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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.

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504 Squadron Crest
30.04.1940 No. 504 Squadron Hurricane I L1947 Sq/Ldr. R. Hartley Watson

Operation: Night interception

Date: 30th April 1940 (Tuesday)

Unit: No. 504 Squadron

Type: Hurricane I

Serial: L1947

Base: RAF Martlesham Heath

Location: Ditchingham House, Bungay, Norfolk.

Pilot: Sq/Ldr. Rupert Hartley Watson 90059 RAF (A) Age 28. Killed


On the date of the accident he was serving on detachment at Martlesham Heath. 

Above: Area of loss with insert, Sq/Ldr. Hartley Wilson (courtesy Sherborne School archives)

During a night interception patrol it is understood that he crashed on return to the base within the grounds of Ditchingham House, situated north of Bungay in Norfolk. (we have no further details of this - are you able to assist?)

Left: Sherborne School, Dorset - Any further information that you are able to assist them with fallen former pupils from all wars, we would be pleased to pass onto them. 

Burial details:

Sq/Ldr. Rupert Hartley Watson. Powder ham Churchyard (St. Clement) East of Church. Further information (courtesy Sherborne School Archives): Born 1st April 1912, son of Lt.-Col. Guy Hartley Watson - 3rd Dragoon Guards (born 15th April 1870 - retired 6th September 1911 - died 27th April 1950) and Kathleen Nona Hartley Watson (Born 16th June 1885 - died 8th January 1963) of Powderham Rectory, Exeter, England. Attended Naish House preparatory school, Burnham-on-Sea. Attended Sherborne School (School House) January 1926-July 1929. Director of silk embroidery factory. Flight-Lieutenant, Royal Air Force, Special Reserve, 1931.

Right: Ditchingham House, Bungay.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to With thanks to Sherborne School Archives for additional information. Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Air 81/183 - National Archives.

Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives and Fred Paradie - Paradie Archive (both on this site), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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Last Modified: 26 February 2015, 19:43