Image © Simon Knott www.norfolkchurches.co.uk

Norfolk Churches - St Mary, Watton

World War One

Private GEORGE WILLIAM FRANCIS M/338724, M.T., Royal Army Service Corps who died on 1 May 1919.

World War Two

Air Forces Memorial RAF Watton

RAF Watton was a permanent RAF station built in the late 1930s and first used as a light bomber airfield housing for varying periods Nos. 18, 21, 34, 82, 90 and 105 Squadrons, In 1943 it was taken over by USAF. This memorial at the station remembers the airmen lost. The plaques read as follows
"To the memory of those of the Royal Air Force and Commonwealth Air Forces who lost their lives while serving at RAF Watton and Bodney."
and
"This propeller was recovered from Blenheim R3800 which was shot down over Aalborg, Norway on 13th August 1940 while operating out of Watton."
On this raid 82 Squadron lost 11 of the 12 aircraft despatched.


Corporal WILLIAM JOHN BURROWS 932164, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who died age 41 on 24 March 1943. Son of William and Sarah Burrows, of Hoxton, London.

Flight Sergeant NORMAN GEORGE CLARK 411370, Pilot, 17 Advanced Flying Unit, Royal New Zealand Air Force who was killed in a flying accident at RAF Watton, age 22 on 25 February 1943. Son of George and Louisa Ann Clark. Auckland Cenotaph.

Sergeant ARTHUR HENRY JUNIOR ELLIOT 605462, Pilot, Royal Air Force who died age 22 on 29 August 1942. Son of Arthur H. Elliot and Kathleen M. Elliot, of Westminster, London. Of U.S.A.

Flying Officer HORACE RAYMOND GODDARD 152303, Air Bomber, 78 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who died age 29 on 23 April 1944. Son of James and Rose Henrietta Goddard, of Watton.

Sergeant RICHARD BENSON GOVETT 1389622, Pilot, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who died age 20 on 03 January 1943. Son of Edward and Ethel Govett, of Winton, Bournemouth, Hampshire.

Pilot Officer FREDERIC NORMAN GRANT 404461, Royal Australian Air Force who died age 25 on 13 September 1941. Son of Norman Frederic and Maud Florence Grant, of Auchenflower, Queensland, Australia.

Aircraftman 2nd Class ALBERT STANLEY HAMMOND 1200763, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who died age 33 on 29 January 1941. Son of Percy and Jenny Hammond; nephew of Mrs. E. L. Hall, of Fetcham, Surrey.

Sergeant ANDRE HOLMES 41172, Pilot, Royal New Zealand Air Force who died age 21 on 16 March 1942. Son of Mrs. G. Ardagh Holmes, of Monte Carlo, Monaco. Auckland Cenotaph.

Sergeant RICHARD HERBERT HOWELL 1389535, 103 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who died age 35 on 10 April 1943. Son of Reginald Richard and Jenny Howell, of New Malden, Surrey; husband of Alice Maud Howell, of New Malden.

Flight Sergeant MORGAN GEORGE (MARK) STEELE 512566, Pilot, Royal Air Force who died age 31 on 2 November 1940. Son of Samuel Morgan Steele and Kate Steele; husband of Phyllis Joan Steele.

Guardsman VICTOR PERCY TENNANT 2656865, 1st Bn., Coldstream Guards who died age 23 on 6 June 1940. Son of Percy and Ruth Amelia Tennant, of Watton.

Sergeant BOTTRELL STANLEY WILDER 413528, Pilot, Royal New Zealand Air Force who died age 26 on 14 March 1942. Son of Albert Henry and Dora Wilder, of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand. Auckland Cenotaph.


21 Squadron
21 Squadron

Squadron Leader ARTHUR HENRY ALLEN 05233, Pilot, 21 Squadron, Royal Air Force who died age 30 on 18 March 1941. Son of Arthur and Adeline Frances Emily Allen, of Westminster, London.

Sergeant FRANK BROWN GRAHAM HERON R/93513, Pilot, 21 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force who died age 20 on 7 July 1942. Son of Frank Brown Graham Heron and Elizabeth Malcolm Heron, of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Flight Sergeant DOUGLAS JAMES KIRKLAND 411219, Observer 21 Squadron, Royal New Zealand Air Force who died age 22 on 15 October 1942. Son of Douglas Henry and Alice Isabel Kirkland, of Mount Eden, Auckland, New Zealand. Auckland Cenotaph.

Flight Sergeant GEORGE DOUGLAS MALUISH R/687000, Observer. 21 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force who died age 23 on 7 July 1942. Son of George and Violet Maluish, of Kenora, Ontario, Canada.

Sergeant PETER ERNEST RITTER 1375091, Observer, 21 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who died age 20 on 13 September 1941. Son of Ernest George and Beatrice L. Ritter, of Northolt Park, Middlesex.

Sergeant GEORGE EDWARD STEP 1067562, Air Gunner, 21 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who died age 20 on 7 July 1942. Son of Percival G. Step and Fanny Step, of Whitehaven. Cumberland.

Blenhiem IV L8740

Take off 0400 6 April 1940 from Watton, while setting out on an anti-submarine patrol. The aircraft crashed into trees at 0405 close to Merton Hall. Lost bombers report.

Pilot Officer IAN STAPLEDON 40438, Pilot, 21 Squadron, Royal Air Force who died age 20 on 6 April 1940. Son of Charles Cyril and Eileen Dorothy Stapledon, of Ferndown, Dorsetshire.

Leading Aircraftman JOHN BRAYFIELD BALL 524840, U/T Wireless Operator/Air Gunner 21 Squadron, Royal Air Force who died on 6 April 1940.

The Observer is buried at HECKINGTON CEMETERY, Lincolnshire.
Sergeant WALTER JONATHAN WETTON 580533, Observer, 21 Squadron, Royal Air Force who died age 20 on 6 April 1940. Son of Walter Enage Wetton and Evelyn Martha Wetton, of Heckington.


Pilot Officer KENNETH HULBERT BOTTRILL 106665, Pilot, 82 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who died age 20 on 16 February 1942. Son of Percy Charles and Florence Charlotte Bottrill, of Ilford, Essex.

Sergeant ALFRED RONALD CHEADLE 1016810, Pilot, 82 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who died age 20 on 26 January 1942. Son of Frank and Florence Cheadle, of Bolton, Lancashire.

Pilot Officer NICHOLAS AITKEN COOPER 64325, Observer, 82 Squadron, Royal Air Force who died on 4 July 1941.

Sergeant JOSEPH ALBAN ECKERSLEY 998677, Observer, 82 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who died age 21 on 26 January 1942. Son of James and Maria Eckersley, of Orrell Post, Lancashire.

Sergeant OWEN HALL 751473, Wireless Operator/Air Gunner. 82 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who died on 4 July 1941.

Blenheim IV N3553

Take off 1939 Bodney ,crashed almost immediately in Merton Park, This aircraft came down amongst trees and then hit a brick wall. Lost bombers report.

Sergeant ARTHUR JOHN NORMAN 904424, Observer, 82 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who died on 22 January 1941.

Sergeant FREDERICK HERBERT HARRY TAYLOR 755630, Wireless Operator/Air Gunner 82 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who died on 22 January 1941.

The pilot was buried at the BROOKWOOD MILITARY CEMETERY.
Pilot Officer PETER HARRY MOLLER 84936, 82 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who died age 24 on 22 January 1941. Son of Ernest John and Jessie Margaret Moller, of East Sheen, Surrey; husband of Phyllis Mary Moller, of East Sheen.


Stirling BF348 of 149 Squadron

149 Squadron

On 10 October 1942 Stirling BF348 took off from Lakenheath to lay mines off the mouth of the Gironde. Shortly after becoming airborne, a serious technical problem developed and the pilot tried to land at Watton. In the attempt the Stirling hit some trees and crashed 2015 at Great Cressingham, 5 miles SSE of Swaffham. The RNZAF members of the crew were buried at Watton. the RAF members were buried in there own home town. One crew member, Sgt H.R.Batrick, survived. Lost bombers report.

Sergeant HARRY IAN FORSYTH CONNELLY 412887, Air Gunner, 149 Squadron, Royal New Zealand Air Force who died age 23 on 10 October 1942. Son of Harry Forsyth Connelly and Doris Connelly, of Parnell, Auckland, New Zealand. Auckland Cenotaph.

Sergeant KENNETH GEORGE McKENZIE Observer/Bomb Aimer, 404571, 149 Squadron, Royal New Zealand Air Force who died age 34 on 10 October 1942. Son of Thomas and Ester McKenzie; husband of Mary Ella McKenzie, of Invercargill, Southland, New Zealand. Auckland Cenotaph.

Sergeant LEWIS JOHN WARREN 41632, Observer, 149 Squadron, Royal New Zealand Air Force who died age 24 on 10 October 1942. Son of Charles Henry Warren and of Mary Alice Warren (nee Taylor), of Waipukurau, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. Auckland Cenotaph.

Sergeant HUGH CLARENCE WHITWELL 412372, Observer, 149 Squadron, Royal New Zealand Air Force who died age 26 on 10 October 1942. Son of Bertram Francis and Janet Whitwell, of Tapapa, Auckland, New Zealand. Auckland Cenotaph.

Flight Sergeant HENRY JOHN HART 655066, Pilot, 149 Squadron, Royal Air Force who died age 21 on 10 October 1942. Son of Samuel and Bessie Maud Hart, of Dorchester. DORCHESTER CEMETERY

Sergeant ALFRED WILLIE CORKER 570419, Flight Engineer, 149 Squadron, Royal Air Force who died age 21 on 10 October 1942. Husband of Hettie Corker, of Woodhouse, Leicestershire. SOWERBY BRIDGE CEMETERY



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