:03

To follow on Errol's message, Dudley Saward wrote the book "The Bomber's Eye", Cassell 1959, about the work of the Telecommunications Research Establishment. Chapter one starts like this : 'On the morning of July 21st, 1940, I was posted to the Blind Approach Technical & Development Unit at Boscombe Down. [...] Just prior to the outbreak of war, I had completed the Long Signals Course et the Electrical and Wireless School, Cranwell.


alain charpentier
1st November 2009, 11:07
Thank you Errol and Joss !

Found that F/O Henry Molyneux died 11 august 1936.

The two Ashton could have been brother ??

Concerning the Do335, a very interesting kite, had a special device to eject the rear
propeller before to baled out .But a very heavy aircraft to land !


alain charpentier
1st November 2009, 11:26
I wanted to speak about P/O Arthur Frederick Spurrier killed 1 February 1936 and not abour Molyneux !

F/Lt Henry Runganadhan, Indian Air Force, killed in a flying accident in a Hudson where he was passenger,on 3 October 1942, as C/O of 1 Squadron .

So, on 29 young Offficers getting out from Cranwell on 28 July 1934, 14 were killed whom
four before the war.

2nd November 2009, 12:08
Runganadhan has been mentioned before adn I know the Hudson ID has been identified..

Henk may have the details


Henk Welting
2nd November 2009, 16:36
YAXLEY - 33130 - Hudson FK386 - 1 OADU - 3-6-1943
CHARLTON-JONES - 33108 - Stirling N6081 - 149 Sqn - 29-8-1942
WRIGHT - 33129 - Halifax HR726 - 51 Sqn - 23-11-1943
BECK - 33106 - Hampden P4292 - 16 OTU - 7-12-1940
HUGHES - 33115 - buried Delphi WC India - 27-11-1943 (sofar unaccounted for)
RUNGANADHAN - RIAF - Hudson FH289 - 3-10-1942
MANSON - 33121 - Magister L5951 - 17 OTU - 25-2-1941
LOWE - 33119 - killed in air raid Detling, Kent - 13-8-1940


Henk Welting
2nd November 2009, 16:56
For 27-11-1943 I have Hudson VI FK642 of #22 Ferry Control, crashed 1 mile W of Gurgaon near Delphi. Seven casualties and already on file:
F/O W.D. SMITH - RCAF J/9778, and
F/O G.J. FROST - RCAF J/9128,
all buried in the Delphi War Cemetery.
Looking for the names of the remaining four and assume that W/Cdr HUGHES (Navigator - 33115) was one of tem.

2nd November 2009, 17:00
Hello Henk,

The following are buried in Delhi War Cemetery being Killed On Active Service on 27-11-1943:

148336 P/O Gerald Hotspur BARRETT RAFVR + GRO Deaths gives unit as 224 Group
CAN J/9128 F/O (W.Op./Air Gnr.) Gordon Joseph FROST RCAF +
33115 W/C (Nav.) William Arthur HUGHES RAF +
106600 F/O Hugh Lewis PUGH RAFVR +
CAN J/9778 F/O (Nav.) William Davis SMITH RCAF +
160131 P/O (Pilot) William Garden Roy SUTHERLAND RAFVR +

And, Died Of Wounds Or Injuries Received On Active Service 27-11-1943:

CAN J/9444 F/O (Pilot) Harold Edward PITTAWAY RCAF +

All appear in the Same Casualty List in The Times Feb 6, 1944.


Henk Welting
2nd November 2009, 17:34
Thanks Col for your much appreciated answer; Alain will be happy as well.

alain charpentier
3rd November 2009, 04:16
Hello, and my thanks for all these informations !

On the 14 Officers killed, 10 were killed in flying accident, and four by fact of war ...

Is it the same proportion for all the airmen of RAF in that period ??