A Letter from Pilot Officer Henry Hall to his Daughter

Discussion in '1940' started by Drew5233, May 9, 2018.

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    I don't suppose anyone has a picture of 'Tubs' Perry and or one of his headstone?

    A Letter from Pilot Officer Henry Hall, 73 Squadron, RAF to his daughter Joan dated the 29th March 1940.

    My dearest Joan

    Don’t laugh at the blunder above – my thoughts were far away, with ‘Tubs’ Perry, who has gone to his last account, and with him God alone knows how much of me. Oh Suzie, how I loved that man at my time of life, to find that I could make a friend, and so effortlessly take him to my very heart, and so grieve at his loss-God has favoured me, and in taking him out of my life, has only consecrated that feeling I had for one of the sweetest natures ever produced. To us of the Mess he was known always as the genial J.G.P.’ – that exactly summed him up. I can add little more, for he was incapable of being anything else. Some would have called him a fool on his first acquaintance – but if he was a fool, it was to himself only – and we all loved him; not so much for his virtues as for his weaknesses. My own Orderly Room Corporal begged permission to attend his funeral; and if the whole squadron could go to it, it would go as one man. It has been a heavy, a most bitter blow – and so tragically sudden.
    As I was having breakfast, I heard the clatter of AA fire, and I rushed out, and there, shinning in the sun, and silhouetted against a perfect frosty blue sky, were no fewer than six Do17s – and after them were three of our machines! Brotchie leading, Perry and a sergeant pilot with him. Later Brotchie and the sergeant returned but no Tubs’. It appeared that they had tackled one, Perry gave it the first burst, followed by Brotchie, who put one of its engines out of the running and beat it down nearly to ground level, after killing its gunner. It just managed to scramble over the frontier, with the French ground fire peppering away at it. But Tubs had meanwhile disappeared lost himself, as he was somewhat in the habit of doing. Later on in the morning I heard he had crashed and was injured; and I had just completed the official form to send off to HQ, when Lovett came on the ‘phone. ‘Sorry old man – bad news!’ He had no need to say more. It was enough, and I had lost the greatest gift that Hitler ever made in the wildest of his dreams of power.
    Poor ‘Tubs’ – he tried to land, hit a piece of marshy ground, turned turtle, and broke his neck. Some French soldiers rushed up and released him – he breathed once or twice and passed quietly away. God rest him, and help me to face up to a world without him in it. Yes, I have wept – bitterly, in the quiet of my Orderly Room, but now I feel calm; and ‘Tubs’ would have it so. I was twice his age, and perhaps it has come to very few to form such a queer friendship in such as short time, and with such a disparity in years. I have written to his mother, and paid a last tribute to him in the Official Diary. I have arranged about his coffin, the digging party, the funeral – and I shall pay my respects at his burial on Sunday – and I hope I shall not break down – I must not. You know what he has meant to me – how he was to come home on leave with me next week – oh, it is all so horrible – but I must be borne, with what fortitude I can bring to bear.
    I know you will excuse more from me tonight, Suzie. I hope and know that you have enjoyed your holiday, and I hope to see you next week I will send you a telegram as soon as I am in England; and will try to get ‘Cobber’ to come down for an evening, as he will be in England too.

    All my love. God bless you.
    Yours ever
    Dad xx

    Friday 29th March 1940

    73 Squadron Hurricane P2570 shot down by Oberlt. Boenigk of 9./JG53 during attack on Do17s of 2.(F)/22 and overturned forced-landing at Brienne-le-Chateau at 0915hrs. Pilot Officer J.G. Perry killed and aircraft a write-off.
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  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    James Garland Perry
    Birth: Jun 1916 - Sussex, England
    Death: 29 March 1940 (29 Mar 1940) - Lorraine, France

    Global, Find A Grave Index for Burials at Sea and other Select Burial Locations, 1300s-Current
    Name: Plt Off James Garland Perry
    Death Date: 29 Mar 1940
    Cemetery: Chambieres French National Cemetery, Metz
    Burial or Cremation Place: Metz, Departement de la Moselle, Lorraine, France
    Has Bio?: N
    URL: https://www.findagrave.com/mem...

    England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1916-2007
    Name: James G Perry
    Registration Date: Apr-May-Jun 1916
    Registration district: Cuckfield
    Inferred County: Sussex
    Re-registration Year: 1916
    Mother's Maiden Name: Wilcock
    Volume Number: 2b
    Page Number: 260

    England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations)
    Name: James Garland Perry
    Death Date: 29 Mar 1940
    Death Place: Devon, England
    Probate Date: 26 Aug 1940
    Registry: London, England


    Thyere is a picture attached to a private tree
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  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Cheers TD - I've seen him in Group Squadron photo's but not a portrait.
  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member


    Plt Off James Garland Perry (Unknown-1940) - Find...

    Do you need me to contact the tree owner to see if they will provide a photo - which I assume would be made public on your ?farcebook page


    James Garland Perry (born 1916)

    There was another James Perry, I think, killed in West Bromwich area, so I am uncertain if this picture is of the man you are looking for
    Last edited: May 9, 2018
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  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Cheers TD the image doesn't look like him going by the IWM group images. The headstone is great though, I could only find a poor quality one. Many thanks.
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  6. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron


    Do you have the other photo of Squadron members with the Greek journalist? It looks like P/O James "Tubs" Perry standing 2nd right with possibly P/O E J "Cobber" Kain next to him 3rd right.


    Regards ...
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  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    That's one of the images available on the IWM site
  8. James Pickard

    James Pickard New Member

    This is amazing, I am named after James Garland ’Tubs’ Perry, he is my great uncle. I have been looking for extra information on him for ages. Reading this letter has extra meaning as I have just finished a 2 day tour of the D-Day beaches etc, I am still in France and thought I would have a look and see if I can find anymore information.
    If anyone has anything else I would love to see it. I have some great pictures of him and Cobber walking along Sidmouth Seafront in their military attire with James’ Mother.
    I will post on here when I find them again
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  9. James Pickard

    James Pickard New Member

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