RAF Station Newton, Notts, 1942

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Sarah Sharp, Mar 29, 2019.

  1. Sarah Sharp

    Sarah Sharp Member

    Hi Everyone,

    I'm searching for my grandfather who was at Newton Notts 18/12/1942. I have one photograph of him (sitting with my great grandparents). Family friends and neighbours remember that he visited my grandmother frequently - every Sunday for tea. He went by the name Frank, possibly Franciszek.
    When my father was born he was adopted immediately and we are unable to obtain any adoption records - the ones we have seen have big black lines through them! His birth certificate doesn't mention a father. My father carried out some research but kept hitting walls. So, I have decided to try and see if I can get any closer to finding out who his father is.

    I have a photograph of Frank and original photographs of aircraft and other things that we believe he may have carried with him. I will post these up too as it would be good to see if anyone can identify them.

    I understand that SFTS was based at Newton Notts, these are the particular courses I am interested in, as my father was born in May 1944 and Frank and my grandmother new each other earlier than June 1942 (postcard I have from Frank to my grandmother)

    No 15 (18 Feb 1942 - 17 Mar 1942)
    No 16 (23 Oct 1942 - 21 Apr 1943)
    No 17 (3 Dec 1942 - 19 May 1943)
    No 18 (22 Jan 1943 - 23 Jun 1943)
    No 19 (18 Mar 1943 - 21 July 1943)
    No 20 (23 Apr 1943 - 25 Aug 1943)
    No 21 (30 May 1943 - 22 Sept 1943)

    Frank - can anyone identify the uniform he is wearing? (Ground crew, student, trainer)

    I'll do the other photographs in another post.

    Thanking you in advance.
  2. Sarah Sharp

    Sarah Sharp Member


    Unidentified airplane

    No. 1.PNG

    No. 2 front
    No. 2 front.PNG

    No. 2 back of the above photograph (looks like someone is learning English, could it have been for a training flight?)
    No. 2 back.PNG

    No. 3 (No. 9 - does this mean there might be a record of who flew it?)
    No. 3.PNG
  3. Sarah Sharp

    Sarah Sharp Member

    I don't know the significance of the next lot of photographs - why he had them etc. Would love to hear theories.

    No. 4?
    No. 4.PNG
    No. 5?
    No. 5.PNG

    No. 6?
    No. 6.PNG
    No. 7?

    No. 7.PNG
    No. 8 ?

    No. 8.PNG
    No. 9 ?
    No. 9.PNG

    No. 10 The Scuttling of the Graph Spe (Dec 1939) ??
    No. 10.PNG
    dbf likes this.
  4. Sarah Sharp

    Sarah Sharp Member

    Cont... Last one

    The only other significant thing we have is a bronze hand beaten and polished Crest from Frank to my grandmother - which makes us think he may not
    have been a pilot. It is beautiful! And a book on Poland. We cannot read the signature.
    No. 12.PNG
    No. 11.PNG
  5. CL1

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

    Assumed he was in the RAF and not Polish (RAF)

    have you applied for his service records
    Get a copy of military service records

    you require date of birth and death certificate Registration Services - Ordering Service to order

    For your interest
    For Polish records
    Postal Address:
    Air Historical Branch (RAF) and Publications Clearance Branch (Air) (Polish section)
    Building 824
    RAF Northolt
    West End Road
    HA4 6NG.
    0208 833 8175

    Have you tried the below to see if they have any details of his time in Poland
    The Polish Institute and Sikorski Museum
    20 Princes gate
    SW7 1PT
    020 7589 9249

  6. Blutto

    Blutto Plane Mad

    'Unidentified' is probably a Polish built PWS-26 advanced trainer used around 1937-39
    No.2 is a Polish built PZL P.37 Los
    No.3 is a Polish built PZL P.23 "Karas", coincidentally another photo has the figure 9, but in another position.
    No. 4 is a flight of Polish built PZL P.11 fighters
    Nos 7, 8 & 9 all appear to be shot down German He111 bombers

    Sorry, I don't do bridges & tanks :), but the tank looks French and the bridge scene may be Poland.
    Sarah Sharp and CL1 like this.
  7. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    I would say that from the photograph at the time, Frank was an AC 2 or an AC 1..........probably a Polish insignia on his tunic lapel.

    It looks as though he served at Newton as groundcrew for the unit given the background dates of him being at Newton.His PAF service record should give a detailed record of his time in the service.

    The tunic is a RAF issue as was the case with PAF servicemen although senior PAF officers can be seen in photographs with the original PAF uniforms.

    (Under the prolonged negotiations between the British Government and the Polish Government in Exile in the summer of 1940,the British Government agreed to supply the PAF with the means to wage war under British direction.Since the PG in Exile had no war material and the means to wage war, this meant uniforms,equipment and aircraft were supplied by the British Government.RAF ranks were adopted. Interestingly and most irrational, when we required all the alliances and manpower available to fight Germany,the British Government tried to back charge the Poles....of course good sense prevailed and the British Government eventually agreed to meet the costs of the PAF.)

    Shown is the Polish national crest.
    CL1 likes this.
  8. Sarah Sharp

    Sarah Sharp Member

    Thanks Clive.
    Unfortunately, I don't have any other details about Frank. No date of birth or death. It's a needle in a haystack.
    I have been on the Krzystek's List - so I can now try again given the suggestion he is ground crew. It might mean pulling the list of Franks and then eliminating them one by one.
    Many thanks,
  9. Sarah Sharp

    Sarah Sharp Member

    Thanks Blutto,
    I didn't pick up on the no. 9 - thank you! Worth an investigation at some point. During training flights, did records get kept on who flew what aircraft ? Would it be likely I could get a list of pilots who flew #9 (probably a silly question - I'm just trying to understand how things worked back then).
  10. Sarah Sharp

    Sarah Sharp Member

    Thank you Harry Ree, that is extremely helpful!

    Do you know where I could obtain a list of ground personnel?

  11. Blutto

    Blutto Plane Mad

    I'd expect that the Polish Airforce had a sign-off process for pilots accepting aircraft before a flight, much like the RAF, but I don't know what the chances are that sort of paperwork might have survived German and Russian occupations.
    Sarah Sharp likes this.
  12. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member


    This is an excellent website dedicated to the PAF in Britain but unfortunately only covers front line squadrons and not training units.


    In May 2016,the RAF Ingham Heritage Centre dedicated a section of the site to a memorial to those who had served at RAF Ingham within Bomber Command.The chief residents at Ingham were the PAF who operated the Wellington out of here.At the occasion there were a number of Polish VIPs invited including those of a PAF Association who might be able to help you.A thorough search of your Grandmother's personal effects might throw up a service number which would be the foundation in assisting you in the search for Frank's identity.

    Home.......RAF Ingham Heritage Centre

    Polish Airmen's Association UK

    Immediately postwar,RAF Ingham became a Polish Settlement Camp whose function was the settlement of former Polish service members with a new direction,say stay in Britain,transfer to British forces or return to Poland.Your grandfather might have passed through Ingham for settlement.There might be a record of those who chose to return to Poland.
    CL1 and Sarah Sharp like this.
  13. Sarah Sharp

    Sarah Sharp Member

    Thanks Harry Lee.

    I am aware of the Polish Squadrons remembered and now that I can narrow the search (AC1 or 2) to see what I can find.
    I'll look into the Ingham Heritage Centre as well - thank you.

    I've heard that if a service man got a lady into trouble they were moved on...have you heard anything along these lines?

    We found a letter from a service man addressed to my great grandparents that had a service number and name. He was an American tank mechanic, I was able to obtain his military service record but cannot link him to being in UK. I can scan the info I have on him (but might blank out his name and number as I don't want to cause any upset to any family he has). Not sure what the connection was to my family - he was after an eye prescription(??).

    It is one big mystery! It is something that I work on every once in a while as it can be so consuming.

    I have started a family tree in Ancestry (done the DNA test) in the hope that I can maybe find a relative that way. My father suffers from Alzheimer Disease and for the last few years we have been trying to get him to do the DNA test, but he can be stubborn and won't spit! Still working on it.
  14. TomášG

    TomášG New Member

    No.5 seems as a french tank - FT - 17, and No. 6 - could be Budapest, but I am not 100% sure about that.
  15. Blutto

    Blutto Plane Mad

    chain bridge_budapest.JPG Yes you are correct about No.6 It is the Chain Bridge in Budapest.

    Széchenyi Chain Bridge - Wikipedia
    Sarah Sharp likes this.
  16. Sarah Sharp

    Sarah Sharp Member

    Thank you Blutto. Not sure of its significance yet.
  17. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    When Poland was invaded on 1 September 1939,in the aftermath, many Poles escaped to the West initially to France through countries such as Romania.It might well be that your Grandfather passed through Hungary. Other Poles who were trapped when the Russians invaded from the east and were prisoners in places such as Siberia were released to the Britain through Iran as agreed by the Allies after Germany mounted Barbarossa in June 1941.

    As regards relationships and servicemen electing to be posted out.I am sure that this was quite common in many cases with children born as a result.I remember one occasion in my time when it was said to have occurred and that the airman was posted to Germany. Interestingly we were at grammar school together and saw him post service at a social event. We never reacted to each other....it was as if we were strangers.

    On the other hand,I have a friend who a few years ago showed me a beautiful photograph of an airman in uniform which he had produced from the original.He found the photograph in his mother's possessions when she died and was aware of a little of his own past.His mother it would appear was courting an airmen and fell pregnant.She was under 21 and his grandfather shutdown the relationship.He was not told who his father was by his mother.(The photograph showed the airman as either a AC2 or AC1 but my friend asked me,pointing out the eagle flashes....was he a pilot?...no I replied, he is in the uniform that shows he's either a AC2 or AC1)

    From where his mother lived we were able to identify the local airfield which prewar and after the war started was the unit which trained Observers.I said to him the airman could have been one which passed through the unit.From the photograph he suspected that the airman was his father.His comments to me was not complimentary regarding his grandfather.It is quite possible that his father lost his life during the war.....we shall never know and my friend,it would appear has reached a dead end for further enquiries....no airman's name to follow up.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2019
  18. Sarah Sharp

    Sarah Sharp Member

    Thanks Harry for your post.

    It's heartbreaking hearing these stories. I guess life was celebrated one day at a time as the future was uncertain during war times. What they thought was the best practice was of the time with little or no thought to repercussions later in the child's life. Having had a father who has gone through this, I am only now learning of the psychological effects it has had on him. My father kept a diary - 8 big folders of his life and searching. I have not been able to read it all, albeit a paragraph here and there, it's powerful stuff!

    My searching has taken me to a Magistrates Court where my dad's adopted file is held. I believe the laws have changed and am hoping to be able to gain access to it...in the hope of a name or details of our 'Frank'.

Share This Page