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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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103 Squadron crest
05/06.08.1941 No. 103 Squadron Wellington IC W5656 Sgt. Greey

Operation: Frankfurt, Germany.

Date: 5/6th August 1941 (Tuesday/Wednesday)

Unit: No. 103 Squadron RAF

Type: Wellington IC

Seria: W5656

Code: PM-?

Base: RAF Elsham Wolds

Location: Chateau Ledquent, Marquise, 15 km. South West of Calais, France.

Pilot: Sgt. Denis Maxwell Greey 904243 RAFVR Age 28.Killed

Pilot 2: Sgt. Johnston Playfair Taylor R/72296 RCAF Age 25 Killed

Obs: Sgt. Jack Moules 959229 RAFVR Age 32. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Frederick William Alleway 759220 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Robert Grattan Griffin 947898 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Air/Gnr: Sgt. Sergeant Carl Deges 1113660 RAFVR Age ? Killed


This aircraft took off from its base at Elsham Wolds at 22:45 hrs. on Tuesday 5th August 1941 en-route to Frankfurt.

This bomber was part of a force of 46 Whitley and 22 Wellington aircraft. Good bombing claimed. The town of Mainz, some 20 miles from the target reported bombs also fell there. 2 Whitleys and 1 Wellington lost. Wellington W5656 is reported to have crashed at Chateau Ledquent, reason unknown, although 'probably' due to flak, as no Luftwaffe night fighter claims can be attributed to this loss.

The crew of Wellington IC W5656

Brass Alter Set (The figure of Christ is a replacement for the original which had become broken) The Crucifix is inscribed: “the gift of Marjorie and Howard Baker in affectionate remembrance of Denis 1949” the candlesticks share an inscription between them: “the gift of Derek Greey” “in memory of Denis 1949” (courtesy Robin Simmons)

Left: Memorial to Sgt. Greey at St. Leoanard's Church, Beoley, The stone is inscribed: 'In proud memory of Sergeant pilot Denis M. Greey of Beoley Hall who was killed flying on active service 6th of August 1941 aged 28. There is some corner of a foreign field that is forever England.' (courtesy Robin Simmons)

Burial detail:

Sgt. DenisMaxwell Greey. Calis Canadian War Cemetery. Grave 3. E. 4. Son of Horace B. and Florence Greey, of Beoley, Worcestershire, England. Denis's father was Horace B. Greey, who owned Grey's Department Store in Birmingham. (Note the slight variation in spelling). The Greys owned Beoley Hall. As well as restoring the Chapel in their son's memory, they also supported the church by allowing the Church Fete to be held in the grounds of the Hall until Horace passed away in the early seventies.

Right: Memorial plaque in the Sheldon Chapel: “A.M.D.G. in pious memory of Denis Maxwell Greey of beoley hall killed in the war 1939 – 1945 while serving with the royal air force this chapel was repaired and brought back into use by his parents: Anno Domini 1947” (courtesy Robin Simmons)

Sgt. Johnston Playfair Taylor. Calis Canadian War Cemetery. Grave 2. F. 1. Son of Franklin Stearns Taylor and Margaret Ellis Taylor, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Sgt. Jack Moules. Calis Canadian War Cemetery. Grave 3. C. 12. Born in Islington London in July 1909. He was the son of Frank Waby and Emily Rebecca (née Naylor) Moules.

Sgt. Frederick William Alleway. Calis Canadian War Cemetery. Grave 3. D. 4. Son of Frederick Alfred and Minnie Louise Alleway, of Plymouth, Devon, England.

Sgt. Robert Grattan Griffin. Calis Canadian War Cemetery. Grave 3. D. 5. Son of H. Grattan Griffin and Daphne F.I. Griffin, of Greystones, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.

Sgt. Sergeant Carl Deges. Calis Canadian War Cemetery. Grave 2. D. 7. Son of John and Jane Deges.

With thanks to the following: Sid Finn - 'Black Swan, a history of 103 Squadron' (ISBN 10 Number 1872308007), Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vol. 3', The CWGC, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2'. Also to Dave Champion for further details -July 2018.

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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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