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World War 1 & 2 - Detailed Information
Compiled and Copyright © Lynda Smith 2003
Thanks to Geoff Williams, ex RAF Halton for information about Ken Chalmers including photo,
and “Brats” (What’s a “Brat”? See below).
Thanks to Peter Harris, Battle of Britain Historical Society for information about Victor Gee.

Hanworth is a hamlet near to Aldborough and Aylsham in North Norfolk. There is a First World War Memorial in the church. With regard to the Second World War, Sergeant Chalmers is commemorated by a short write-up in the church and Pilot Officer Barclay has a plaque inside the church. There are further Rolls of Honour in the Hanworth Memorial Hall.

Photographs Copyright © Lynda Smith 2004

1914 - 1918


Bertie John

Lance Corporal 13547. 8th Battalion,, Norfolk Regiment. Killed in action Saturday 1st July 1916. Age 21. Born Matlask. Enlisted Norwich. Son of William R. and Anna Newstead, of 4, Hanworth Common, Norwich. Commemorated: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL, Somme, France. Pier and Face 1 C and 1 D. See also Hanworth Memorial Hall


Richard Arthur

Rifleman 315185. 2nd/5th Battalion, London Regiment (London Rifle Brigade). Formerly 6489 11th London Regiment. Killed in action Thursday 16th August 1917. Aged 32. Born Redhill. Lived Westminster. Enlisted Marylebone. Son of Richard and Bessie Howard, of The Common, Hanworth, Norfolk. Commemorated: Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 52 and 54. See also Hanworth Memorial Hall

1939 - 1945


James Arthur
Pilot Officer 111329. 18 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died Monday 8 December 1941. Commemorated: RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL, Surrey, United Kingdom. Panel 31.

Buried in the graveyard but not on the Memorial


Kenneth Stuart
Sergeant 576578. Flight Engineer 207 Squadron, Royal Air Force. Died Saturday 17 October 1942. Aged 19. Son of Andrew James Chalmers, and of Rose Ursula Chalmers, of Hanworth. Buried: Hanworth (St. Bartholomew) Churchyard, Norfolk, United Kingdom. See also Hanworth Memorial Hall

Kenneth Stuart Chalmers joined the 40th Entry No. 1 School of Technical Training, at RAF Halton in 1939. In 1941 as a qualified engineer, and he worked on engine installation at RAF Matlaske and RAF Ludham, both in Norfolk, before volunteering for operational duties. Promoted to Sergeant, he was the Flight Engineer of Lancaster L7583, EM-A. This aircraft took off from RAF Langar in Nottinghamshire at 1154 hrs on 17th October 1942. It was part of the force taking part in the famous low-level daylight raid, Operation Robinson, on the Schneider factory at Le Creusot situated more than 300 miles inside France. Schneider was the French equivalent to Krupps.

The pilot, Sergeant R.S. Wilson, had to turn back when on the outward journey an engine failed. Soon afterwards, 20 miles west of Brest, three Arado Ar196 Seaplanes attacked the aircraft and Sergeant Chalmers was killed. However, EM-A’s gunners managed to shoot down two of the three attackers.


Victor David
Sergeant (Pilot) 742767. 219 Squadron Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died on 21st March 1941. Son of Richard and Christina Marshall Gee, of Hanworth; husband of Ida Joan Gee, of Lenton Nottingham. Buried: Hanworth (St. Bartholomew) Churchyard. See also Hanworth Memorial Hall

Sergeant / Pilot David Victor Gee joined the RAFVR in December 1938 as an Airman u/t Pilot. He was called up on the 1st September 1939, completed his flying training, and arrived at 5OTU Aston Down on June 22nd 1940. After converting to Blenheims he joined 219 Squadron at Catterick, and served with them throughout the Battle of Britain. On February 13th 1941 Gee was on a night exercise when his aircraft began to vibrate violently, and he and his radar operator baled out safely, and his Beaufighter R2120 crashed at Partridge Green. Sussex.

He was killed on March 21st 1941 when Beaufighter R2070 dived into the ground at Manor Farm Eastergate. Sussex. He is buried in St Bartholomew's churchyard in his home village.

21ST MARCH 1941

A Hanworth man who does not appear to be commemorated locally.

Not on the Memorial


Bernard James
Gunner 1793304. 43 Bty., 61 Lt. A.A. Regiment., Royal Artillery. Died Tuesday 10 August 1943. Age 22. Son of George Richard and Mabel Annie Green of Hanworth, Norfolk. Buried: Benghazi War Cemetery, Libya. Ref. 3. D. 5.

Photograph belongs to Evelyn Savory (nee Hunn) who was a friend of Bernard Green. See also Hanworth Memorial Hall


The term Brat springs from the fact that in 1920, Marshal of the RAF Lord Trenchard, who is looked upon as the founding father of the RAF, conceived the idea of setting up training schools to provide a cadre of well trained and rounded individuals to be the backbone of aircraft servicing and maintenance in the RAF. These young men, many of whom were aged fifteen and a half when they joined, were still in some cases under normal recruiting age when they finished their training and entered RAF service proper. Their knowledge put the noses of some of the old hands out of joint and they became known as Trenchard`s Brats. The name has stuck and they now happily call them-selves such.

Aero Engine trained apprentices could become Flight Engineers for bombers with very little additional training, and many of them volunteered for operational service.

Aero Engine Apprentices were trained at RAF Halton, in Buckinghamshire, except in the early days when Halton was being built, and their training took place at RAF Flowerdown and RAF Cranwell. Sir Frank Whittle (jet engine fame) was in the 8th Entry. The last Entry at RAF Halton was the 155th and these apprentices graduated in 1993.

There are many memorial windows to The Brats in the Church at RAF Halton, including one dedicated to young Polish lads who trained at RAF Halton and RAF Cranwell (Wireless Apprentices) from 1943 – 1948.

Last updated 30 October, 2019

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