Royal Engineer Casualties Biggin Hill 1940

Discussion in 'Royal Engineers' started by SapperTyke, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. SapperTyke

    SapperTyke Member


    I`m trying to track the location of my father in Kent in 1940.

    Does anyone know if there were any Royal Engineer deaths at Biggin Hill during the Battle of Britain by any chance? The reason I ask is that my father once mentioned arriving at an RAF airfield immediately after a heavy raid and finding his mate, a fellow Royal Engineer, had been crushed to death by a hanger door that had been blown off by a bomb. Another reason I think it might be Biggin Hill is that in one post raid account a milkman is reported as arriving on scene and desperately helping to dig some WAAFS out of a shelter and my father specifically mentioned being given a lift by a milkman. Apparently they both needed to dive into a ditch when the raid started then hurried to the airfield to help. So I`m wondering if this was the man my dad got a lift with it seems logical he would have made for his mates and the milkman would have presumably headed in the direction of the NAAFI and there stumbled upon the desperate WAAF rescue.

    So my small brain has deduced if I can find the Royal Engineer death at Biggin Hill I`ll likely pin my dad to this location.

    Thank you sincerely for any help.


  2. nickb

    nickb Member

    Hello Sappertyke

    I had a quick look on the CWGC site and Royal Engineers killed in 1940 throws up 3945 casualties.

    Can you narrow the date down or give a clue as to the name of your fathers friend?

    Not too sure how it works but he may have been taken home to be buried as it is in the UK.

  3. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

  4. SapperTyke

    SapperTyke Member

    Hello nickb & Rich,

    I know that he was posted to `B` Company No.2 Depot Battalion on 30th August 1940 after spending the previous five months building defences in the Medway area. I now wonder if this `B` Company were hurriedly sent to help keep Biggin Hill operational, perhaps as part of the 703 General Construction Company that Rich has mentioned? Maybe he was reporting to his new posting at Biggin Hill when the raid came in and that some of his fellow Engineers had obviously already arrived and got a nasty welcome from the Luftwaffe. I don`t know how posting works in the army? Do soldiers make their own way to a new posting, perhaps after leave, or would they have been trucked as a group? `Tyke` was getting a lift from a milkman!

    His next posting was to 709 General Construction Company on 17th January 1941, some four months later, which might be relevant if his unit were repairing bomb damage on the airfield etc.


  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Paul - I take it your father never mentioned his name?
  6. SapperTyke

    SapperTyke Member

    Hello Drew5233,

    Unfortunately I don`t think he knew the milkman`s name, I can`t remember him mentioning it circa late 1960`s when he revealed this incident. I know he was also at Aldershot for a time so it may even have been Farnborough, I suppose. But I just keep thinking about this heavy bombing at Biggin and this milkman arriving and it seems to fit what he said.


  7. SapperTyke

    SapperTyke Member

    Hi Drew5233,<br /><br />Apologies for not realising you were referring to my dad`s R.E. mate killed, no, he never mentioned his name either, unfortunately.
  8. eddie chandler

    eddie chandler Senior Member

  9. SapperTyke

    SapperTyke Member


    WOW! A real out of body you an idea about the layout etc.
  10. John Hounslow

    John Hounslow Member

    Could anyone help me with information on Sapper Winston Holton who was a member of 703 General Construction Company. He died 13th Aug 1940. Thanks
  11. CL1

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

  12. John Hounslow

    John Hounslow Member

    I’m not a relative so not sure if I can apply for his record. I have been asked to write a book on the history of the Royal Latin School where Winston Holton once studied and is on their role of Honour. I’m trying to find out a little bit of how he died. I thought he was stationed at Biggin Hill but may be wrong because I couldn’t find an air raid listed as occurring on the day he died. I think the Rgt Diary for that Unit is held by NA in ref WO 166/3886 so I guess that may be my best bet unless anyone on WW2 knows anything of this unit?
  13. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

    Holton Household (3 People)
    Cross Roads Farm, Winslow R.D., Buckinghamshire
    Florence M Holton - 12 Jun 1881 - Housewife
    Edwin Holton - 30 Jun 1879 - Farmer
    Winston Holton - 13 Jun 1917 - Farm Worker
  14. CL1

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

    You can apply you dont need to be a relative.
    Get death cert
    He could have died illness/accident wounds etc and the war diary might have info of his death or it might not
  15. CL1

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

  16. horsapassenger

    horsapassenger Senior Member

    If he died on Active service you don’t need a Death Certificate - just attach a copy of the relevant CWGC page
  17. John Hounslow

    John Hounslow Member

    Dear Clive
    Thank you so much for that. It’s probably sufficient for me to make a couple of paragraphs for the Roll of Honour.


  18. CL1

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

    The death cert was to see how he died not for the service records
  19. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    Northampton Mercury & Herald, Friday, August 23, 1940

    CL1 likes this.
  20. John Hounslow

    John Hounslow Member

    Thank you so much - brilliant!

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