Saturday, 15 August 2015

George Fletcher 1923-1945 age 21

Photo left from the Barnsley Chronicle 3rd February 1945. Thanks to Barnsley Archives
Photo right from the french website Thanks to MAC.
Born: 1923 in Barnsley Q4 

Son of: Harold Fletcher (born 1905) and Norah Fletcher nee Thompson (1900-1995, died age 95). At the age of 10 years, Norah lived at 1 Cranbrook Street, off Racecommon Road in Barnsley. Harold and Norah married in 1919 and had 5 children: Jessie L. in 1920, George in 1923, Harold in 1925, Margaret M. in 1930 and Shirley I. in 1935.

Military Service: George was a Sergeant (Air Gunner) in the 106th Squadron of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, Service number 1595386

Death: 14th January 1945 at the age of 21 years.

Buried: St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen France, Block S, Plot 1, Row N, Grave 5.
George was originally buried in Amiens Asylum Cemetery, but on 27th June 1946 his body was exhumed and reburied at Rouen. 
His grave bears the inscription
"Just a corner 
In this foreign land
That will be 
For ever England"

Commonwealth War Graves Commission link: here  
Remembered: St Edward's Church WW2 Memorial plaque, Barnsley 

Note 1: The Barnsley Chronicle of 3rd February 1945 reports:
Buried in France
Barnsley Sergeant Air-Gunner
News has been received by Mr and Mrs Harold Fletcher, 9 Cranbrook Street, Barnsley, that their eldest son Sgt. Air-Gunner George Fletcher, R.A.F. was killed on an operational flight during January at Vignacourt between Amiens and Abbeville, France, and has been buried at a British General Hospital Cemetery. Sergt. Fletcher, who was 21, served with an Australian Squadron. He volunteered for R.A.F. air duty at the end of 1943, enlisting for 12 years. After attending Longcar Central School he worked underground at Old Silkstone Collieries. For three years he was a choir boy at St Edward's Church. Before joining up he served with the Home Guard for three years. His father, a member of the Home Guard, also served with the Home Defence Volunteers in the last war, and his grandfather, Mr George Thompson, who is President of the Barnsley National Reserve Club, fought in France in the last war and is a South African war veteran. 

Note 2: The link to the french website containing photographs of the Lancaster crew and details of the Operation can be found here.  Thanks to MAC.  

Research by James Corbett and Gill Brookes of St Edward's Church, Barnsley

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