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Archive Report: Allied Forces

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RAF
02.08.1940 No 12 OTU (Operational Training Unit) Fairey Battle I L4971P/O. Richard (Dick) Ormonde Shuttleworth

Operation: Night Training Exercise

Date: 2 August 1940 (Friday)

Unit: No 12 OTU (Operational Training Unit)

Type: Fairey Battle I

Serial: L4971

Base: RAF Benson, Oxfordshire

Location: Ewelme, near RAF Benson, Oxfordshire

Pilot: P/O Richard (Dick) Ormonde Shuttleworth 76022 RAFVR Age 31 Killed

REASON FOR LOSS:

P/O Richard (Dick) Ormonde Shuttleworth took off from RAF Benson for a solo night flying practice, but crashed at 00.15hrs at Ewelme, about 1 mile from RAF Benson

Map showing the area of the crash

Burial details:

P/O Richard (Dick) Ormonde Shuttleworth. Old Warden (St Leonard) Churchyard, Bedfordshire. Grave Ref: Due East of Church. Son of Colonel Frank Shuttleworth and Dorothy Clotilda Shuttleworth of Biggleswade

The family memorial, Mortlake Cemetery, Richmond upon Thames (courtesy Julia Keld)

Left: The Yorkshire Post and Leeds Mercury. Saturday, August 3, 1940 (courtesy British Newspaper archive)

Below: Part of Richards obituary from The Biggleswade Chronicle and Bedfordshire Gazette. Friday, August 9th, 1940

'.....Over a 1000 people attended the funeral of Richard on the 8 August 1940 at the Old Warden Church. The coffin had been made from an oak tree cut on his own estate. It was taken from the mansion to the church on a farm dray which had been made on his family estate. The coffin was covered by the Union Jack and upon it lay the family wreaths of oat and wheat ears. Around the coffin on the dray were the colourful floral tributes. Beside this simple hearse walked six tenants of the estate, who acted as bearers. Behind walked the family mourners, led by Mrs Shuttleworth and Princess Anne von Croy. The cortage was met at the church gates by the Vicar of Old Warden, the Rev. E Well, and by the Rev. H M Lang, Rector of Woodham Walter (Essex), Mr Shuttleworth's uncle. The coffin was buried in the family vault, and Mrs Shuttleworth and Princess Anne von Croy cast in their tributes of sprigs of rosemary. The entrance to the vault was beautifully decorated with flowers from the garden and the many floral tributes....'

Richard was born 16 July 1909 at Old Warden his family home. Educated at St Aubyn School, Rottingdean and later at Eton he joined the 16/5th Lancers and was promoted to the rank of 2nd Lt with effect 16 July 1930. Richard was a well know motor racing driver and aviator before the war. He'd had several narrow escapes from death and in 1936 he was seriously injured in the South African Grand Prix. He won the Mountain Championship at Brooklands in October 1935, and the Donington Grand Prix the same year. He had completed in the King's Cup air race, and had given demonstration flights at air pageants

Richard resigned from the Lancers and enlisted in the RAF in October 1939 and was granted a commission 28 November 1939. He had over 1000 hrs civil flying hours before joining the RAF. Richard was the founder of the Shuttleworth collection. Click (here) for further information

Right: Mr Shuttleworth's Ill Luck. Forced to retire in King's Cup Air Race from the Biggleswade Chronicle and Bedfordshire Gazette. (courtesy British Newpaper archive)

Mr R O Shuttleworth, of Old Warden Park, again encountered back luck in the King's Cup Air Race on Friday, when he was forced to retire with a leak in his petrol tank. He landed near to Lincoln, but was able to get back to his aerodrome at Old Warden. At the start of the race he had misfortune. The locker lid of his machine unfastened and he went away with the lid flapping in the wind. Maps were blown out and distributed over the countryside. Realising that he might neither find his way without maps, no hope to recover those he had lost, he landed at Henlow and fastened the flap

He took off again but was forced to land near Lincoln. He realised that it was useless to complete the course and returned. The machine has since been repaired and is in good condition. Mr Shuttleworth was up by 1 a.m. on Friday morning seeing that his machine was in perfect order. Everything appeared to be in ship-shape order until the leak occurred. Mr Shuttleworth has had much misfortune of late both in the flying world and in motor racing. On many occasions he has had to retire with some defect in the car. Mr Shuttleworth was the first to withdraw from the race. The race was won by Mr T Rose

In an interview this week Mr Shuttleworth told our representative that he is reconditioning a 1909 aeroplane, a sister machine to the one in which M Bleriot flew the Channel, and hopes to fly it shortly. The mechanics at Brooklands are repairing the engine and Mr Shuttleworth is himself repairing the fuselage

1935, November 7th: '....An examination of this new-old monoplane suggests, depressingly enough, that we have not travelled so very far since 1909. The Bleriot had a sprung tail wheel and castering undercarriage wheels, which will probably make Mr Shuttleworth's first take-off a most motioning procedure....'

1939, May 18th: '.....Mr Shuttleworth had three machines out, all of which flew; a Bleriot XIV (fan type Anzani), on both of which Flt. Lt. Edmunds and Mr Shuttleworth did circuits.....'

Left: Deperdussin monoplane pre 1914 and a Bleriot monoplane. Richard Shuttleworth had these types of aircraft in his extensive colletcion

Motor Magnate Killed

Mr Richard Ormonde Shuttleworth one of the best known airmen and racing drivers in the country, has been killed in a flying accident near Oxford. He joined the RAF early this year. Mr Shuttleworth, who was 31 and unmarried, was chairman of Railton Cars Ltd., and he had a private aerodrome on his 6,300 acres country estate, Old Warden Park, near Biggleswade (Beds.). Before the war he owned a fleet of aeroplanes.

Mr Shuttleworth had had several narrow escapes from death and in 1936 he was seriously injured in the South African Grand Prix. He won the Mountain Championship at Brooklands in October, 1935, and the Donington Grand Prix the same year. He had completed in the King's Cup air race, and had given demonstrations flights at air pageants

Researched by: Kate Tame Aircrew Remembered and for all the relatives and friends of the crew. Special thanks to Hugh Jaeger for bringing this loss to our attention, also to Christopher Pegler for further information, Julia Keld volunteer for Find a Grave (click here) and the other sources as indicated below

KT - 23.10.2016

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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