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Can You Help?
This section of the website is for individuals who are searching for information about relatives or friends who served with Balloon Barrage to have enquiries posted here by the webmaster in an effort to see if others can help them.
There is no charge for this service, but any donations are welcome as this website costs a great deal to host and maintain!
Please post cheques made out to:
"BBRC" attention of Peter Garwood,
BBRC, Rock Cottage, Trellech Road, Trellech, Monmouthshire NP25 3EY.
If you can help contact them directly or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
His details are:
1105416 Sgt Daniel Currie Hamilton
The family of the above are keen to know if anyone can help them with research into the history of his RAF career.
He was born 26.11.1919 [although service record says 26.5.19!]
Was embodied on 10.7.40 as Aircraft ChargeHand / Motor Boat Crew from Unit 3 – RC Padgate
Under Miscellaneous it states F,2171.No.5ACSB 14/6/40 Not accepted for Air Crew Duties – Dad always said he was too heavy to be a rear gunner in a plane and ended up on boats.
The ranks he attained are as follows 31.12.40 = AC2, 1.1.42 = LAC, 15.12.42 = T. Cpl, 1.4.44 = T. Sgt.
His movements as far as I can make out are:
On entry - RC Padgate
2.8.40 – Stn Thorney Island
26.6.41 – M. East
3.3.42 – 975 Squadron
then various Port Said and 975 squadron entries until
1.8.43 – 980 Squadron
12.9.43 – MCU absc
Next entry not until 1945 with more letters unknown to me!
Dad spoke of delivering a boat from the south of England to the west coast of Scotland – I presume Greenock
as this is one of Dad’s photos. Then he spoke of Port Said, Alexandria and a shorter time later on in Larnaka,
Cyprus. (I have a letter redirected on 10.8.44 from Alexandria to Larnaka)
Carol Scott would like to know if anyone can help her with her fathers RAF history:
Born 5th October 1910. . He enlisted before the war but we are not sure of the date. We do have a little statuette of a boxer with a plaque which reads:
Acting Squadron Officer Diana Mary BARTON O.B.E.(1912-2001)
Acting Squadron Officer Diana Mary BARTON O.B.E.1348 Women's Auxiliary Air Force (1912-2001) was unique in the history of Balloon Command. She was born on the 24th January 1912 in Reading. In 1938 she volunteered for the Women's Legion. This obviously gave her a flavour for serving her country and within 12 months she had volunteered for The Women's Auxiliary Airforce (WAFF) and became 880136 Corporal Miss Diana Mary BARTON.
The London Gazette shows her being gazetted on the 3rd December 1940 as having an appointment as Assistant Section Officers (ASC), and she was now commissioned as 1348 ASC Miss Diana Mary BARTON. She was then made up and gazetted on the 27th March 1942 as a Section Officer (Temp), she became an instructor for Barrage Balloon Units. She was the first woman to command a Barrage Balloon Unit in the United Kingdom and this was based in Grosvenor Square, London.
She was later posted to Bomber Command and subsequently became a Staff Officer with Transport Command. She was awarded the 1939 War and Defence Medals together with the Air Efficiency Award ( See Link Air Efficiency Award) and the Military Order of the British Empire for her pioneering work in RAF Balloon Command.
She became an Acting Squadron Officer in 1943.
In the Gazette of 29th December 1944 (Issue 36866) she was gazetted by the King as an Additional Officer of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. If anyone has anymore to add to her history then please contact: email@example.com as I am sure there is much that was not known about her career in and after WWII. We would love to have more information about her.
To see what we know about her follow this link: Acting Squadron Officer Diana Mary BARTON OBE
No. 1 Balloon Centre, Kidbrooke
A Request from a researcher at Lancaster University about 960 Squadron
My name is Emma
Vickers and I'm in the first year of a PhD at the University of Lancaster. I'm
trying to trace a member of 960 Balloon Squadron, based at St Mary's Holm on
Orkney. I've received a letter from
a veteran of the squadron who referred to a male comrade he worked with there called 'Cynthia'. If possible, I need to trace this person, or contact anybody who served with him.
Thank you for your time,
Emma Vickers, University of Lancaster
Contact Emma at firstname.lastname@example.org
343487 Cpl Alfred Sydney Poulter
Rex Haggett writes:
Barrage Balloon Defences of Yeovil
Duncan Black wants help with the
I am researching the subject of the barrage balloon defences of Yeovil with a view to recording the locations of the individual bases so that they can be entered in the Somerset Historic Environment Record as at the moment
they are not recorded in any way. I have aerial photographs showing them from altitude but cant be sure of their dimensions etc. Was there any accommodation/shelter at the bases and how did they communicate with each other or the control. I wonder if you can help me in any way. Such help would be greatly appreciated.
Contact Duncan at:
840546 Harry Oliver
Smith who served with 901 squadron in 1940 and 1944, 961 in 1942, 902/3 in 1943.
He also spent
time with 1 BC and 2 MBU.
Rich ard Smith writes: A bit of
a long shot, but I wonder if you can help, I'm looking for information about my
father 840546 Harry Oliver Smith who served with 901 squadron in 1940 and 1944,
961 in 1942, 902/3 in 1943. He also spent
time with 1 BC and 2 MBU.He was promoted to corporal in 1941 and sergeant in 1946.
I have a copy of his service record, but it is very sketchy so any help or pointers will be very gratefully received.
County Of Warwick BB Squadrons, ( Nos 911 to 917 Sqns), and No 5 Balloon Centre at Sutton Coldfield and No 6 Balloon Centre at Wythall.
William Henry Armstrong (11th April 1942) was “6th Flight 914 Squadron
. I am trying to trace my family history. My mother is adopted, but her birth mother married an Airman 3 years after my mother’s birth. The Airman gave his name as William Henry Armstrong and his address on the marriage certificate (11th April 1942) was “6th Flight 914 Squadron”. It has taken me a few weeks to learn that this squadron was in fact a barrage balloon squadron protecting Northfield in Birmingham– which fits perfectly. I have a few questions. Can you tell me anything about “6th Flight” – I can’t find out anything about this particular flight number. Are there any sources of information about the personnel in this squadron? Did the RAF have any connection with Newcastle under Lyme, Chesterfield, or Luton just after the Second World War?
Any hits or tips in locating information about 914 Squadron will be most appreciated.
Shaun Williams is seeking information on his Grandfather, who was on 914 Sqn,
Contact : email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
COOPER Leonard Winston T/CPL no:- 843081
My Father, Leonard Winston COOPER was in 905 BB Squadron from 18/10/1938. The attached picture was taken in that year. In 1942 he was at B.O.E Cardington. From there the records show him at 906 Sqdn, 904/5 Sqdn, 995 Sqdn, 907/8 Sqdn, No. 1B Centre, & 949 Sqdn. ending up in 1944 at RAF Mawgan.
My Father died in 1994 and I am trying to do the family history - if anyone knew of him during his RAF days I would be interested to hear about those times.
Lynda Vickery (Mrs.)
If anyone can help please contact email@example.com
I have had a request from a Mr Sargeant about a balloon site in Leyonstone/Forest gate in WWII:
Museum of Fulham Palace. Barrage Balloons at Fulham Palace.
AC1 Edwin James Jarvis (1120160) RAFVR of 936 Balloon Sqdn
Fl.Lt Graham Bankswrites:
My wife June is the daughter of Alan Jarvis (of Cwmfrwd, Carmarthenshire), whose father was AC1 Edwin James Jarvis (1120160) RAFVR of 936 Balloon Sqdn. He died on 26 Jul 1941 and he is laid to rest in Pen-y-Graig Congregational Chapel yard near Carmarthen in Wales. He is afforded a military headstone, maintained by the family and the CWG Commission. Edwin details appear on your website.
It is Alan's wish to try and find a little about his father and his time in service and how he died. It may be that he died either at or near his Unit in Newcastle Upon Tyne (where I believe the Sqdn was located from 1939) but am aware they also had a Unit located at Waterborne.
My internet research has not proved that successful but it did lead me to your excellent website. I have of course (you will note my office and where I serve) approached the RAF PMA offices and hope their records might reveal something (nothing at present).
I am now turning to you and your contacts for any information you can offer. Alan and his family would appreciate all or what little assistance that can be offered.
With grateful thanks,
G N BANKS
SO3 Med Ops Pol (RAF)
HQ PTC Innsworth
Tel: (01452) 712612 Ext 7899
Military Network: 95471-7899
AFPAANet: PTC-DGMS-SO3 Med Ops Pol
CHOtS: DGMS-SO3 Med Ops Pol(RAF)
L.A.C. Stanley Albert Ross No. 840928
T/CPL William James DAVIES [ Bill ] 864077
Trevor Davies of New Zealand is keen to track down any history on his father above.
LACW Beryl Irene Eckton 2035650
Barbara Limb one of our Australian members is interested in finding if any one knew her mother,
LACW Beryl Irene Eckton 2035650
Enlisted in the RAF 25/07/1942. Beryl then went to Bridgenorth on the 30/07/1942.
Posted to Morecambe 06/08/1942
Posted to Balloon Training Centre Titchfield 27/08/1942
Promoted to ACW1 09/11/1942
Posted in November 1942 to Swansea
Promoted to LACW on 01/10/1943
February 1944 posted to Balloon Site at Abbey Wood, East London
August 1944 Posted to Balloon Site at Portsmouth
Posted to RAF Langton Maltravers 13/10/1944
Posted to RAF Cranwell December 1944
Posted to RAF Benscombe Down 19/02/1945
Beryl sadly died in 2000, Barbara Limb has given us some superb photographs to put on the website of her mother
and RAF colleagues. Anyone who thinks they might have known Beryl is asked to look at these photographs.
To see these pictures click here: Beryl Irene Eckton
The Enquiries are as follows:
Albert Cecil ( Jim ) Searle
Albert Cecil ( Jim ) Searle served in the RAF from 1938 to 1945 demobbed 21-9-1945.
902 Sqdn 17 11 38
No 10 Balloon Centre 2 7 41
931 Sqdn 6 7 41
Ringway A 22 10 41
931 Sqdn 12 10 41
MSBRO 27 5 42
He served in these squadrons (in order) 931 / 925 / 950 / 902 / 906 / 902 / 906 / 925 / 906 / 925 Promoted to AC2 in 1938,. AC1 in 1939 and LAC in 1940 - Discharged in 1945 as a Corporal with Class "A" release.
Albert died in 1965.His daughter Mrs J Harris (nee Searle) would love to hear from anyone who knew him.
If there is anyone out there who knew of this man please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or
Peter Garwood at email@example.com
mother (Kathleen Booth as she was known then) was one was the first women to
train as a Barrage Balloon Operator and was given Sergeant status within the
first two weeks I believe.
She trained at Cardington. Thereafter she was stationed in Alvaston Derby, Waterloo,
Gosport (by a castle), Kidbrooke, Stanmore, East Ham (with a 'randy' goat!!). She could have been at other places, but those are the sites I am aware of. She later transferred to signals, working in Cambridgeshire and the Orkney Islands.
To see pictures of Kathleen BOOTH please click here
Laura Ellis would love to make contact with any former members of Balloon Command who may have served with her mother. You can contact her at: OurLOL@aol.com
Kathy BRANDON (Nee JONES)
6 Pike House Close, Cricklade , SWINDON, Wilitshire SN6 6EX
Stationed at a billet in Maynell Crescent, Hackney, East London. 1942-1943. She is seeking Christine Stonelake WAAF officer from Devon who served with her.
AC Purser (Percy) BUSH 840141
The information supplied below has been sent in by Arthur Bush about his father:
LAC Purser (known as
Percy) Bush, service no. 840141.
who served in Sqdns. 901, 948, 982 and 966, having signed up on 11/10/38.
For a time, he was stationed at
Shrewsbury Park, Shooters Hill, SE London
(ideal as he was a local lad from Plumstead). He also served in Wales and
abroad in Belgium, where he was wounded.
see pictures of Percy click on this link
If you can help contact Mr Bush at
Mr R CARLTON
9 WestHolme Gardens, Western Blud, Nottingham NG8 3NY 0115 9295339 is seeking information on 918 Sqdn, the County of Derby Sqdn (Barrage Balloons) 03/03/39 to 20/10/42. His grandfather served with 918 Sqdn.
Flight Sergeant 654206.Edward (Ted) CAVILL
Date of Birth – 05/12/21
Home Address – 61 Albany Street Hull
Date of Enlistment – 29/8/39
RAF Career Details:
29/8/39 – 03/11/39 – 2 Depot Cardington
4//11/39 – 30/8/40 – 947 Squadron
31/8/40 - 26/1/41 – 967 Squadron
27/1/41 – 4/8/41 – 929 Squadron
5/8/41 – 26/12/41 – 960 Squadron
27/12/41 – 28/04/42 – 950 Squadron
29/4/42 – 26/8/42 – 939 Squadron
21/9/42 – 3/10/42 - 16BC
4/10/42 – 3/11/42 - 939 Squadron
4/11/42 – 26/3/43 - RAF Station Abbey Lodge
27/3/43 – 28/4/43 – 1658 CU
29/4/43 – 28/5/43 – 35 Squadron
Balloon Rigger & Fabric worker
Ted was sadly killed in action on 28th May 1943. At this time he was serving with 35 Squadron in the role of rear gunner with a Halifax pathfinder squadron bases at RAF Graveley and was killed on a raid to Essen.
He is resting at Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.
You can contact Neil at : firstname.lastname@example.org
August 26, 2004My Dad Joe ( Ginger ) Cheneler was transferred to 965 Sqdn in 1944 from Gravesend Fighter Drome ,where he was a crash tender/ambulance driver.He was attached to HQ staff, and 965 was posted to Terneuzen Holland in August 1944 to protect the Scheldt estuary.The C.O.was WgCdr.( Popeye )( He only had one eye )Berriman.His Sgt.was Hodson or Hodgeson.A couple of his friends were Bob Vaughn. Johnny Bergoin.The reason for this enquiry is my dad celebrated his 21st birthday on V.E.day,in Terneuzen and would like to return their next year, for the first time since 1945 , and wondered if any reunions were taking place or if he could contact any old oppos. Please can you help with any information that may assist.Many thanks. Chris Cheneler can be contacted on : email@example.com
Saturday, January 24, 2004
Contact Adrian by email if you can help him: firstname.lastname@example.org
We have this listing for Leslie Hall in the Roll of Honour
Hall LS LAC 1121572 died 14/05/1943 993 Sqdn RAF VR
Follow this link to see the CWGC information on L Hall : HALL
If anyone can help please contact David at: email@example.com
Served at Aston Park as a corporal, she served with a Sgt Gwen Peagan (Nee Fudge), later they were posted to Shooters Hill, London. They would love to meet up or hear from: Kathy SHAW, Trixie, Ada, Jesse DUDDY, Bobbie, Daphne FOX, Geordie, Kay Hawkins, Kathy SOUTHERN, Joan BECKET.
To see these interesting documents click here
Mark can be contacted on by post at:
or email any information to firstname.lastname@example.org
0105550 Cpl George Grout
Tim Grout says I hope you can point me in the right direction. I am trying to find out more about the use of balloons in WW1 as my grandfather served in No. 2 Balloon Squadron and No. 7 Balloon Wing but I do not where he served or whether the balloons were barrage balloons or being used for observation. The date was around 1917. The theatre of war was S.E.A.
Thanks a lot for any assistance. Please email me at email@example.com.
If anyone can help please contact him directly.
Edna Joyce MANN or her twin sister Eva MANN and their sister Phylis MANN
Information is being sought by Ednas' daughter Kathleen George for her adopted brother about Edna and these balloon operators who were aunts to the children.
Click here to see an article about Edna MANN
Olive MAXWELL would like to make contact with ex service pals as detailed below:
GLADYS GRAVETT ...... served as a W.A.A.F. M.T. driver. She was
stationed at Squadron HQs. for Balloon Command on Woodberry Down,
Manor House.... Her sister, Doris, was married to a G.I named Glen Van
Meter. After the war, Gladys emigrated to join her sister in
Baltimore, Maryland USA. I lost touch with Gladys in 1950.
JOE HULME....served as a Clerk in the Orderly Room at Sqdn.H.Q. (set
forth above). I met up with Joe one year when I visited England and I
believe at that time he was working for a London evening newspaper
(possibly the Evening News). We had a delightful lunch, but I lost
contact with Joe after that one visit.
DOUGLAS TOYNTON....served as a Clerk in the Orderly Room (as set out
above). I believe his hometown might have been Islington. Lost touch
after I was posted to Stanmore (Fighter Command), where I stayed in
service until demobilization.
(Mrs) Olive Hagen Maxwell can be contacted by email on: firstname.lastname@example.org
John STOKES of Sandwell Park Farm, Salters Lane, West Bromwich B71 4BG.Tel: 0121 553 0220
Were you in West Bromwich area when the balloon went up?
I am a local government officer at Sandwell in the West Midlands and as part of the government’s Home Front Recall programme I am running a project called Sandwell at War, covering the Home Front in the area now covered by Sandwell Borough. If you were manning barrage balloons or searchlight batteries in West Bromwich, Oldbury, Tipton, Cradley Heath, Smethwick or Wednesbury,
I’d love to hear from you.. You can find out more about the project on www.sandwellatwar.com , but if you aren’t on the internet, you can contact me on 0121 553 0220, or by writing to me at Sandwell Park Farm, Salters Lane, West Bromwich B71 4BG.
Reginald Ernest WATKINS
Sir, I have noticed your barrage balloon club site on the internet.
I have been trying to find some details on my fathers war service. His name
was Reginald Ernest Watkins, he was in the RAF, Rank L.A.C. Service number
1155263. I know he worked with Barrage balloons and went over on D day. I would
like to know what beach he landed on. I have his Service release book which
says Unit Snaith/4 Group, would that have been the same unit all the time.
Could you give me some idea where I can get some information?
She can be
contacted by email at: email@example.com
Garry Baker from Melbourne Australia.
Can anyone shed light on this trophy at all I suspect a Speedway event but where and when and who?
The photo was taken in the late 1930s, the chap on the right is Fred Evans, the promoter of Hackney Speedway at the time....so we think it could be Hackney. The rider on the left accepting the barrage balloon trophy is Ernie Evans from Melbourne, he was a member of the Wimbledon team at the time, and had been racing in the UK since 1930, he was 17 when he left Australia, and looks to be quite a bit older in the photo.
It's the officer though, and maybe his wife.
some thoughts are :The officer
is a Wing Commander. During the 1930s about 250 officers held
The trophy is a barrage balloon and the officer has an Observer brevet.
If we work on the assumption
that he was a Wing Commander posted to No.30
(Balloon) Group then the posting narrows to Group HQ in London as the
Commanding Officer for each Balloon Squadron was as Squadron Leader.
I know that in June 1938 the
only Wing Commander at No.30 Group was a W/C H
Dawes MBE (RAFO) but the officer in the photo has at least 4 decoration
ribbons so it is unlikely to be him. If anyone can help please contact Gary on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please contact Peter Garwood at email@example.com if you can help.