Jump to content


Photo

Racing drivers killed at war


  • Please log in to reply
141 replies to this topic

#101 fivestar

fivestar
  • Member

  • 315 posts
  • Joined: January 06

Posted 06 March 2007 - 00:36

Many thanks Vitesse 2 for the info. Since mail delivery here is notoriously unreliable I will have to wait till I come to the UK for the Goodwood Festival before ordering. 5*

Advertisement

#102 Ray Bell

Ray Bell
  • Member

  • 67,178 posts
  • Joined: December 99

Posted 06 March 2007 - 00:39

Originally posted by fivestar
Being out here in Cebu I have not read nor seen any book from Joe neither seen reference to one on this thread.

Since obviously you are in a position to enlighten me. when was this book published and what is the title?


Very fair comment...

It's one thing to continue a discussion knowing the background, but it's quite another to not be aware and wonder what's going on. Doug dropped a hint, but that was all it was.

#103 Arjan de Roos

Arjan de Roos
  • Member

  • 2,382 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 06 March 2007 - 08:51

Originally posted by Vitesse2
The Grand Prix Saboteurs :)


Sigh, another musthave book.

#104 fivestar

fivestar
  • Member

  • 315 posts
  • Joined: January 06

Posted 08 March 2007 - 01:17

Have to hang my head in shame and say if I had read my Grandprix.com more clearly and not just clicked on Ferrari, Honda etc, I would not have asked a stupid question. Can't wait to read the book. - 5*

#105 Joe Saward

Joe Saward
  • New Member

  • 26 posts
  • Joined: January 07

Posted 10 March 2007 - 23:18

Further to Fivestar's Post 92:

Yes, I did do "a little bit of research" on the subject.

The details of Willy Grover's arrest are all in the book. To give you an idea: there is some confusion about what happened (not unusual in SOE history) because things often happened simultaneously. In this case there were two things that occurred, possibly related, possibly not. The German radio-finding service was able to get a fix on Grover's radio operator, who was operating from a village near Pontoise, to the north of Paris. He was arrested in a raid on the morning of Saturday July 31, 1943.

SOE agents were told to say nothing if arrested for the first 48 hours in order to allow other members of their network to go to ground and get rid of equipment and papers and so on. Then, if necessary, they were told that they could give away small bits of information to try and buy themselves some respite from the interrogation. The Germans knew this and in such cases they went in very hard in an effort to make other arrests before the agents had time to go to ground.

The only evidence put forward suggesting that the radio operator said anything came from Maurice Benoist, brother of Robert Benoist. Maurice had been a minor racing driver himself in the 1920s but was not in the same league as his brother.

About 44 hours after the arrest the Germans raided Maurice Benoist's apartment in Paris. It could have been as a result of information from the radio operator; it could have been a guess. Two hours later the Germans arrived at Robert Benoist's country house to the south of Paris and caught Willy Grover. They did not capture Robert, which suggested that it was all a very last-minute operation and that they were not in a position to get the whole gang at the same time, which would have been the result if there had been more planning involved.

The evidence I have suggests that Maurice was the traitor.

There is more to it than that but I'm not giving it all away!

#106 Joe Saward

Joe Saward
  • New Member

  • 26 posts
  • Joined: January 07

Posted 10 March 2007 - 23:27

Incidentally, in the SOE documents reference was made at one point to a man called Guyot being a friend of Maurice Benoist. I could never prove the connection but if anyone knows the story of Albert Guyot one is left wondering what it was that caused Guyot to commit suicide with cyanide in a restaurant after a dinner with some of his old racing friends in 1947.

Anyone know any answers to that one? What was Guyot doing during the war?

Oh, and finally, should one not add Fernand Gabriel to the list of racing drivers killed at war. He and his wife were both killed on September 9 1943 when Allied bombers attacked the Paris suburb of La Garenne-Colombes (they were after nearby railway lines). Their house received a direct hit.

#107 ReWind

ReWind
  • Member

  • 2,853 posts
  • Joined: October 03

Posted 17 June 2009 - 18:00

It seems not much is known about Edoardo Teagno, an Italian driver who raced between 1929 and 1940.

But I found his name in this and also in that list of people who obviously died in World War II in Italy.

Is there an Italian TNFer who can shed some light on this and confirm the identity?

#108 ReWind

ReWind
  • Member

  • 2,853 posts
  • Joined: October 03

Posted 21 June 2009 - 07:51

Hu?

Calling Italy! Anyone there?

EDIT:
To put it in words: An Italian by the name of Edoardo Teagno (who was born in Torino on 17 January 1902 as son of Angela Teagno) was killed on 15 May 1945 at Castelfranco Emilia (Modena). His role is described as “Aiutante del Federale di Cuneo”, the cause of his death as “Fucilato” (which I think means he was executed by firing squad).

Is this the racing driver by the same name?

Edited by ReWind, 21 June 2009 - 08:42.


#109 renzobalbo

renzobalbo
  • Member

  • 53 posts
  • Joined: May 08

Posted 21 June 2009 - 15:20

information
In this directory, it s written that edoardo teagno, shot from the partisans, was a racing driver.



#110 ensign14

ensign14
  • Member

  • 49,803 posts
  • Joined: December 01

Posted 21 June 2009 - 16:56

Says he was shot by the Triangle Group (?) whilst with Ronza (??), a former federal (??), because of the theft of money that was with them. Teagno seems to have been his chauffeur. Who's Ronza?

An intriguing fate. Teagno wasn't exactly one of the better known drivers, mainly in voiturettes in the late thirties, his one actual Grand Prix was at the Nurburgring in 1937 and he qualified way at the back, retiring early.

#111 ReWind

ReWind
  • Member

  • 2,853 posts
  • Joined: October 03

Posted 21 June 2009 - 17:10

Thanks for the confirmation! :up:

#112 renzobalbo

renzobalbo
  • Member

  • 53 posts
  • Joined: May 08

Posted 21 June 2009 - 21:57

federale was an italian fascist party hierarchical rank , triangle of the death was an area in the Modena country where there were feracious revenges against the Fascists and clericals

Edited by renzobalbo, 22 June 2009 - 06:21.


#113 Nanni Dietrich

Nanni Dietrich
  • Member

  • 1,322 posts
  • Joined: February 04

Posted 22 June 2009 - 09:31

Says he was shot by the Triangle Group (?) whilst with Ronza (??), a former federal (??), because of the theft of money that was with them. Teagno seems to have been his chauffeur. Who's Ronza?

An intriguing fate. Teagno wasn't exactly one of the better known drivers, mainly in voiturettes in the late thirties, his one actual Grand Prix was at the Nurburgring in 1937 and he qualified way at the back, retiring early.


Ronza was the former Federal [an italian fascist party hierarchical rank, as renzobalbo said] of Cuneo.
At the time Italy was marred by civil war.
About the Repubblica Sociale Italiana: http://en.wikipedia....Social_Republic

Prefer to remember Mr. Teagno for his (poor) motorsport career in early age.


#114 P. Dron

P. Dron
  • Member

  • 99 posts
  • Joined: June 08

Posted 22 June 2009 - 10:48

It wasn't just his family. There were also calls for him to return his Légion d'Honneur, which he had been awarded after Delage's World Championship in 1927.


I have not read the citation for Chiron's award, but it is my understanding that in order to become a member of the Legion d'Honneur, you must first either be nominated or else personally ask for it, and therefore it helps to have connections in high places. So it is nothing like the British honours system, then. Ahem. Apparently, French cabinet ministers are not allowed to nominate their accountants. Legionnaires of varying rank, past and present, include Marshal Petain, Maurice Papon, Vladimir Putin, Celine Dion and David Lynch. I have decided not to apply.

Edited by P. Dron, 22 June 2009 - 10:51.


#115 Hugo Boecker

Hugo Boecker
  • Member

  • 701 posts
  • Joined: May 04

Posted 29 July 2009 - 20:28

German BMW 328 racer Hans Eck died during the Poland-war Sep/Oct. 1939.

#116 mikeC

mikeC
  • Member

  • 676 posts
  • Joined: October 07

Posted 30 July 2009 - 20:31

Gordon Brettell is another name to add to the WW2 list. Brooklands special-builder and racing driver, one of the fifty killed by the Gestapo following 'The Great Escape'

#117 Jim Thurman

Jim Thurman
  • Member

  • 5,473 posts
  • Joined: February 01

Posted 11 November 2010 - 22:35

WW2
David CHAMPEAU (USA). 1944
More details on them ?

Dave Champeau did NOT die in WW2. He died in a racing accident during an IMCA Big Car race at the Nebraska State Fairgrounds, Lincoln, Nebraska on July 4, 1946. My father, who himself had recently returned from service in WW2, witnessed the accident.

I have no idea how I missed this at the time, but his name can be removed from this list.

Edited by Jim Thurman, 12 November 2010 - 02:49.


#118 Seanmac27

Seanmac27
  • Member

  • 61 posts
  • Joined: April 05

Posted 15 November 2010 - 05:19

From other sources (that I did not check now), he was hanged.

Garot was the Spanish supplice (still used in 1973, under Franco's dictatorship, against the young Anarchist Salvador Puig Antich), and I do not think it was used by Germans, even if Nazis (but may be I am wrong...)
BTW, garotting never was a French supplice, this people prefered the Guillotine (until 1981) ...


Just a note to that, The Nazi style of hanging traitors/political prisoners was to hang them by piano wiro strung from meat hooks, piano wire being a key ingredient of Garotting. so both you and Ray Bell were probably right.

#119 Seanmac27

Seanmac27
  • Member

  • 61 posts
  • Joined: April 05

Posted 15 November 2010 - 05:23

I think an additional note to this is to say that the saddest aspect of this thread is just the aspect of death and not abouth the achievements of the drivers, some of whom are sadly anonimous apart from being Racers who died in war

Advertisement

#120 ReWind

ReWind
  • Member

  • 2,853 posts
  • Joined: October 03

Posted 13 April 2011 - 17:40

Andrea Brezzi has been mentioned in this thread before. Now I found his life dates (b. 31 July 1910, d. 21 December 1940 at age 30) here & here and something more about him and his fate (although only in Italian) here:

Andrea Brezzi nasce a Ollomont (Aosta), figlio del Senatore Giuseppe Brezzi , anch'egli ufficiale d'aviazione e dirigente della "SVA" azienda aeronautica che tanto diede alla nostra storia dell'aviazione. Aostano,ma Torinese di adozione compì gli studi nella nostra città sino alla laurea in ingegneria ed alle prime esperienze lavorative. Lo scoppio della guerra lo vide naturalmente in prima linea con la divisa azzurra della Regia Aeronautica,dove si compì il suo eroico destino.
Le gesta di Brezzi sono indissolubilmente legate ai "Picchiatelli", gli " Stukas" Italiani, del 96° Gruppo Bombardieri a Tuffo (236a e 237a Squadriglia).
Di stanza a Comiso nel settembre del 1940 il gruppo partecipava all'assedio aeronavale dell'isola-fortezza di Malta, al ritorno da una missione di bombardamento viene attaccato da alcuni Gloster Gladiator della difesa aerea Inglese. Nonostante le differenti caratteristiche dei velivoli, lo Junkers Ju 87 di Brezzi,un pesante aereo da bombardamento in picchiata,ottimo velivolo nel suo genere,ma la cui vulnerabilità in una situazione di non dominio dell'aria era stata sperimentata ampiamente già dai Tedeschi, e un agile biplano da caccia , il già superato ma comunque valente in quella situazione, il Gladiator, Brezzi con il suo mitragliere , il Primo Aviere Gianpiero Vio, riuscirono tra abili manovre e accurata mira ad abbattere uno dei caccia e danneggiarne un secondo,ma purtroppo nel duello aereo il povero mitragliere restò ucciso da una pallottola nemica. Brezzi riuscì quella volta a rientrare alla base di Comiso. Per questa eroica missione Andrea Brezzi fu insignito di Medaglia d'Argento al Valore Militare.
Alla fine del mese il gruppo si trasferì a Lecce-Galatina in previsione delle operazioni contro la Grecia.
Il giorno 21 dicembre il gruppo fu impegnato nell’attacco contro posizioni nemiche nell'area di Kolonje nel distretto di Argirocastro in questa azione venne abbattuto il velivolo dell’equipaggio Mar.Scarpini/1° Av.Catamerò fu proprio nell’eroico gesto di individuare il velivolo dell’amico commilitone che il Ten.Andrea Brezzi ed il motorista Stevanato perirono , indugiando sul luogo del presunto abbattimento venendo abbattuti dalla contraerea, guadagnandosi così la Medaglia d’Oro al Valore Militare postuma.



#121 Arjan de Roos

Arjan de Roos
  • Member

  • 2,382 posts
  • Joined: July 02

Posted 14 April 2011 - 08:28

What I make of it:

Andrea was born in Ollomont Brezzi (Aosta), as son of Senator Joseph Brezzi, another aviation official and president of the "SVA" aeronautical company that gave so much to Italian aviation history. He was from Aosta, but went to Turin to study for an engineering degree and have his first work experience. The outbreak of war saw him stand first in line to wear the blue uniform of the Royal Air Force, where he performed his heroic destiny.
The deeds of Brezzi are inextricably linked to "Picchiatelli," the Italian "Stukas" of the 96th Dive Bomber Group (236th and 237th Squadron).
Stationed at Comiso in September 1940 the group participated in naval attacks on the island-fortress of Malta. And while returning from a bombing mission they were attacked by a set of Gloster Gladiators of the English Air Defence. Despite the different characteristics of the aircraft, the Junkers Ju 87 of Brezzi, a heavy dive-bombing aircraft, optimal aircraft in its class, but whose vulnerability in a situation of non-domination of the air was not yet been tested extensively by the Germans, versus light biplane fighters. But he exceeded with his talent in this situation, the Gladiator, Brezzi with his gunner, First Airman Gianpiero Vio, managed with skilled and careful maneuvers to break down one fighter and damaging a second. But unfortunately during this duel the poor air gunner was killed by an enemy bullet. Brezzi managed to return to base in Comiso. For this heroic mission Andrea Brezzi was awarded the Silver Medal for Military Valor.
At the end of the month, the group moved to Lecce-Galatina in anticipation of the operations against Greece.
On December 21st the group was engaged in attacking enemy positions in the district of Gjirokastra Kolonje. In this action the aircraft of crew Marshal Scarpini and his First Airman Catamerò were shot down while in a heroic action the aircraft of their buddy Lt. Andrea Brezzi and engineer Stevanato, was seen lingering at the scene to rescue, being shot down themselves by flak, thus earning the Gold Medal for Military Valor posthumously.


#122 Frank Verplanken

Frank Verplanken
  • Member

  • 355 posts
  • Joined: July 04

Posted 14 October 2011 - 16:22

And what about Hans Simons, who died 1942 March 12, aged 43 ? War casualty or illness/accident ?
:wave:

#123 Doug Nye

Doug Nye
  • Member

  • 9,721 posts
  • Joined: February 02

Posted 14 October 2011 - 18:11

Not sure if this has been added before in this thread, but if it has I haven't found it.

Acting Lieutenant Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Tim Rose-Richards was posted missing, believed killed, on Monday, October 7, 1940, together with Lt Michael C. Hoskin. They were both of No 765 Squadron, RN Fleet Air Arm, based at Daedalus, Lee-on-Solent. Their Supermarine Walrus flying boat was shot down 7-8 miles south of Anvil Point, which itself is two miles from Swanage, Dorset, on the south coast of England. The single-engined biplane 'Shagbat' would not have stood a chance against marauding fighters, having a top speed of only 135mph and being used essentially for gunnery spotting, anti-submarine surveillance and very quickly once war broke out air-sea rescue duties.

Secondly, Lt Cdr Robert Hichens qualifies very strongly for inclusion here. He co-drove his Aston Martin Ulster with Mort Morris-Goodall at Le Mans in 1937-38-39. As a member of the 'Wavy Navy', the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve, he became the most distinguished CO within Coastal Forces, and the most decorated officer in the RNVR, earning the DSO and Bar, DSC and two Bars plus three Mentions in Despatches, before ultimately being recommended to receive the Victoria Cross, an accolade he asked to be refused on grounds that he had endangered other boats in his flotilla by seeking to rescue friends on the burning MGB 79...

'Hich' was killed by a final burst of fire from a pair of burning German escort vessels after he had broken off action against them, and was turning his Motor Gun Boat, MGB 77, away. He died on the night of April 12/13, 1943.

DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 14 October 2011 - 19:45.


#124 Graham Clayton

Graham Clayton
  • Member

  • 1,314 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 04 March 2012 - 10:34

Update of Wimille's list:

Racing Drivers Killed at War:

3. WW2:

Jean de Suarez d'Aulan - October 8 1944 - aerial dogfight over Germany

d'Aulan drove for Bugatti in the Le Mans 24 hours race in the 1920's and 1930's - can anyone confirm the years in which he competed and his finishing positions?



#125 Tim Murray

Tim Murray
  • Moderator

  • 22,348 posts
  • Joined: May 02

Posted 04 March 2012 - 11:09

According to the David Hodges book and the Racing Sports Cars site he competed at Le Mans only in 1925, finishing 14th in an E.H.P.:

http://wsrp.ic.cz/prewar1925.html#9

Edited by Tim Murray, 04 March 2012 - 11:09.


#126 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Administrator

  • 34,609 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 04 March 2012 - 11:13

Update of Wimille's list:

Racing Drivers Killed at War:

3. WW2:

Jean de Suarez d'Aulan - October 8 1944 - aerial dogfight over Germany

d'Aulan drove for Bugatti in the Le Mans 24 hours race in the 1920's and 1930's - can anyone confirm the years in which he competed and his finishing positions?

Er, no.

Jean d'Aulan raced just once in the 24 Heures: in 1925 in an EHP. Finished 14th.

http://www.lemans-hi...

#127 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Administrator

  • 34,609 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 04 March 2012 - 18:45

I did a bit of digging on this, but not much of it stands up:

d'Aulan competed for Bugatti in the 24 Hours of LeMans during the 1920s and 1930s.

http://en.wikipedia...._Suarez_d'Aulan

pilote aux 24 heures du Mans dans l'équipe officielle Bugatti

http://maisons-champ..._aulan_jean.htm

Il gagna deux fois les 24 heures du Mans dans sa catégorie

http://lavieremoise....?id_dossier=185

Works Bugattis only raced au Mans in 1931, 1937 and 1939 and apart from the outright wins in 1937 and 1939, no Bugatti - works or private - won its class at Le Mans.

#128 Graham Clayton

Graham Clayton
  • Member

  • 1,314 posts
  • Joined: January 01

Posted 04 March 2012 - 22:18

Vitesse,

Thanks for correcting me.

At least we have confirmed that d'Aulan was a racing driver who was killed in World War 2.

#129 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Administrator

  • 34,609 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 23 April 2012 - 14:10

Bill Castello, who bought Louis Klemantaski's 'Golden Austin' and raced it at Brooklands in 1939. Wellington pilot who had already been awarded a DFC. Shot down over Germany, April 18th 1942, aged 22. Spookily, this was the same day that Norman Wilson died in a Lancaster crash on Salisbury Plain.

Sources: "Klemantaski Himself" page 195, CWGC entry - http://www.cwgc.org/.....WILLIAM DERYK

Klemantaski misplaces the date to 1944 though. Castello had been at school with Louis' younger brother Sidney.

#130 taylov

taylov
  • Member

  • 624 posts
  • Joined: February 05

Posted 26 July 2012 - 12:55

A further update to fill in a few gaps :-

Chris Staniland, died 26 june 1942, in air crash at Sindlesham, Berkshire, Chief Test Pilot for Fairey Aviation......


As one would expect in wartime, the details of Christopher Staniland's death were not published at the time but papers were released some 50 years later and formed the basis of an article published in "Air Enthusiast" in 2003.

- "Second prototype Fairey Firefly, Z1827, first flown 4 June 1942, of the Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE), Boscombe Down, is lost shortly thereafter in a crash that kills chief test-pilot Flt. Lt. Chris Staniland. Investigation of wreckage reveals few clues, and loss is initially attributed to failure of the tailplane following failure of the fabric-covered ailerons. Later, it is suspected that the cockpit hood detached in flight and lodged itself in the tailplane, disabling the elevators."

Tony



#131 ReWind

ReWind
  • Member

  • 2,853 posts
  • Joined: October 03

Posted 12 August 2012 - 12:45

Some details about Johnnie Wakefield's accident here (p. 18).

#132 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Administrator

  • 34,609 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 12 October 2012 - 11:41

Northern Irish driver Trevor McCalla, who had some success in Irish road handicaps in the 30s and whose full name was William Trevor McCalla, was lost - along with ten ratings - when HMT Sisapon hit a mine off Harwich on June 12th 1940.

Minesweeping trawler SISAPON (326grt, Temporary Skipper F. A. Henson RNR), minesweeping with minesweeping trawler LORD IRWIN, was sunk on a mine near Cork Light Vessel, Harwich. Henson, Probationary Temporary S/Lt W. T. McCalla, ten ratings were lost in the trawler.

http://www.naval-his...006-19JUN02.htm

http://uboat.net/all.../ship/7190.html

He is buried at Shotley: http://www.cwgc.org/.....ILLIAM TREVOR

He was 35 at the time of his death and I've found him on the 1911 Census of Ireland, aged 6, in County Down, which narrows his birth date to somewhere between June 13th 1904 and April 2nd 1905. The Irish civil births index has him as M'Calla, registered first quarter of 1905.

http://www.census.na...od_Road/230792/

Travel records show he was in shipping, the family firm being W M'Calla & Co, based at 41 Victoria Rd Belfast. They were agents for Canadian Pacific and others, although in the 30s Trevor described himself as a shipowner.

Edited by Vitesse2, 12 October 2012 - 15:15.


#133 David McKinney

David McKinney
  • Member

  • 14,156 posts
  • Joined: November 00

Posted 12 October 2012 - 17:31

The Irish civil births index has him as M'Calla, registered first quarter of 1905.

In the days before keyboards had a supersript option, and when 'Mc' surnames were always spelt with a superscript 'c' – typesetters resorted to showing it as M‘ (not M’)

I still sign my name with a superscript 'c'. It’s not an affectation, it’s the way things were in my childhood


#134 tsrwright

tsrwright
  • Member

  • 513 posts
  • Joined: March 09

Posted 22 October 2012 - 05:32

I have been perusing the RAC Competition Committee minutes regarding another topic and came across references to the 'national memorial to racing drivers' which was to take the form of a vellum bound book with names inscribed. It was to be placed on a pedestal in the foyer of the RAC as proposed by the club's architect. It was discussed numerous times in the Committee from 1.11.45 after it was proposed by the BRDC

The RAC Committee itself agreed to the proposal and then to the addition of motorcyclists' names. Funds were allocated. It is not clear if the names were to be of merely dead people or those who had been killed in the war(s).

It was still being discussed on 12.1.49 when it was reported that due to pressure of other work matters had not progressed. I could find no later reference. Does anyone know what happened?

#135 tsrwright

tsrwright
  • Member

  • 513 posts
  • Joined: March 09

Posted 27 October 2012 - 00:01

5984692[/url]']
I have been perusing the RAC Competition Committee minutes regarding another topic and came across references to the 'national memorial to racing drivers' which was to take the form of a ".................Does anyone know what happened?


Looks like nothing happened!

#136 ReWind

ReWind
  • Member

  • 2,853 posts
  • Joined: October 03

Posted 25 June 2014 - 17:42

John Cecil Noel who raced at Brooklands and took part in the 1934 Le Mans 24 hours (source) was born on 28 July 1906 (source).

He gained the rank of Captain in the service of the Royal Artillery (Territorial Army) & the rank of Flying Officer in the service of the Royal Air Force.

On 13 April 1942 he died at the age of 35 (source). He and all the crew of the bomber he was flying in as observer were lost without trace on a mission (source: p.7).



#137 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Administrator

  • 34,609 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 25 June 2014 - 19:49

Rally driver Jack Harrop has been mentioned a couple of times on this thread, but with no details. He was the pilot of a 612 Squadron RAF Coastal Command Whitley which was lost on November 3rd 1941 on an anti-submarine patrol out of St Eval.

Flying with 612 Sqn, they took off at 20.55 hours from RAF St. Eval, near
the village of Downhill, north-east of Newquay, Cornwall,  in a Whitley Mk5
- number T4325 WL-S for an anti-submarine patrol.      They were
undertaking a creeping line ahead search in the Bay of Biscay, but failed
to return.    The crew of six are all commemorated on the Rnnymede
Memorial.    The crew were:- Flying Officer J. Harrop;  Sgt. J.H. Watson; 
Sgt. F.G. Rae;  Sgt. B Clark;  Flying Officer H.E.P. Williams and Sgt. R.
Broxap himself.

Source: Trafford War Dead - Ralph Broxap



#138 ReWind

ReWind
  • Member

  • 2,853 posts
  • Joined: October 03

Posted 03 January 2018 - 21:31

Flying Officer Bill Esplen (who was born on 15 March 1908 in Wallasey, Cheshire) was shot down and killed on 8 September 1941, aged 33, while returning as wireless operator / air gunner in a Wellington Mark I from a raid on Berlin. The entire crew of 6, which had taken off from Stradishall, is buried in the 1939–1945 war cemetery in Berlin-Charlottenburg.

(His personal memorial)



#139 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Administrator

  • 34,609 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 03 January 2018 - 22:45

Thanks, Reinhard. Odd that Motor Sport didn't mention his passing. Here's his CWGC record: https://www.cwgc.org...splen,-william/

 

His birth may have been registered in Wallasey, but the 1911 Census shows he was actually born in New Brighton, Cheshire - father a ship broker. Picture of him in RAF uniform:

 

Esplen_William.jpg

 

Found here: http://www.214squadr...rsonnel_e_m.htm



Advertisement

#140 RogerFrench

RogerFrench
  • Member

  • 619 posts
  • Joined: February 08

Posted 04 January 2018 - 16:47

I think New Brighton is part of Wallasey.

#141 Vitesse2

Vitesse2
  • Administrator

  • 34,609 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 04 January 2018 - 18:18

I think New Brighton is part of Wallasey.

Yes, it is. But they were originally separate settlements - and New Brighton is specified as his (and his infant sister's) birthplace on the census form. Presumably born at home, as the family resided at 9 North Drive, New Brighton. The registration district for the census - which I think would have conformed to BMD registration districts - is Birkenhead, with Wallasey as sub-district.

 

Useless trivia - his mother Lucie is recorded on the form as having been born 'at sea'.



#142 GMiranda

GMiranda
  • Member

  • 559 posts
  • Joined: April 13

Posted 13 January 2020 - 15:49

Incidentally, in the SOE documents reference was made at one point to a man called Guyot being a friend of Maurice Benoist. I could never prove the connection but if anyone knows the story of Albert Guyot one is left wondering what it was that caused Guyot to commit suicide with cyanide in a restaurant after a dinner with some of his old racing friends in 1947.

Anyone know any answers to that one? What was Guyot doing during the war?

Oh, and finally, should one not add Fernand Gabriel to the list of racing drivers killed at war. He and his wife were both killed on September 9 1943 when Allied bombers attacked the Paris suburb of La Garenne-Colombes (they were after nearby railway lines). Their house received a direct hit.

I never heard that about Guyot. If he did that and he was a friend of Maurice, I think he might have been a collaborationist and knew he'd be uncovered....