War 1 & 2 - Detailed Information
Compiled and Copyright © Lynda Smith 2003
Thanks to Geoff Williams, ex RAF Halton for information about Ken Chalmers
and “Brats” (What’s a “Brat”? See below).
Thanks to Peter Harris, Battle of Britain Historical Society for information
about Victor Gee.
is a hamlet near to Aldborough and Aylsham in North Norfolk. There is
a First World War Memorial in the church. With regard to the Second
World War, Sergeant Chalmers is commemorated by a short write-up in
the church and Pilot Officer Barclay has a plaque inside the church.
There are further Rolls of Honour in the Hanworth
Photographs Copyright © Lynda Smith 2004
Corporal 13547. 8th Bn., Norfolk Regiment. Killed in action Saturday
1st July 1916. Age 21. Born Matlask. Enlisted Norwich. Son of William
R. and Anna Newstead, of 4, Hanworth Common, Norwich. Commemorated:
THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France. Pier and Face 1 C and 1 D. See
also Hanworth Memorial Hall
315185. 2nd/5th Battalion, London Regiment (London Rifle Brigade).
Formerly 6489 11th London Regiment. Killed in action Thursday 16th
August 1917. Aged 32. Born Redhill. Lived Westminster. Enlisted
Marylebone. Son of Richard and Bessie Howard, of The Common, Hanworth,
Norfolk. Commemorated: Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen,
Belgium. Panel 52 and 54. See also Hanworth
Officer 111329. 18 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died
Monday 8 December 1941. Commemorated: RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL, Surrey,
United Kingdom. Panel 31.
in the graveyard but not on the Memorial
576578. Flight Engineer 207 Squadron, Royal Air Force. Died Saturday
17 October 1942. Aged 19. Son of Andrew James Chalmers, and of Rose
Ursula Chalmers, of Hanworth. Buried: Hanworth (St. Bartholomew)
Churchyard, Norfolk, United Kingdom.
See also Hanworth Memorial Hall
Stuart Chalmers joined the 40th Entry No. 1 School of Technical
Training, at RAF Halton in 1939. In 1941 as a qualified engineer,
and he worked on engine installation at RAF Matlaske and RAF Ludham,
both in Norfolk, before volunteering for operational duties. Promoted
to Sergeant, he was the Flight Engineer of Lancaster L7583, EM-A.
This aircraft took off from RAF Langar in Nottinghamshire at 1154
hrs on 17th October 1942. It was part of the force taking part in
the famous low-level daylight raid, Operation Robinson, on the Schneider
factory at Le Creusot situated more than 300 miles inside France.
Schneider was the French equivalent to Krupps.
pilot, Sergeant R.S. Wilson, had to turn back when on the outward
journey an engine failed. Soon afterwards, 20 miles west of Brest,
three Arado Ar196 Seaplanes attacked the aircraft and Sergeant Chalmers
was killed. However, EM-A’s gunners managed to shoot down
two of the three attackers.
(Pilot) 742767. 219 Squadron Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
Died on 21st March 1941. Son of Richard and Christina Marshall Gee,
of Hanworth; husband of Ida Joan Gee, of Lenton Nottingham. Buried:
Hanworth (St. Bartholomew) Churchyard. See also Hanworth
/ Pilot David Victor Gee joined the RAFVR in December 1938 as an
Airman u/t Pilot. He was called up on the 1st September 1939, completed
his flying training, and arrived at 5OTU Aston Down on June 22nd
1940. After converting to Blenheims he joined 219 Squadron at Catterick,
and served with them throughout the Battle of Britain. On February
13th 1941 Gee was on a night exercise when his aircraft began to
vibrate violently, and he and his radar operator baled out safely,
and his Beaufighter R2120 crashed at Partridge Green. Sussex.
was killed on March 21st 1941 when Beaufighter R2070 dived into
the ground at Manor Farm Eastergate. Sussex. He is buried in St
Bartholomew's churchyard in his home village.
V D GEE
ROYAL AIR FORCE
21ST MARCH 1941
Hanworth man who does not appear to be commemorated locally.
on the Memorial
1793304. 43 Bty., 61 Lt. A.A. Regt., Royal Artillery. Died Tuesday
10 August 1943. Age 22. Son of George Richard and Mabel Annie Green
of Hanworth, Norfolk. Buried: Benghazi War Cemetery, Libya. Ref.
3. D. 5.
Photograph belongs to Evelyn Savory (nee Hunn) who was a friend
of Bernard Green. See also Hanworth
term Brat springs from the fact that in 1920, Marshal of the RAF Lord
Trenchard, who is looked upon as the founding father of the RAF, conceived
the idea of setting up training schools to provide a cadre of well trained
and rounded individuals to be the backbone of aircraft servicing and maintenance
in the RAF. These young men, many of whom were aged fifteen and a half
when they joined, were still in some cases under normal recruiting age
when they finished their training and entered RAF service proper. Their
knowledge put the noses of some of the old hands out of joint and they
became known as Trenchard`s Brats. The name has stuck and they now happily
call them-selves such.
Engine trained apprentices could become Flight Engineers for bombers with
very little additional training, and many of them volunteered for operational
Engine Apprentices were trained at RAF Halton, in Buckinghamshire, except
in the early days when Halton was being built, and their training took
place at RAF Flowerdown and RAF Cranwell. Sir Frank Whittle (jet engine
fame) was in the 8th Entry. The last Entry at RAF Halton was the 155th
and these apprentices graduated in 1993.
are many memorial windows to The Brats in the Church at RAF Halton, including
one dedicated to young Polish lads who trained at RAF Halton and RAF Cranwell
(Wireless Apprentices) from 1943 – 1948.
24 December, 2016