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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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Bomber Command Crest
21.01.1944 No. 27 OTU Wellington BJ652 'Z' Fl/Sgt. Edmonds

Operation: Night cross country exercise.

Date: 21st January 1944 (Friday)

Unit: No. 27 OTU (Operational Training Unit)

Type: Wellington III

Serial: BJ652

Code: Z

Base: RAF Church Broughton

Location: Smerrill Dale, Middleton-by-Youlgrave, Derbyshire

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Lloyd George Edmonds AUS/416941 RAAF Age 25. Killed

Pilot 2: F/O. Keith Jobson Perrett AUS/434608 RAAF Age 27. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. James Kydd AUS/426621 RAAF Age 26. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. William Thomas Barnes AUS/30581 RAAF Age 27. Killed

Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. Frederick Popham Deshon AUS/426555 RAAF Age 27. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Thomas Dudley Murton AUS/430628 RAAF Age 19. Killed


Taking off from RAF Church Broughton on a night cross country exercise. According to Bill Chorley (BCL O.T. Units 1940-1947. P.272) the 93 Group Met office were advising all aircraft to land by 23.30 by - issuing the command at 21.30 hrs. 

This was not acknowledged by BJ652. Nine minutes later that called to advise their position as above Gainsborough. At 22.10 hrs the aircraft crashed at Grange Farm in Smerrill Dale, killing all the crew.


The pilot, Fl/Sgt. Lloyd G. Edmonds taken at his home in Australia, circa 1943 (courtesy Max Slee)



The home of Fl/Sgt. Edmonds prior to moving to Unley, Adelaide. Showing his father Percy with Hazel, one of his sisters. Taken we understand in around 1915. (courtesy Max Slee)


Memorial in the village of Middleton-by-Youlgrave, Derbyshire placed by the Parish in 1995.  (courtesy Airfield Information Group - see acknowledgments)

The chap who was responsible for arranging this memorial was a Major General Peter Cavendish, who lives in the village. The granddaughter of Fl/Sgt. James Kydd came over from Australia to visit the cars site and memorial. Tom Bates (see acknowledgements and link to his article) met her and some of her family and presented them with small items of the wreckage he had discovered.


Chester (Blacon) Cemetery

Burial details:

Fl/Sgt. Lloyd George Edmonds. Chester (Blacon) Cemetery. Sec. A. Grave 368. Further information: Son of Percy John and Edith Marion Edmonds, of Unley, Adelaide, South Australia. Lloyd had four sisters and grew up in Strathalbyn. His parents ran a general store in the town. The family later moved to the suburbs of Adelaide when Lloyd was a young man.

F/O. Keith Jobson Perrett. Chester (Blacon) Cemetery. Sec. A. Grave 411. Son of Ernest Alfred and Annie Perrett, of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Fl/Sgt. James Kydd. Chester (Blacon) Cemetery. Sec. A. Grave 544. Son of William and Williamina Kydd, husband of Mary Thelma Kydd, of Wynnum, Queensland, Australia.

Fl/Sgt. William Thomas Barnes. Chester (Blacon) Cemetery. Sec. A. Grave 455. Son of Francis James Barnes and Queenie Kate Barnes.

Fl/Sgt. Frederick Popham Deshon. Chester (Blacon) Cemetery. Sec. A. Grave 632. Son of Arthur Popham Deshon and Violet Brenda Deshon, of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, husband of Betty Phyllis Deshon, of Ascot, Queensland, Australia.

Sgt. Thomas Dudley Murton. Chester (Blacon) Cemetery. Sec. A. Grave 325. Son of Dudley Arthur Murray Murton and Ethel Mary Murton, of Tatura, Victoria, Australia.

Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this crew with thanks to Max Slee for Fl/Sgt. Edmonds photograph, the Airfield Information Group for the memorial photograph, Tom Bates from the "About Derbyshire" website for information, Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol's. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vol's. 1 and  2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Tom Kracker - 'Kracker Luftwaffe Archives'. Aircrew Remembered own Archives.

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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, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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