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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
18.11.1941 No. 4 Air Observer school Botha I L6195 Sgt. Hobby

Operation: Training

Date: 18th November 1941 (Tuesday)

Unit: No: 4 AOS (Air Observer school)

Type: Blackburn Botha I

Serial: L6195

Base: RAF West Freugh, Wigtownshire, Scotland.

Location: East Galdenoch Farm, West Freugh, Wigtownshire

Pilot: Sgt. Walter Francis Godfrey Hobby 748138 RAFVR Age 21. Killed

Obs: LAC. Robert Charles Sharp 1166717 RAFVR Age ? Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: AC1. William Charles Ellis 1263000 RAFVR Age 32. Killed

W/Op/Air/Gnr: AC1. George William King 1385285 RAFVR Age ? Killed

Air/Gnr: LAC. Ciaran Anzlony Clarke 1377842 RAFVR Age 33. Killed

We welcome corrections or further information regarding this loss.


Took off at approximately 10.10 hrs in the morning of Tuesday 18th November on a training exercise, during this the Botha crashed at East Galdenoch Farm, West Freugh killing all the crew.

The subsequent court of enquiry recorded that the aircraft stalled following loss of power on the starboard engine. This is described as probably caused by throttle creeping back when the pilot removed his hand to select the undercarriage. The aircraft crashed into trees after a vertical dive on the Stranraer / Dunragit road.


AC1. William Charles Ellis (courtesy Nick Ellis)

Botha (courtesy Kate Tame collection)

Crash card for L6195 (courtesy Nick Ellis)

Burial details:

Sgt. Walter Francis Godfrey Hobby. Gloucester Old Cemetery Plot NG. Grave 4799. Son of Frederick Godfrey and Mary Ann Hobby, of Gloucester, England.

LAC. Robert Charles Sharp. Radlett Church, Aldenham. Grave 80. Next of kin details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

AC1. William Charles Ellis. Manor Park Cemetert. Coll. Grave 8. Son of William Charles and Anne Ellis; husband of Minnie Florence Ellis, of Stoke Newington, London, England.

AC1. George William King. East London Cemetery, Plaistow. Next of kin details currently not available - are you able to assist completion of these and any other information?

LAC. Ciaran Anzlony Clarke. Little Bray Catholic Cemetery. Grave O.42. Son of Joseph A. and Frances Clarke (nee Doyle), of Bray, Co. Wicklow Ireland.

Researched with information supplied by Nick Ellis (Grandson of AC1. Ellis) and for relatives/friends of the crew.

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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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