UK Justice Forum

Off Topic and General Discussions => Off topic, general discussions and the Wide Awake Club. => Topic started by: Holly Goodhead on February 12, 2018, 10:51:00 PM

Title: 'Darkest Hour'
Post by: Holly Goodhead on February 12, 2018, 10:51:00 PM
I was on the Bamber board discussing 2 pathologists who at one time served in the medi corps.  Bizarrely this prompted me to Google my Dad's brother, Cecil Page, who was a RAF navigator in WW2 and died on a mission.  Very strange that I would think to look since he died some 20 years before I was born and his name hasn't been mentioned in the family for years. 

Anyway firstly I found a roll of honour entry for him at his former school:


Cecil Arthur

Sergeant (Navigator) 1579628, 90 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died 11th June 1944. Aged 20. Son of Arthur Horace and Edith M. Page, of Bedford. Buried in DREUX COMMUNAL CEMETERY, Eure-et-Loir, France. Row 2. Grave 21.

Then I found the following written by the nephew of Harry Holt who was the bomb aimer and crew member on the mission where Cecil died along with the pilot and rear gunner when the Lancaster was hit by flak or enemy fighter aircraft fire. 

Cecil appears in the second photo and is second from right.

I recall as a young girl being introduced to a female who came over from Australia to visit and stay with my granny.  I could recall the name Jean Burnett but thought she was the pilot's mother.  I must have misunderstood or forgotten as according to the article she was/is the pilot's wife.  The pilot was 28 yoa and evidently married to Jean and they had a young son who appears in article with his wife at the grave of the 3 crew members who lost their lives. 

It would be interesting to know why the 3 who lost their lives were unable to bail out.  Maybe they were too badly injured.  Their locations within the Lancaster were rear (rear bomber) and front (pilot and navigator). 

I also found a poem from Harry Holt and assuming it's fact and not fiction it appears the pilot was alive when crew members were bailing out.

The Skipper's voice, calm and steady,
"I'll hold her straight, out when you're ready!"

I believe it was the pilot's duty and responsibility to maintain control of the plane until all crew members bailed out. 
Title: Re: 'Darkest Hour'
Post by: Holly Goodhead on February 12, 2018, 10:53:02 PM

Maybe gives some insight as to what it was like.