24.05.1940 No. 12 OTU Battle I L4977 P/O. Peter K. Sigley
Date: 24th May 1940 (Friday)
Unit: No. 12 Operational Training Unit (6 Group)
Type: Fairey Battle I
Code: Not known
Base: RAF Benson, Oxfordshire
Location: Bowd Croff, Devonshire
Pilot: P/O. Peter Knox Sigley 36276 RAF Age 25 Killed
Obs: Sgt. George Maxwell Stephens 580772 RAF Age 21. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: AC1. Robert Ritchie Lamont 552634 RAF Age 18. Killed
REASON FOR LOSS:
With the great research carried out by Errol Martyn on the Royal New Zealand Airforce losses we have been able to compile this page. If you have further information and or photographs we would welcome contact from you.
Taking off at 11:20 hrs on a cross country training exercise taking the route: Benson - Frome - Tiverton - Holsworthy - Exeter - Lyme Regis - Frome - Benson.
During low cloud and poor visibility the aircraft flew into a hill at Bowd Croof on the Exeter to Sidmouth road. The OTU also lost another crew during the exercise. Battle I K9481 Flown by 25 year old, P/O. William David Finlayson 36268 RAF - killed with all his crew under similar circumstances. Both the pilots trained together in New Zealand prior to joining the RAF.
Above: Course No 9 Pilot training course New Zealand. Tragically all seven pilots were to lose their lives, 5 of them within months of this photo being taken! Rear L-R: P/O. Eric Orgias 36272 RAAF - killed 25th September 1940, P/O. William David Finlayson 36268 RAF - killed 24th May 1940, P/O. Herbert Gregory Ballantyne 36265 RAF - killed 14th August 1940, Front: P/O. Peter Knox Sigley 36276 RAF - killed 24th May 1940, Sq/Ldr. Peter Bettley Robinson 36274 RAF - killed 10th September 1942, F/O. Noel Carrol Pettit 36273 RAF - killed 28th August 1941, P/O. William Oscar George Krogh NZ/2521 RNZAF - killed 22nd July 1940.
Above: Acting pilot officers who have completed training in the ninth course at Wigram Training School passed out on Saturday. Standing, from the left, P/O. Herbert Gregory Ballantyne 36265 RAF - killed 14th August 1940, P/O. Allan Bridson 36267 RAF killed 14th March 1940, P/O Clive King Saxelby, J.L. Bicker-Uke, P/O. Charles William Miller 36270 RAF - killed 11th July 1942, P/O. Eric Orgias 36272 RAF killed 25th September 1940. Seated, P/O. William Henry Hodgson 36269 RAF - killed 13th March 1941, F/O. Noel Carroll Pettit 36273 RAF - killed 28th August 1941, P/O. Peter Knox Sigley 36276 RAF - killed 24th May 1940, P/O. William Oscar George Krogh NZ/2521 RNZAF - killed 22nd July 1940, H.O Newman, G.N. Fitzwater, Sq/Ldr. Peter Bettley Robinson 36274 RAF - killed 11th September 1942. Acting P/O. Allan Bridson and P/O. Krogh are remaining for service with the RNZAF in the Dominion.
P/O. Peter Knox Sigley. Plymouth Cemetery (Ford Park) Gen. Sec. H.A. Row 2. Grave 42. Born on the 30th August 1915 at Napier, Hawkes Bay, the son of Clement and Kate Sigley, of 78 Savage Crescent, Palmerston North, Wellington, New Zealand. Grave inscription reads: "In Loving Memory Killed In An Aircraft Accident At Bowd Croft. For God And Humanity". A total of 216 flying hours logged.
Sgt. George Maxwell Stephens. Plymouth Cemetery (Ford Park) Gen. Sec. H.A. Row 4. Grave 42. Son of George and Maud Bessie Stephens, of Whitstable, Kent, England. Grave inscription reads: "He Stayed A Little While Then Left A Memory Dear To Us".
AC1. Robert Ritchie Lamont. Plymouth Cemetery (Ford Park) Gen. Sec. K. Row 2. Grave 1. Son of Archibald and Mary Lamont, of Johnstone, Renfrewshire, Scotland. Grave inscription reads: "Ever Dear In The Memory Of His Loving Mother, Brother And Sisters".
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, other sources as quoted below: