RAF Newton

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by 4jonboy, Jul 27, 2020.

  1. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    BBC News 27th July 2020

    Service for RAF Newton trio killed in explosion at base in 1940.

    Three RAF airmen are being remembered 80 years after they died in an explosion at their base.
    Frederick Stewart, Walter Blom and William Franklin were among seven killed when an aircraft bomb detonated at RAF Newton on 27 July 1940.
    Their graves are at St Peter's Churchyard, East Bridgford, where the service will be held, at 19:00 BST.
    Organiser Phil Rudman said: "With VE Day celebrations limited, it felt fitting to mark their anniversary."

    Mr Rudman said: "I spotted the distinctive war grave headstones during a walk and I wondered about their stories.
    "A small group decided to research them and see if we could track down any relatives."
    Records showed a flare started a fire on a parked bomber and while a team tackled the flames, the munitions exploded, killing those nearby.

    They found Flt Lt Walter Blom, 23, from Australia, was a decorated pilot, who had been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in battles during the Nazi invasion of France just weeks earlier.
    Sgt William Franklin, 28, grew up in Radlett, Hertfordshire, and had just been awarded the British Empire Medal while Aircraftman First Class Fred Stewart, aged 22, came from Cookstown, Northern Ireland.
    Mr Rudman said: "I managed to find the great niece of Walter Blom who came from Tasmania. She lives in Hobart.
    RAF men killed in blast on base in 1940 remembered

    "She asked her family, found some old photos which had been archived on a memory stick in a 'forgotten drawer'. She and her family have also been quite touched that we are organising the event today."
    Descendants of AC Stewart will also be sent a record of the service but no family for Sgt Franklin has yet been traced.

    A Commonwealth War Graves Commission plaque will be attached to the entrance to the churchyard, along with an information board displayed in the porch.
     
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  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Casualty Details | CWGC
    Name and Rank: AIRCRAFTMAN 1ST CLASS FREDERICK STEWART
    Service Number: 638353
    Regiment & Unit/Ship: Royal Air Force
    Date of Death: Died 27 July 1940
    Age 22 years old
    Buried or commemorated at EAST BRIDGFORD (ST. PETER) CHURCHYARD
    Grave 1A.
    United Kingdom
    Additional Info: Son of Robert and Rebecca Stewart, of Cookstown, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland.
    Personal Inscription: GREATER LOVE HATH NO MAN THAN THIS, THAT A MAN LAY DOWN HIS LIFE FOR HIS FRIENDS


    Casualty Details | CWGC
    Name and Rank FLIGHT LIEUTENANT WALTER MICHAEL BLOM
    Service Number: 40041
    Regiment & Unit/Ship
    Royal Air Force, 150 Sqdn.
    Date of Death: Died 27 July 1940
    Age 23 years old
    Buried or commemorated at EAST BRIDGFORD (ST. PETER) CHURCHYARD
    Grave 3A.
    United Kingdom
    Awards: Distinguished Flying Cross
    Additional Info: Husband of Catharine Winifred Blom, of Peterborough, Northamptonshire.
    Personal Inscription: TO LIVE IN THE HEARTS OF THOSE WE LOVE IS NOT TO DIE


    Casualty Details | CWGC
    Name and Rank SERGEANT WILLIAM HENRY JAMES FRANKLIN
    Service Number: 522061
    Regiment & Unit/Ship: Royal Air Force, 150 Sqdn.
    Date of Death: Died 27 July 1940
    Age 28 years old
    Buried or commemorated at EAST BRIDGFORD (ST. PETER) CHURCHYARD
    Grave 2A.
    United Kingdom
    Awards: British Empire Medal
    Additional Info: Son of Comdr. Cyril Prescott Franklin, D.S.O., R.N., and Florence Marjorie Franklin, of Radlett, Hertfordshire. His brother John Michael also died on service.
    Personal Inscription: HIS BROTHER, JOHN MICHAEL SUB - LIEUT., R.N., WAS KILLED IN H.M.S. "GLORIOUS" 9.6.1940 AGE 21


    Casualty Details | CWGC
    SUB-LIEUTENANT JOHN MICHAEL FRANKLIN
    Regiment & Unit/Ship: Royal Navy, H.M.S. Glorious
    Date of Death: Died 08 June 1940
    Age 21 years old
    Commemorated at LEE-ON-SOLENT MEMORIAL
    Bay 1, Panel 3.
    United Kingdom
    Additional Info: Son of Comdr. Cyril Prescott Franklin, D.S.O., R.N., and Marjorie Franklin, of Radlett, Hertfordshire. His brother, Sgt. William Henry James Franklin, B.E.M., also died on service.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2020
  3. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Hazards while bombing up...casualties resulting to aircrew,groundcrew and another.This particular incident led to seven airmen being killed.

    Fairy Battle L 5528 of No 150 Squadron was being bombed up for what looks like an operation to to Brussels area airfields that night. A bomb caught fire and the three aircrew sought to quell the fire while in the aircraft assisted by groundcrew and Station HQ staff.The bomb exploded and killed six airmen and injured five others,one severely that he died the next day.

    No 150 Squadron, ex BEF Advanced Air Striking Force along with No 103 Squadron had only arrived at Newton on 3 July after being mauled and withdrawn from France in mid June 1940.Both squadrons were allocated to No 1 Group Bomber Command which was in the process of reforming with available squadrons returning from France.

    Casualty list as Bill Chorley information...six killed during the blast and of five injured,one died the next day....Gould

    Aircrew killed
    F/O W M Blom DFC Pilot
    Sgt W H J Franklin BEM
    Sgt A E F Gould................Romsey Cemetery...died of his injuries,the next day.28 July 1940

    Groundcrew and Station HQ personnel killed
    Cpl Sharpe................Cannot locate on CWGC casualty list
    LAC W Y Cann .......Woolwich Cemetery
    LAC G A Hall.............St Pancras Cemetery
    AC 1 F Stewart

    I have traced the dead not mentioned apart from Cpl Sharpe.It would be the NOK to decide the location of burial and while three of the dead were buried locally,the four not interred locally were buried at a location according to the NOK's discretion..home locations usually the norm.

    From the information gleaned from the CWGC site.it appears that AC 1 Frederick Stewart was a Station HQ airmen....all the others are listed as their unit being No 150 Squadron, Frederick Stewart is not so listed.
     
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  4. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

  5. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    I did try the option of Sharp ....must have been finger trouble on my part

    Casualty list solved..even looked at Bill Chorley's corrections in Vol 11 which only gave LAC Hall's initials.

    Interestingly with a link to the Great War,LAC Cann's middle name was Ypres.

    The Franklin family lost two sons,the first with the loss of the carrier Glorious by the Scharnhorst on 8 June 1940,a hammer blow for the RAF returning from the Norwegian campaign with a number of Hurricanes and Gladiator and their pilots lo st along with groundcrew....apparently only two pilots survived.

    The end for the Scharnhorst came on Boxing Day 1943 when she was sunk by HMS Duke of York.
     
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  6. 4jonboy

    4jonboy Daughter of a 56 Recce Patron

    Thanks guys for filling in more details-great additions to this thread.:)

    (I see the 'Tag fairy' has been busy too, thanks D;))
     
  7. Marks

    Marks Senior Member

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