Wednesday, 21 September 2016

St. Johns church and village cemetery, Kirkby Wharfe. Part 2.

In my previous post I detailed the First and Second World War losses interred in the cemetery at Kirkby Wharfe. In this entry, I will list those from post-WW2.

The era following World War Two is mostly known for the brinkmanship standoff between NATO and the Warsaw Pact - the Cold war. But, despite the name, often this period was anything but cold! Often known as 'Britains Small Wars', the UK and commonwealth were often engaged in 'proxy' campaigns, counter insurgencies, and 'police' actions, throughout the world. This was also the time of the Imperial Sunset, the final end of the British Empire, and not all of the independence was given freely. Campaigns such as Suez, Oman, Malaya, and our own 'home grown' emergency Northern Ireland.

It was also a time of the rise of fast jet aircraft, a move away from large, highly crewed bombers to small, fast, one or two man attack aircraft.

But, this was also a time of limited deployment, and some of these deaths are likely to have been due to training accidents or other non combat roles.

The following entries have dates from the 1950's to as late as 1991 - an RAF loss during Operation Desert Storm.

4004410 A/C 1st Class Marshall, R.,
Royal Air Force
10th January 1952. Age 23

Pilot Officer Mann, D.J.
Royal Air Force
18th March 1953. Age 20

Flight Lieutenant Davies, M.P.,
Royal Air Force
22nd July 1953. Age 33

Flying Officer Yelding, G.M.J.,
Royal Air Force
18th August 1953. Age 20

Flying Officer Kenrick, P.C.,
Royal Air Force
27th August 1955. Age 28

Pilot Officer Wrench, J.B.,
Royal Air Force
17th May 1963. Age 22

Flying Officer Burkey, D.T.,
Royal Air Force
27th July 1964. Age 22

Pilot Officer Dennis, A.D.,
Royal Air Force
17th September 1964. Age 22

Flight Lieutenant Blows, C.L.,
Royal Air Force
28th March 1965. Age 42

K2218359 Cpl Storey, J.W.K.,
Royal Air Force
30th December 1965. Age 41

W1797052 Sgt Redmond, J.A.,
Royal Air Force
21st December 1971. Age 47

X0619467 Flt Sgt Dunbar, A.,
Royal Air Force
7th April 1974. Age 53

Flight Lieutenant Bayliff, T.D.,
Royal Air Force
3rd July 1979. Age 25

H8106602 Snr A/C Wright, S.,
Royal Air Force
15th January 1986. Age 29

B1922291 Sgt Freak, W.A.,
Royal Air Force
13th September 1986. Age 53

Flight Lieutenant Blewitt, P.J.,
Royal Air Force
5th October 1986. Age 47

Sqn Ldr Lennox, G.K.S., BSc,
Royal Air Force
22nd January 1991. Age 34

This last entry brings us much closer to the present, the liberation of Kuwait from Iraqi occupational forces, during Op. Desert Storm, the 1st Gulf War. The MoD's own entry on the loss is below

On 22 January 1991 Sqn Ldrs G K S Lennox and K P Weeks led the first of two formations delivering 1,000lb bombs in a night attack on an Air Defence site in western Iraq. The weather was good with excellent visibility, and they carried out a successful attack despite heavy AAA fire. Approximately five seconds later the leader of the following formation saw a fireball erupt in the distance. Closer investigation revealed a series of fires on a hillside to the right of track where the fireball had been. As Sqn Ldrs Lennox and Weeks failed to check in after the attack, the leader realised that this fire trail was probably caused by their aircraft crashing. Both aircrew were killed in the crash.

Ref :

There are also a number of retirees, and a few other headstones bearing military inscription and insignia -

515842 Sgt Mason, J.,
Royal Air Force (Ret'd)
7th April 1976. Age 62

Sqn Ldr Ratcliffe-Springall, T.J.,
Royal Air Force
17th April 1968. Age 61

Brigadier Knox, G.S.,
Royal Signals (Ret'd)
1908 - 1989

Captain Ratcliffe-Springall, B.M.,
16/12/41 - 21/4/91

Lodge, Anthony
Ex. Royal Corps of Transport,
11/10/56 - 1/5/2015

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