Civilian Reginald Pearce

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by noggin1969, Sep 23, 2018.

  1. noggin1969

    noggin1969 Well-Known Member

    I’m trying to find out more on this man for the Newark on Trent area WW2 roll of honour but drawing a bit of a blank I’m afraid , his death certificate states cause of death as “ war operations “. This was usually written for killed by enemy action , no post-mortem needed. But there was no action at either the airfield or campsite close to that date. Although Nottingham was heavily bombed that night. I did try the Sutton history facebook site but had no replies. Would any member have any clues ? I have also tried the Bottesford History and Long Bennington History sites but as to date had no replies either. PEARCE, REGINALD Rank: Civilian Date of Death: 09/05/1941 Age: 32 Regiment/Service: Civilian War Dead Reporting Authority: WEST KESTEVEN, RURAL DISTRICT Additional Information: of 15 Harwood Place, Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire. Son of Henry and Harriett Pearce, of Avondale, Coburn Street, Sutton-in-Ashfield; husband of Bertha Pearce. Died at R.A.F. Camp Site, Long Bennington.

    Many thanks Shaun
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Some background info

    1939 England and Wales Register
    Name: Reginald Pearce
    Gender: Male
    Marital Status: Married
    Birth Date: 29 May 1909
    Residence Year: 1939
    Address: 15 [HarwoodPlace as on the attached image]
    Residence Place: Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, England
    Occupation: Foreman, Carpenter & Joiner
    Schedule Number: 60
    Sub Schedule Number: 1
    Enumeration District: RNPC
    Registration district: 428/2/2
    Inferred Spouse: Bertha Pearce
    It shows him as being a Foreman carpenter/joiner, as an assumption he may have been working at the camp in that capacity

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  3. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Possible shot by a sentry?
    injury by aircraft
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
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  4. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    The airfield was under construction when Reginald Pearce died, possibly an accident?
    There are no references in the press of the construction of the airfield or the death. The only hint that there is something under construction in Long Bennington are the reports of "trouble" on Saturday nights.

    Screen Shot 2018-09-23 at 21.16.01.png
  5. noggin1969

    noggin1969 Well-Known Member

    [​IMG] I have the death cert but just states cause of death " War Operations "
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  6. noggin1969

    noggin1969 Well-Known Member

    Yes I read those , they seem to have had similar problems a mile down the road at RAF Balderton. The reports of lewd behavior and indecent exposure and drunken brawls.
  7. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Long Bennington was known as the address of RAF Bottesford although the former, just up the road and across the A1 is in Lincolnshire.

    The event appears to be when the airfield was being constructed and worked up by Wimpeys. From this I would think that Reginald Pearce died following an industrial accident on the airfield while in the employment of Wimpeys or one of their sub contractors.The declaration of death due to "war operations" would seem to be acceptable in wartime circumstances with the location of death not recorded on the Death Certificate for security reasons.

    As far as I am aware there was never a non flying unit by the name of RAF Long Bennington.However contractors personnel may have been in camp temporary accommodation there and not on the airfield site.This agrees with the probability that Reginald Pearce had an industrial accident on the airfield and died at the Long Bennington accommodation camp in Lincolnshire..The reporting administrative authority was the West Kesteven Rural District Council within the Grantham and West Kesteven Registration District....the latter becoming the Grantham Registration District in 1974.

    Post being prepared at the same time as #4
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2018
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  8. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Its not an open and shut case re inclusion as a casualty during WW2

    Below from Chris Harley who investigates new casualty inclusions on CWGC

    Those civilians who died as the result of military accidents although we would have to look at each on a case by case basis.
    WW2 Civilian death criteria

    Have you tried the local archives for a hospital he would have been taken too?
    They would have a record of his admittance and injury

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  9. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    I must say,I questioned myself why Reginald Pearce was not taken to hospital after an industrial accident for the nearest hospital would be at Grantham.

    It may be that the accident was not seen as serious as it was and R.P died in the first aid facility at the camp.
  10. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    It could have been he died very soon after the accident/incident therefore there would be no time to hospitalise him, I also guess in those days and perhaps as they were possibly in the process of building the camp that there was no first aid capability, or if it was, it might just be a sticking plaster post [no health & safety in them days]

    I have found a family tree with Reginald in it but at present it only includes him up to the 1911 census, but I have asked the originator what else they may have, and given this thread reference

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  11. noggin1969

    noggin1969 Well-Known Member

    The nearest hospital would have been the Emergency Hospital ( what was the old work house / geriatric hospital , now the site of Newark Hospital on Boundary Road ) a matter 3 or 4 miles. Other death certificates I have of civilians and service personnel killed in accidents ( unrelated to military aircraft/vehicles ) state a reason for death. The only ones that state War Operations are those killed in the Ransome & Marles bombing but not those that reached hospital before dying and RAF personnel killed in flying accidents or accident with aircraft ( falls or being hit by propellers ).
  12. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Do you have local archives,I found a civilian using this method and the archive had hospital admissions for the casualty

    I see this search has been going on for you for a number of years
  13. noggin1969

    noggin1969 Well-Known Member

    Never thought of looking at hospital admissions to be honest as I thought they would be sealed. The local library has ordered me files before , by coincidence most of these files are stored in Sutton-in-Ashfield.
  14. noggin1969

    noggin1969 Well-Known Member

    Never thought of looking at hospital admissions to be honest as I thought they would be sealed. The local library has ordered me files before , by coincidence most of these files are stored in Sutton-in-Ashfield.
  15. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    The other source of information might be in any records that the George Wimpey company kept in his archives.Construction companies as other industrial concerns were required to maintain by law an "accident book" where all incidents to employees were entered.
  16. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Another hypothesis. I am wondering whether the RAF Camp Site has anything to do with the cause of death. It is shown merely as the place of death. Might he not have been caught out in the Nottingham bombing (Post 1) and suffered injury (ie: Blast) which might not have been apparent at the time but manifested itself later at the Camp.

  17. nicks

    nicks Very Senior Member

    This may be of interest, the Luftwaffe appeared to be busy around Long Bennington on the 8/9th May 1941.

    Redmile Archive - Air Raid May 1941

    Although the ARP warden states there were no casualties suffered I suspect Reginald Pearce may have been involved in one of the incidents mentioned and passed away later that day.
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  18. noggin1969

    noggin1969 Well-Known Member

    Thanks , could be a cause of his death. Bottesford village would be several miles south west , Redmile even further towards Notts. I know there were some Q sites around the Vale to attract bombers from hitting Nottingham. He could have been found injured in the area and taken to Long Bennington after the report was filed

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