Wartime Banbury - Southam Road Burials

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Many of the men listed on the Banbury War Memorial are buried in the Southam Rd Cemetery in Banbury. However, there are several other WW2 burials here, and these are listed below.

The majority of these men (and women) were based at local air bases such as Chipping Warden, which is just a few miles north of Banbury. Many of them were young men from New Zealand, Canada, Australia and Poland. With the exception of Pte Kazimierz Budny, they are all buried together in the WW2 section of this beautiful and peaceful cemetery.


Flight Sergeant Hugh Phillip Griffith, Royal Australian Air Force, 416761, age 21.

Pilot Officer Thomas Wilkie Adam, Navigator, Royal Canadian Air Force, J/21975, age 22.

Sergeant Kenneth Edward Troake, Air Gunner, 1708058, age 19.

Flight Officer Gordon B Booth, Bomb Aimer, Royal Canadian Air Force (originally from Van Buren, Ohio, USA), J/21469, age 30.

The four men above were killed along with Sgt F J Welsby on 16th June 1943 when their Wellington III (Z1721-W) aircraft caught fire and crashed at Compton Wynyates. They had taken off from Chipping Warden and were part of 12 OTU.


Sergeant Ronald Cave, Air Gunner, 1029887, age 21.

Flight Sergeant William Norman Gould, Navigator, Royal Canadian Air Force, R/156749, age 19.

Flight Sergeant Kevin Leslie Hart, Royal Australian Air Force, 409698, age 22.

Flight Sergeant Leroy Sillito, Bomb Aimer Royal Canadian Air Force, R/159480, age 26.

The four above were killed along with Sgt W G Denyer and Sgt K Mackenzie on 22nd September 1943 when their Wellington III (BK200-A) crashed on overshoot at Chipping Warden. They were part of 12 OTU.


Sgt Zeger Willem Casper Dekkers, 1649902, Koninkrijk der Nederlanden (born 7th August 1916) age 27.

Sergeant Donald Alfred Ross Colegate, Navigator, 1389344, age 27.

The two men above died along with F/O W D Newel, Sgt K J Gehrmann and Sgt Young when their Wellington III (Z1717) crashed on 20th October 1943 after taking off from Chipping Warden on a training exercise. They were all part of 12 OTU.


Sgt William Leslie Pemberton, 1262146

Sgt Pemberton was killed along with F/S L M Sergeant, Sgt H L Williams, F/O R A J Vagg on 12th February 1944 when their Wellington III (BK248) crashed after taking off from Chipping Warden on a training exercise. They were all part of 12 OTU.


Sgt Ernest Walter Blakeman, 1837046, age 24

Flying Officer Donald Arthur Driver DFM, 160678, age 20

Both of the above men were killed on Wednesday 31st May 1944. Wellington BK157 of 12 OTU was on a fighter affiliation exercise when a wing failed, and it crashed at Swalcliffe. Also killed were F/Sgt E Cotterell, F/Sgt J H McGregor, Sgt J A Oliver, Sgt F J Pack and Sgt J H Nixon. F/O Driver had completed a tour with 104 Squadron in the Middle East.


Sgt Derek Ronald Puttick, 1807665, age 21.

Died during a training excercise on Friday 24th November 1944 in Wellington X NA783, part of 12OTU.


F/S Alan Douglas Springett, 747845, age 28.

F/S Springett died on Saturday 25th November 1944 along with the rest of the crew of Wellington X LN242's crew: Sgt R M High, Sgt E F Isterling, F/O G Smith, Sgt J Heap, Sgt J R Robinson and Sgt J C Carlyle. The Wellington from 12OTU suffered an engine failure on take off that evening and crashed into Manor Farm, Upper Boddington. Mrs Evelyn Margaret Tester (nee Brazenor) and her children Carol Tester and Michael Tester, aged 3 and 2, died in the house. Mrs Tester's body was never recovered. Her husband, LAC Charles William R Tester, was on duty at the Chipping Warden airfield at the time. Newspaper reports of the accident can be viewed at http://www.bbm69.co.uk/crash.html.


Leading Aircraftman John Francis Burns, Royal Canadian Air Force R/102612, age

Killed on Sunday 27th September 1942. A member of 12 Operational Training Unit.


Sgt Eugene Thomas John O'Donoghue, Air Bomber 913527, age 24.

Killed on Wednesday 2nd December 1942 during a training exercise in Wellington III BK250. A member of 12OTU. The Wellington swung out of control when taking off from Chipping Warden in a cross wind and hit the control tower and a civilian car, then burnt out against a hangar. Pilot Sgt B F McMurchy RCAF was unhurt. Sgt H Walters and Sgt E T O’Donoghue were seriously injured and died the next day. F/Sgt D J Phillips RCAF and Sgt G A Hutchinson were also injured. Two civilians were killed in the hangar. A total of 24 people were injured, including a WAAF in the control tower, who received burns.

The two civilians killed were:
William Wooton, aged 48, son of Joseph Butlin and Catherine Elizabeth Wootton, of Sulgrave; husband of Dorothy Clara Wootton, of 6 Council Houses, Sulgrave.
William Francis Fitzgibbon, aged 35, son of Thomas Fitzgibbon, of Fort West, Charleville, Co. Cork, Irish Republic.
Both died on 1st December 1942 in the hangar at Chipping Warden where they were working.

Sgt Ernest Samuel Kirkpatrick, Observer, Royal New Zealand Air Force, 413091, age 21

Died Thursday 10th December 1942 in Wellington IC, DV777, whilst on a training exercise with 11OTU.


Squadron Leader Vernon William Lamond Stanion DFC, 76018, age 35.

Died Thursday 24th December 1942. A member of 12OTU. Received his DFC in 1940: "On the night of the 17th April 1940, this officer was observer of an aircraft which reconnoitred northern Denmark, during which operation large concentrations of enemy aircraft were observed at Aalborg aerodrome. On the night of 20th April he was observer of an aircraft which carried out a two-run attack on Aalborg aerodrome under adverse weather conditions and in spite of intense opposition from the ground. A fire was started in one of the aerodrome buildings as a result of the second attack. He has displayed outstanding keenness and determination as Gunnery Leader and has set an excellent example to all other Air Gunners in his squadron."


Sgt Patrick McGowan, Air Gunner 1901671, age 21.

Killed whilst on an 12OTU training exercise on Wednesday 18th April 1945, in Wellington X LP286. F/Sgt W J Hillier, Sgt H Mairs, Sgt A G Grant, Sgt J B Egan and Sgt P McGowan were all killed, while Sgt P V Birch was injured. The Wellington crashed at Chipping Warden while trying to land on one engine.

Aircraftwoman 1st Class Jean Lawrence, Women's Auxilary Air Force 2041172, age

Killed Saturday 6th November 1943. A member of 12OTU.


Sgt Robert Balfour Lapsley, Pilot Royal New Zealand Air Force, 416122, age 20.

Died 12th December 1942. Son of Robert Balfour Lapsley and Bertha Norman Lapsley, of Mornington, Otago, New Zealand. Wellington III BK243 crashed on a training exercise from Turweston (12OTU).


Private Walter Rose, 5726073, 2nd Bat., The Dorsetshire Regiment.

Died 10th March 1942, aged 22. Son of William A. Rose and Phillis E. Rose, of Kidderminster, Worcestershire.


Pte Kazimierz Budny, 2nd Corps, Polish Resettlement Corps.

Died 27th September 1947, age 23.