World War Two War Dead
Cecil Geoffrey Nigel Darlow
Cecil Geoffrey Nigel Darlow was born in Everton, the third son of Harry and Ivy Darlow. He left school aged 14 and worked for Mr George Mence at Hasells farm. He volunteered for the RAF, and became a Sergeant rear gunner (No. 1877735), 90 Squadron, RAF Volunteer Reserve. He was the only fatality in Everton during the Second World War. His plane, Lancaster 1 PD269 'Q', took off from Tuddenham at 1159 hours on Tuesday, 31st October 1944 for a raid on Bottrop, an industrial town in the Ruhr Valley, Germany. Killed in action, Aged 20 and buried in the British Military cemetery at Reichwald Forest, Germany, Plot 35, Row C, Grave 9.
There were seven war graves in St Mary’s churchyard, but one Canadian was disinterred after the war to be buried in his hometown. The others are: -
R/78532 Leading Aircraftman Archibald M. Galbraith, RCAF,
Died Thursday 26th March 1942, aged 25, Son of Archibald Campbell Galbraith and Gladys Lillian Harris Galbraith, of Montreal, Province of Quebec. Canada. ‘At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them’.
352613 F/S Ernest M. Fletcher, RAF,
Died Monday 6th June 1942, aged 38, Son of Ernest Henry and Emma Ellen Fletcher; husband of Ethel Minnie Fletcher, of Sidcup, Kent. ‘Tho lost to sight to memory dear thou ever wilt remain.
1385168 Sergeant Andrew Christie, Pilot, RAF,
Died 30th November 1942, aged 26, Son of Robert and Annie Christie; husband of Tessie Pearce Christie, of Acton, Middlesex.. ‘Sleep on beloved, Sleep and take thy rest’.
1167643 Sergeant Leslie. E. Neary, Air Gunner, 149 Squadron RAF ,
Died Saturday 19th December 1942, aged 22. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Louis H. Neary husband of Margaret W. B. Neary, of Patcham, Sussex. ‘For our country’
P/O Ian M. Wilson, Navigator, RCAF,
Died Monday 25th January 1943, aged 25. Son of James Leiper Wilson and Grace Lumsden Wilson, of Montreal, Province of Quebec, Canada.
1371493 Sergeant R. Macauley, Air Gunner, RAF,
Died 19th December 1942, ‘Always remembered’.
The only additional information comes from W.R. Chorley’s 'Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War’ . He details how Sgt McCauley and Sgt. Leary were two of eight men of 149 Squadron who died when their Stirling 1 R crashed at 16:15 at Great Gransden. The accident happened during a height and load test, during which the structural failure of both wings occurred as the pilot tried to recover from a steep dive. P/O Wilson of 192 Squadron was one of four men who died when their Wellington X HE231 DT crashed. They took of at 14:58 from Gransden Lodge to test the rate of oil and petrol consumption. It crashed at 15:35, due to engine failure, into a wood near the Papworths, Huntingdon. This was the first aircraft written off by the Squadron since its reformation on 4th January 1943; it was also the first flight of the Wellington since being taken on charge.
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