Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Flight Log Books - March 1940

From March 4 through April 2, 1940 at Tern Hill.

February and early March 1940

February may be blank in Dad’s Log Books but I suspect he was rather busy. He would have heard that Mom and her father were on their way to England. He probably had to find a place for Mom to live. And he had to find a church for them to be married in.

Here is a letter from Mom’s dear brother Bill. They were very close all through their lives. When Mom died in November of 1994, her brother died a few months later – in April of 1995. This letter was written just as Mom was heading overseas.

Here is a little map that was in my files of Tern Hill which where Dad was based.

You will see that Dad only took 4 days off from training for their wedding at St. Margaret of Antioch Anglican Church, Moreton Say on March 6. It looks like they were married by an R.A.F. Chaplain. I can’t quite make out his name on the Marriage Certificate.

Here are a couple of photos of the wedding. The first one is the whole wedding party:

L – R - RAF Chaplain, Dad, Mom, “Aunt” Hilda Pickmere (whose house we shared in Chester) and Grandpa Rannie (J. Les Rannie).

The second one is of the happy couple.

I really like this happy photo of Mom and Dad taken probably after the wedding.

And here is where Mom started her life for the next 5 years in Chester –

Flight Log Books - January 1940

Here we are in January of 1940. Dad is training on the Avro Ansons at No. 10 F.T.S. Tern Hill.
I have included the pages below which have the Summary for January on them. Note that there are no entries for the month of February. I will speculate on that in the next posting.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Flight Log Books - December 1939

So here Dad is back in England in training on Ansons. And here is what The London Gazette on October 22, 1940 published about Dad's being made a Substantive Pilot Officer

The undermentioned Pilot Officers are granted the following antedates in seniority in the substantive rank of Pilot Officer:—
27th Sept. 1938.
James Roger WHELAN (40330).
3rd Sept. 1939.
Maurice Kirby HOLLAND (41413).
6th Nov. 1939.
John Doar TOWLSON (41964).
10th Dec. 1939.
Pyers Arthur WORRALL (42291).
16th Dec. 1939.
Philip Valentine King TRIPE (42279).

Thanks to our friend Allan Hillman for The London Gazette information which is being added to some of the other pages of this blog.

Back to Canada and Then....

Here is the passenger list when Dad left Liverpool on October 13, 1939 (Mom's 19th birthday) to go home to see his father, sisters and Mom.
Here is a menu from the Antonia when Dad went back to England after his recovery.
Here is a photo that Mom has labelled Uxbridge. I'm not sure when this is other than it must be early on.
And here is Mom around the same time.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Dad's medals belong to someone else. Apparently they were sold to a store in Ottawa quite some time ago. There are different versions of the story so I won't go into that here.

What we do have is Dad's miniature dress medals and here are photos of the front and of the back of the row.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Going to Join Up

Here is Dad on the "Antonia" on his way to England to join up.
He then applied to join the Royal Air Force and here is the first reply to his request -
And then the envelope arrived complete with a red wax seal!
And inside -
And now the "report to" instructions.
Here he is at the AST (Air Service Training) School at Ansty near Coventry, Warwickshire with his fellow pilot students. He's the one in the front row in the middle with the light trousers and the big grin.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Flight Log Books - June 1939

Here is the second month of Dad's training. He got sick with undulant fever - a serious bacterial infection (brucellosis - can be caused by drinking raw milk. The disease has been known as Malta fever, Bang's disease, Mediterranean fever, rock fever, and goat fever. In humans, undulant fever assumes acute and chronic forms. The acute form is characterized by weakness, chills, and high night fevers and often results in central nervous system disorders, and painful joints) near the end of the month. My grandmother went to England to help nurse him back to health. She gave him her return ticket to Canada so he could see Mom. He arrived back in England on November 13 in Liverpool on the Antonia from Montreal and started back in training in December 1939 which will come next.

Here is a photo of Dad in training at Walsgrave, Coventry.

And here is a photo of Dad and his Mother in England when he was sick. He doesn't look all that well in this picture.