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Barmby Moor War Dead - Individuals Page

This page lists out research carried out in relation to the men who served & died as crews of the Air Force during WW2 and who are buried at Barmby Moor.   

If you havent already you can read the introduction to this project via the below link

Note - This page also includes an index of names

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World War One

Serjeant Joseph Cooper

Joseph Coopr
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Joseph Cooper was born in 1888 to William Cooper a Farmer & Sarah Brown.  His parents had previously married in 1884 in Easingwold, Yorkshire.  On the 3rd Feb 1888 William & Sarah had Joseph baptised at the Church in Barmby Moor.

Sadly, not long after Josephs Birth William his father would passed away aged only 33 years.

By 1891 Sarah & Joseph now aged 3 are still living in Barmby Moor.  With Sarah described as living on her own means.

On the 25th March 1894 Sarah went on to marry Thomas Wilson. By 1901 they were all living as a family at the Joiners Shop in Barmby Moor where Thomas was working as a Joiner & Wheelwright running his own business.  Along with them are Joseph, a new Step daughter for Sarah and three new additions to the family!

The 1911 Census shows Thomas & Sarah still living in Barmby Moor with their three children.  However, Joseph has now moved away from home and at the age of 22 years is lodging in Islington, London and working with the Metropolitan Police as a Police Constable.

World War One broke out in July of 1914 and on the 29th December 1914 Joseph signed up on a Short Service Attestation (meaning he agreed to serve for the duration of the war) enrolling with the Military Provost Staff Corps.  He was given the Service Number of W/1716 and the rank of Private which seems to have risen to Corporal on the same day!

The Military Provost Staff Corps are the Army’s specialists in custody and detention they provide military policing to the Army taking care of investigations, security and surety within their custodial establishments.   Recruits would either have come from within the Army or from Police Forces as Joseph did.

He served at Home until the 6th March 1915 when he was transferred to serve in France & Flanders (Western Front).  During his time there he became Acting Serjeant on 1st June 1916.  His Service record details that on the 30th June 1917 he was admitted for medical treatment at Rouen in France where he is diagnosed with V.D.H. (valvular disease of the heart).  By the 1st July he is said to be Seriously Ill and was invalided home to Britain on the 28th July.

On the 31st March 1918 Joseph is recorded as passing away at Northampton War Hospital in Dunston from Aortic Disease.

The Burial records at Barmby moor state that he was buried there on the 3rd of April aged 31 years a Commonwealth War Grave marks the spot of his burial.

Josephs medal card details that he was awarded the Victory, British & 15 Star Medals, all of which were sent onto his mother as next of kin, as where all his belongings.

Sadly, Joseph’s war grave at Barmby Moor details that his Half Brother Thomas Arthur Wilson also lost his life during WW1.    Thomas Arthur Wilson died on the 25th September 1916 his Service Number was 34731 and he served with the 10th Battalion Kings own Yorkshire Light Infantry.  He has no war grave but is Commemorated on Thiepval Memorial which was raised to remember the missing who fought at the Somme.

World War Two

Corporal William McGee Stag

William Stag
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William was born on the 27th May 1912 at 273 Main Street, Bridgeton, Glasgow.   His parents are named as Richard Gardner Stag, a Plumber (Journeyman) & Elizabeth Miller Hamilton, his parents having married on the 21st December 1911 at Bridgeton.

On the 24th February 1932 at Fairbairn Church, Bridgeton, Glasgow William now an Apprentice Compositor married Jessie Rae Anderson, a Hosiery Worker.

They went on to have a son Richard Gardner Stag born 29th June 1932 at 362 Main street, Glasgow, If the records are correct then William at this point has changed his occupation to an Apprentice Carpenter.

Sometime between September 1939 & February 1940 William Enlisted at Padgate as a Class F Reservist and was given the Service No 1026227.   William went on to serve as a Corporal with 10 Squadron based at Melbourne, Yorkshire a Bomber Command Squadron which flew Handley Page Halifaxes.

From the Summer of 1942, 10 Squadron were using Pocklington Air Base for operations whilst concrete runways were being built at Melbourne and although most had left by October 1942 some support services would have remained there into 1943.   


On the 21st December 1942 William’s died at Pocklington Air Station aged 30 years.   After a post mortem it was declared that he died of a Subarachnoid Haemorrhage from the rupture of an Aneurysm of an Artery at the base of his Brain.   His home address at this time is given as 16 Mastwell Ave, Garrowhill, Glasgow.  

On the 7th November 1947 his Widow Jessie now living at 194 Barrachnie Road, Ballieston, Glasgow flew from Prestwick Airport in Scotland to New York.  It would be a step towards a new life for her and Richard in the United States.

On 31st December 1949 she married Theodore S. Kayas in Kearny, New Jersey and would be granted Citizenship in the USA in 1961.  She lived her days out in New Jersey dying in Union, New Jersey on 18th May 1988 aged 74 years.


Richard like his father joined the Air Force.   Serving in Korea & Vietnam as a Master Sergeant with the United States Air Force.  He went on to marry and have children. He passed away aged 82 in Amarillo, Texas on the 20th October 2014.

A Fitting tribute to William McGee Stag would be that Pocklington Town Council would name one of their new streets after him.   Close to the Doctors surgery on West Green ‘Stag Place’ would be unveiled in his memory.

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Richards Memorial Plaque at Santa Fe National Cemetery - Courtesy of Sidney at Find a Grave

Sergeant William Patrick James - Air Observer

William James
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William Patrick James was Born on the 6th October 1917 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada to Eric Wallwyn McDonald James a Civil Engineer & Ellen Muriel Bertram Ironside.  His parents had previously married in York, Ontario on 25th Jan 1908.

They also had sons Eric & Reasley and daughters Muriel & Alice.

William attended Riverview & Lord Roberts Primary, Kelvin Technical High School & United College (University of Manitoba) where he gained a BA having studied Economics for 5 years.  On leaving University in 1940 he attended Frontier College to complete a teacher training course for 3 months.

He is described as 6 ft tall with Brown Hair, Grey Eyes & a Ruddy Complexion.  In his spare time, he enjoyed Swimming & Curling.

His Air Force service record reveals that in 1940 William undertook training for the 2nd Battalion Royal Winnipeg Rifles but left on completion of training.  Perhaps he felt he was better suited elsewhere.

William joined the Royal Canadian Air Force on 25th February 1941 & was given the Service No R/95238.  He carried out his initial training before attending training relevant to his trade namely Pilot & Air Observer courses.  In February 1942 he is promoted to Sergeant (Air Observer) & transfers to 24 O.T.U. (Operational Training Unit) in June of that year.

On the evening of 12th August 1942 & whilst training with 24 O.T.U., Sgt James along with Sgts McIntosh (New Zealand Air Force), Wagner, Maughan & Perry took Whitley Z9470 out on a night navigation training flight taking off from Honeybourne.  During the exercise the port engine lost power, the crew sighted a flare path which unfortunately turned out to be a dummy (near Bugthorpe).  Only at the last moment did the crew notice this & applied full power to the starboard motor.  Sgt McIntosh tried to climb away but flew into rising ground known locally as Megdale which is near to Kirkby Underdale (14 miles from York).   The Injured were taken to York for treatment.  Sgt James suffering from multiple injuries did not survive the crash & his body was removed to the base at Pocklington he was 24 years old when he died.

James Court in Pocklington is named after the Airman & he is commemorated on the Bomber Command Memorial at Nanton, Canada

Sergeant Reginald Percy Payton - Air Gunner

Reginald Payton
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On the Evening of the 16th & 17th August 1941 at total of 72 Aircraft were involved in an operation to bomb Railway Targets in Cologne.   Smoke and haze along with a large fire was observed on completion of the operation.  Cologne reported only a few bombs with minor damage and no casualties, therefore it was thought that the fire may have been a decoy.

Reginald & his crew which included Sergeants Sutherland, Warneck, Newenham, Bole & Curtis were one of 6 Wellington Aircraft from 405 Squadron based at Pocklington detailed to take part in the Operation & took off at approx. 2350hrs in Aircraft ‘N’.  All 6 aircraft attacked the target between 0200hrs and 0247hrs from heights of 10-16,000 feet.  They reported that cloud in some cases prevented observation of the target but several fires were stated and seen to be spreading.  One stick (a stream of bombs) was released and although overshot was seen to hit Cologne Railway Station. 

The Aircrafts intercom had become unserviceable after take off but they had proceeded to the target and started fires ¼ mile NW of the aiming point.  Flak and searchlights were encountered by the crew on their return journey near to Hasselt before being attacked by Cannon and 303 bullets fired by a Messerschmitt which attacked them from behind.   The Pilot Sgt Sutherland took evasive action by diving to 1000 feet allowing them to escape the attack, but sadly Sergeant Payton who was the Rear Gunner was killed during the attack.

Crew members managed to extinguish a fire that had been caused by a burning parachute and oil from the rear turret and in spite of the rear wheel being punctured by flak and other extensive damage Sergeant Sutherland managed to successfully land back at Pocklington at 0550hrs.

Reginald Percy Payton was born on the 30th September 1917 in Plymouth, England to John Thomas Payton & Elsie Gill.  His parents had previously married in Portsmouth in 1915.

The couple had 4 other children including sons Leslie George Payton, Raymond John Payton & Daughters Hilda Maud Payton & Edna May Payton.

Reginald’s mother died on the 11th June 1927 and a few years after that on 2ndth October 1931 Reginald aged 14 is seen sailing from Liverpool on the Duchess of York bound for Quebec, Canada.  It appears from the passenger records that his father had already established himself in Canada and was living at 67 Ashdale Ave, Toronto and that his brother Leslie residing in Birkenhead remained in the UK.  Reginald’s address is given as the Dacre Boys Home, Rock Ferry, Cheshire which would lead us to think that taking care of 5 children would have been a struggle for John following his wife’s death.   The Country of future residence is noted as Canada so it looks like Reginald will be joining his father indefinitely.

He attended Danforth technical institute in Toronto before leaving and taking up employment with F.A. Fielder in 1932 as a paper box manufacturer.   He played with the Fielder box ball team & the Friendship young mans ball teams, also enjoying hockey, tennis and making model planes.

He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force On the 21st September 1939 when he is given the Service no  R/354A.  He is described as being 5ft 9 ½ inches tall and has brown hair, blue eyes and a dark complexion.

His 1st posting is with No 110 City of Toronto Squadron as an Apprentice in the Stores, 5 Months later he qualifies as an Equipment Assistant.   By May 1940 he is reported for active service on account of his strength.   He would have undergone Aircrew training and is noted as being promoted to Leading Aircraftman (Aircrew) rising to Acting Sergeant Air Gunner by August of 1940.

He is posted to 400 Squadron RCAF (the 1st Canadian Squadron unit to go overseas) before moving to 405 Squadron on the 1st August 1941

Reginald was 23 years old when he died, his father now living in Transcona, Manitoba would receive the letter all parents feared.  

Payton Close in Pocklington would be named after Reginald & he is commemorated on the Bomber Command Memorial at Nanton, Canada

Sergeant Michael Harold Griffith - Pilot

Michael Griffith
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Michael Harold Griffith was born in 1922 in Newton Abbot, Devon to Harold Kinder Griffith, a Surgeon & Helena Winefrid Morley Fletcher.   His parents had previously married on the 6th June 1914 at Trinity Church, Marlebone, London & both parties at this time were living on Harley Street an area well known for the many medical specialists who trade there.

Michael had older brothers Antony born c.1915, Peter born c.1916 & Geoffrey born c.1919 & younger siblings Mary born c.1914 & John born c.1929

Michaels father had served as a Captain with the Royal Army Medical Corps during World War 1 where he spent some time in France leaving his family behind in Torquay.  He even goes back into service during World War 2 again with the Medical Corps as a Major, most probably in a more Admin type roll due to his age.

The 1939 Register shows Helena living at Roydon, Torquay with her son Anthony, a film sound technician.

Michael joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves enlisting at Cardington sometime after April 1940, he given the Service No 1171174 and would have carried out his initial training along with the training required to become a Pilot.

He went on to serve with 25 Squadron based at Church Fenton.  25 Squadron were a Fighter Squadron who escorted Bomber Command aircraft on their bombing missions.

On the 7th November 1942 Sergeant Griffith along with his Observer Sergeant Wheatland took off from Church Fenton in a Beaufighter X7698, however the aircraft encountered problems when sparks from the faulty exhaust manifold caused Sgt Griffith to shut down the engine which meant that they were unable to maintain their height with one engine.   They had hoped to make an emergency landing at Pocklington but sadly crashed near to the canal at Bielby. 

Sgt Wheatland was admitted to hospital with burns & a fractured pelvis but unfortunately Michael was killed in the accident.  He was only 20 years old when he died and would leave everything to his father in his Will.  A commemorative plaque at the site of the crash was erected.

Michaels mother would pass away in 1961 & his father in 1966 both in Surrey

Flying Officer Thomas Archibald DFC - Pilot

Thomas Archibald
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On the evening of the 12th & 13th May 1943, 572 Aircraft were detailed to attack Duisberg.  It was the 4th raid on Duisberg during the battle of the Ruhr.   The Pathfinders had marked the target well and the main force bombing was well concentrated.   The centre of Duisberg including the port area just off the River Rhine suffered severe damage and 4 of the Thyssen steel factories were damaged.

Handley Page Halifax II JB865 (KN-J) of 77 Squadron had taken off from Elvington at 2345hrs to take part in the raid, but on the return journey the aircraft crashed at 0620hrs at Bishop Wilton (5 Miles from Stamford Bridge).   On board were Flying Officer T Archibald DFC, Royal Australian Air Force, Sergeants C Hewitson, J Gerry, G Scully, G Marlow, FK Smith & J Currie.   All men survived with injuries with the exception of F/O Archibald and Sgt G Scully.

Thomas Archibald was born on the 11th September 1910 at 19 Dixon Street, Bent, Hamilton, Scotland.   His parents were John Archibald, a Coal Miner & Janet Sands who had previously married on the 31st December 1907 in Hamilton.

During the 1911 Census the family are still living in Dixon Street and a young Thomas aged 6 months has an Older Sister Mary aged 2.

On the 22nd December 1928 the family included a younger sister Janet aged 15 & Margaret aged 5 departed from London sailing to Brisbane on the Orvieto to start a new life.

Thomas would go on to hold down jobs as a Frock Manufacturer, a Salesman in the Oil industry for 18 months & with David Jones Ltd for 6 months & District Superintendent with Bluett Vacuum Cleaner Sales for 18 months.

He enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force on the 20th July 1941 and was given the Service No 412606.  He was described as 5 ft 10 inches tall, Dark hair, Blue eyes and Medium Complexion.  Following his medical he was declared fit for flying duties.

He carried out his initial training at Bradfield Park, New South Wales before transferring to Temora for Flying Training.  He then transfers to Point Cook for Service Flying Training in December 1941 and on the 27th December 1941 marries Perla Doris Durward in Melbourne, Victoria.  He received his flying badge in February of 1942 and in April of this year is granted a commission as Pilot Officer.

Thomas left for the UK in June 1942 and in September commenced training with No 6 Advanced Flying Unit.   He is promoted to Flying Officer in October 1942 and the following month joins No 20 Operational Training Unit where he spends 4 months.  He then joins 1658 conversion Unit and a month after that in early April joins 77 Squadron based at Elvington.

He was 32 years old when he died and is commemorated on the Australian War Memorial.   His death would be reported in the Sydney Morning Herald on the 19th May just days before his DFC would be announced.

Thomas was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross on 25th May 1943 which would have been passed onto his wife.   The Citation in the Gazette details that: - One night in April 1943, this officer captained an aircraft which attacked Essen. Whilst over the target area, the aircraft was repeatedly hit by fire from the ground defences and one engine was put out of action. It was then discovered that one bomb had failed to release. Flying Officer Archibald made a second run over the target and released the bomb successfully. His aircraft sustained much damage but he flew it back to base with one engine unserviceable. This officer displayed great courage and devotion to duty

Sergeant Gerard Scully - Bomb Aimer

Gerard Scully was 21 years old when he died in the crash. He was the son of Thomas & Freda Veronica Scully of Edgbaston, Birmingham.    He joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves & was given the Service No 1219445, he is buried in Olton Franciscan Cemetery in Solihull

Flight Lieutenant Douglas Charles Moon, DFC – Air Bomber

Douglas Moon
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Douglas Charles Moon was born on the 9th May 1919 in Edmonton, London to Harold Victor Moon, a Bus Driver & Edith Mary Paine.  His parents had previously married at St Marys Church, Stoke Newington in 1914.

A younger brother Kenneth would be born in 1922.

In 1939 Douglas is living with his parents at 32 Durham Road, Tottenham.  His father is a Bus Driver working with London Public Transport & although Douglas has no occupation recorded a note has been entered that he is a Sergeant Observer with the RAF & is Serving with 75 Squadron.

In 1940 in Northwich Douglas would marry Agnes Beatrice Bunker, known to friends & family as ‘Bunny’, they would have a son Keith born in Hailsham 2 years later.

In August 1941 Douglas is noted as being promoted to Temporary Flight Sergeant.  He was again promoted to Flying Officer in August 1942.

On the evening of the 25th & 26th July 1943 a total of 705 Aircraft were detailed to attack Essen.  The Raid was Successful & particular damage was recorded in the Industrial areas to the east of the city.  The Krupp’s works is thought to have sustained the most amount of damage on this particular night. 51 other Industrial buildings were also destroyed. 

22 of these Aircraft were sent from 102 Squadron based at Pocklington where Douglas is now serving. The operational report on that evening gives the weather a fair with calm 2-5 m.p.h. winds. Over all the squadron performed well on this raid with a large explosion being seen over the target.

Douglas & his crew took off from Pocklington at 2225hrs in a Handley Page Halifax II – JD169 DY-J.  This was a relatively new Aircraft & had only been delivered to the Squadron in about April or May of that year.  


On board along with Douglas were: -

Pilot Officer JN Whitehouse, Flying Officer GS Smith, Sergeant FC Brown, Sergeant AW Evans, Flight Sergeant H Turner & Sergeant M Spencer


It is presumed that their aircraft was lost over the North Sea.  Douglas Moon’s body along with the body of Sgt Evans were washed up onto beaches near Great Yarmouth.   Since the bodies of the rest of the crew were never recovered, they have no grave but are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.


His Death is Registered in July 1943 in Buckrose, Yorkshire he was 24 years old when he died.  His address was given as 16 Portland Gate, Hove, Sussex, he left his estate of £181 17s 4d to his wife Agnes.

In August of 1943 Douglas an Acting Flight Lieutenant with 102 Squadron is detailed as being awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal, this would have been sent onto his Widow Agnes.

Moon Court on Kirkland Street, Pocklington is named in his honour.

Sergeant Albert William Evans 

Albert William Evans was 2o years old when he lost his life. He was the son of Herbert George & Winifred Emma Evans of Hanwood, Shropshire.   He joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves & was given the Service No 1580410, he is buried in St Thomas Churchyard, Great Hanwood.

Pilot Officer James Newell Whitehouse 

James Newell Whitehouse was 24 years old when he lost his life. He was the son of James Newell & Jean Mitchell Whitehouse & Husband of Margaret Ellen Whitehouse of Dorrington, Shropshire.   He joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves & was given the Service No 155020 & is remembered on Runnymede Memorial.

Flying Officer Geoffrey Salter Smith

Geoffrey Salter Smith was 21 years old when he lost his life. He was the son of Charles Arthur & Florence Gladys Smith of Worthing, Sussex.   He joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves & was given the Service No 129363 & is remembered on Runnymede Memorial.

Sergeant Frank Charles Brown

Frank Charles Brown was 2o years old when he lost his life. He was the son of Charles Layton & Rose Alice Brown.   He joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves & was given the Service No 1313225 & is remembered on Runnymede Memorial.

Flight Sergeant Harry Turner

Harry Turner was 23 years old when he lost his life. He was the son of Bertrand & Edith Turner & Husband of Irene Grace White of Whetstone, Middlesex.   He joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves & was given the Service No 950345 & is remembered on Runnymede Memorial.

Sergeant Milton Spencer

Milton Spencer joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves & was given the Service No 954342 & is remembered on Runnymede Memorial.

Pilot Officer Cyril Arthur Saunders – Navigator

Cyril Saunders
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At this stage not much is known about Cyril Arthur Saunders.   He was the son of Mr & Mrs Charles Saunders & Husband of Kathleen Mary Wall of Edgbaston, Birmingham.  He joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves & was given the Service No 130443.  Documents relating to him are awaited at this stage which hopefully will reveal more.

On the 29th December 1942 Cyril along with crew mate’s F/S Orr, Sgt, Boyle, P/O MacLennan, F/S Godfrey, Sgt Casey & Sgt Green all part of 77 Squadron took out Handley Page Halifax II DT631 KN-E for a cross country navigational & bombing training flight.   Unfortunately, whilst trying to land at Elvington the aircraft crashed & burst into flames.  This aircraft was relatively new & had only been delivered to the Squadron a month prior to the accident.  

All of the men were killed in the accident, Cyril was the only one buried at Barmby Moor on the 4th January 1943

Flight Sergeant John Orr - Pilot

John Orr was 24 years old when he died in the crash. He was the son of James Dunsmore & Janet Orr of Paisley in Scotland.    He joined the Royal Air Force & was given the Service No 655146, he is buried in Hawkhead Cemetery in Paisley.

Sergeant Alexander David Boyle – Flight Engineer

Alexander David Boyle was 24 years old when he died in the crash. He was the son of Joseph & Elizabeth McFarlane Allan Boyle of Bonnybridge, Near Falkirk in Scotland.    He joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves & was given the Service No 996348, he is buried in Camelon Cemetery, Falkirk.

Pilot Officer John McLennan  - Air Bomber

John McLennan joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves & was given the Service No 127119, he is buried in Cathays Cemetery in Cardiff

Flight Sergeant Douglas Charles Godfrey – Wireless Operator/Air Gunner

Douglas Charles Godfrey was 22 years old when he died in the crash. He was the son of Charles Henry & Violet Godfrey of Stockland Green, Birmingham.    He joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves & was given the Service No 1168510, he is buried in Witton Cemetery in Birmingham.

Sergeant James Casey – Wireless Operator/Air Gunner

James Casey was 22 years old when he died in the crash. He was the son of James & Christina Casey & Husband of Elizabeth Casey of Mexborough near Doncaster.    He joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves & was given the Service No 1348582, he is buried in Mexborough Cemetery.

Sergeant Albert Victor Green – Air Gunner

Albert Victor Green was 32 years old when he died in the crash. He was the son of Victor & Ethel Green & Husband of Dorothy Green of Rosehill, Wallsend, Tyneside.    He joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves & was given the Service No 1485704, he is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery in Wallsend.

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