02.12.1942 No. 18 PATU Oxford II V3581 Sgt. Irwin
Date: 02nd December 1942 (Wednesday)
Unit: No. 18 Pilots Advanced Training Unit (23 Group)
Type: Oxford II
Base: RAF Church Lawford, Warwickshire
Location: North of airfield
Pilot: Sgt. William Francis Irwin NZ/416497 RNZAF Age 24. Injured
REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at around 2110 hrs on a solo night circuit and landing practice exercise.
20 minutes later crashed through a hedge some 400 yards north of the airfield whilst carrying out an overshoot. The pilot was removed from the wreckage and taken to the hospital in Rugby. After 3 days he was then transferred to the All Saints Emergency Hospital at Bromsgrove. Sadly despite the intensive care he received, succumbed to his injuries on Friday the 18th December 1942.
Sgt. William Francis Irwin. Wythall Churchyard (St. Mary) Row 21. Grave 5R. Son of John Coote Irwin and Emily Irwin, of Rakaia, Canterbury, New Zealand. 242 flying hours logged.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, Julian Tansell for grave photograph, other sources as quoted below: