19.08.1940 No.14 OTU Hampden I P1305 P/O. William Euerby King
Date: 19 August 1940 (Friday)
Unit: No. 14 Operational Training Unit
Type: Hampden I
Code: Not known
Base: RAF Cottesmore, Rutland
Location: Melchbourne, Bedfordshire.
Pilot: P/O. William Euerby King 81356 RAFVR Age 20 - Killed (1)
Pilot: Sgt. Stanley Britnor 754172 RAFVR Age 26 - Killed (2)
Pilot: Sgt. John Bishop 754664 RAFVR Age 20 - Killed (3)
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. John Angus Jackson 651960 RAF Age 19 - Killed (4)
We appeal to relatives of the crew with further information and/or photographs to please contact us via the HELPDESK
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off from RAF Cottesmore on a navigation exercise. The aircraft was observed to emerge from the cloud base, diving almost vertically and crashed and exploded near the Dower House at Melchbourne, Bedfordshire scattering wreckage over a wide area.
Some sources suggest that the pilot lost control whilst practising use of oxygen and changing seats.
On Monday 26 Aug 1949 a service was held followed by burial of the crew with full military honours at Cardington (St Mary) Church Cemetery, Bedfordshire.
Scale: 1" = 10km
Note: W.R. Chorley in Bomber Command Losses - Volume 7 states that the aircraft crashed at Sharnbrook, Bedfordshire
BIOGRAPHICAL DETAILS OF THE CREW:
(1) P/O. William Euerby King was born 13 December 1919 at Nottingham the son of Thomas William King (a Draper) and Lillian Isabel King nee Lowrie of Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. He was admitted to Nottingham High School in 1929 aged 9 when the family lived at 29 Mansfield Road, Nottingham. He left in 1931 when the family moved away. (Details courtesy of Nottingham High School Archives)
745223 Sgt. William Euerby King was granted a commission for the duration of hostilities as a Pilot Officer on probation on 25 June 1940 (London Gazette 23 July 1940)
He is commemorated on Nottingham High School War Memorial and the Beaconsfield War Memorial, Buckinghamshire
(2) Sgt. Stanley Britnor was born in 1914 at Ashton under Lyne, Lancashire the son of Harold Britnor and Gertrude Britnor nee Prescott. He married Frances Eileen Herbert at Birmingham in 1939: they later lived at Allerton, Leeds.
(3) Sgt. John Bishop was born in 1920 at Cheadle, Staffordshire the son of the Revd. Lewis Cornewall Bishop and Daisy Emma G. Bishop nee Hooper of South Kensington, London.
(4) Sgt. John Angus Jackson was born in 1921 at Sunderland the son of Angus Drummond Jackson and Margaret Jackson nee Gray of Sunderland, Co. Durham.
BURIAL DETAILS AND EPITAPHS
(1) P/O. William Euerby King was buried at Cardington (St Mary) Church Cemetery, Bedfordshire - Row R. Collective Grave 15
(2) Sgt. Stanley Britnor was buried at Cardington (St Mary) Church Cemetery, Bedfordshire - Row R. Collective Grave 15
"Man's desperate folly
Was not theirs,
But theirs the sacrifice"
(3) Sgt. John Bishop was buried at Cardington (St Mary) Church Cemetery, Bedfordshire - Row R. Collective Grave 15
Are the everlasting arms
(Photograph courtesy Bedfordshire Community Archives)
(4) Sgt. John Angus Jackson was buried at Cardington (St Mary) Church Cemetery, Bedfordshire - Row R. Collective Grave 15
Hath no man than this,
That a man lay down
His life for his friends
Researched by Aircrew Remembered researcher Roy Wilcock for Nottingham High School and all the relatives and friends of the members of this crew - April 2016
With thanks to the sources quoted below.