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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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110 Squadron Crest
15.06.41 No. 110 (Hyderabad) Squadron Blenheim IV V6375 VE- ? F/Sgt. Arthur Edwin Guesford

Operation: Anti-Shipping

Date: 15 June 1941 (Sunday)

Unit: No. 110 (Hyderabad) Squadron. Motto: "Nec timeo nec sperno" ("I neither fear nor despise)

Badge: Issuant from an astral crown, a demi-tiger. The demi-tiger was the crest of the Nizam of Hyderabad who presented the squadron with its original service aircraft in 1918 and on the outbreak of the Second World War contributed towards the cost of three squadrons.

Type: Blenheim IV

Serial: V6375

Code: VE-?

Base: RAF Manston, Kent

Location: North Sea

Pilot: F/Sgt. Arthur Edwin Guesford 745814 RAFVR Age 23 - Killed (1)

Observer: Sgt. Clifford Frank Shearn 935434 RAFVR Age 21 - Killed (2)

W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Leslie Percy Charles Rolfe 755505 RAFVR Age 21 - Killed (3)

We appeal to relatives of the crew with further information and/or photographs to please contact us via the Helpdesk


Took off from RAF Manston, Kent at 18:30 hours on an anti-shipping operation over the North Sea. Attacked and shot down by a Messerschmitt Bf109E piloted by Ofw. Kurt Barein of 1./JG1 (See Biography 4 below) Blenheim V6375 crashed into the North Sea at 19:47 hours approximately 60km west of Alkmaar, Holland.

Two months later on 15 August the body of F/Sgt. A.E. Guesford was found on the beach at the Danish Island of Rømø and was buried the following day in Kirkeby Churchyard on the island. Ten days later on 25 August the body of Sgt. L.P.C. Rolfe was also washed ashore on Rømø Island and the following day he was also buried in Kirkeby Churchyard. The Parish Minister Rasmus Jørgensen and Marine Pfarrer (Padre) Müller from Sylt officiated at both graveside ceremonies. The body of Sgt. C.F. Shearn was not recovered.

Scale: 1" = 100 miles

Blenheim Mark IVs running up their engines. Courtesy IWM


(1) Fl/Sgt. Arthur Edwin Guesford was born in 1918 at Hackney, Middlesex, the son of Charles Guesford and Doris G. Guesford nee Cray. He had two brothers : Charles H.J. Guesford (1916-2010) and Ernest Frank Guesford (1921-1992).

In 1940 he married Patricia Irene Collins at Southend on Sea and lived at Bicknare, Essex.

(2) Sgt. Clifford Frank Shearn was born at Pontypridd, Glamorganshire, Wales in 1918 the son of Frank J.Shearn an Insurance Manager and Elsie L. Shearn nee Seymour later of West Bridgeford, Nottinghamshire. He entered Nottingham High School at the age of 13 in 1931 and left in 1933. (Details courtesy of Nottingham High School Archives).

He married Ruby R. Southern at Basford, Nottingham in 1939 and their son David C.S. Shearn was born at Nottingham in 1941. Clifford Frank Shearn is commemorated on the Nottingham High School War Memorial

(3) Sgt.Leslie Percy Charles Rolfe was born at Swindon, Wiltshire in 1919 the son of Charles Rolfe and Alice Rolfe nee Penny

Photograph courtesy Pat Goddard

(4) Ofw. Kurt Barein was born 2 March 1914. Blenheim V6375 was his only known victory. He was killed in action on 11 April 1944 during aerial combat with a P-51 near Braunsweigg and was buried at Hankesbuettal, Grave No. 11. He was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class and the Fighter Operational Clasp.

Kirkeby Churchyard, Rømø Island, Denmark - Courtesy Pat Goddard


Fl/Sgt. Arthur Edwin Guesford - Buried at Kirkeby Churchyard, Rømø Island, Denmark - Grave No. 263

Epitaph reads:

Rest in peace

God knows best

On earth there is strife

In heaven rest

Sgt. Clifford Frank Shearn - No known grave - Commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial Panel 52

Sgt. Leslie Percy Charles Rolfe - Buried at Kirkeby Churchyard, Rømø Island, Denmark - Grave No. 265

No epitaph

Photographs of headstones courtesy of Pat Goddard

Researched by Aircrew Remembered researcher Roy Wilcock for Nottingham High School and all relatives and friends of the members of this crew - January 2016

Our thanks to Pat Goddard for providing the photographs of Sgt. Leslie Rolfe and the headstones and to Alby Anderson for providing the photograph and details of the wedding of F/Sgt. Arthur Guesford.

With thanks also to the sources quoted below.

RW 29.01.2016

RW 21.05.2018 Addition of photograph of F/Sgt. Guesford's marriage kindly provided by Alby Anderson.

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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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