Born: 1924, Ipswich.

Died: 9th November 1944; age: 19; aircraft lost over Ruhr, Germany.


Rank: Sergeant/Air Gunner; Service Number: 1875005.

Regiment: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, 625 Squadron.


Grave Reference:


Reichswald Forest War Cemetery,




Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Herbert & Ellen Ann Jay, of Ipswich.


Father: Herbert Jay, born 1881, Rushmere St. Andrew, Suffolk.

Mother: Ellen Ann Jay (nee Allard), born 1882, Stowupland, Suffolk.


9th November 1944


Aircraft: Lancaster; serial number: LM731; code: CF-A; based at R.A.F. Station Kelstern, Lincolnshire. On the 9th November 1944, LM731 was 1 of 256 Lancasters and 21 Oboe Mosquitoes to take off on a mission to bomb the Krupps synthetic oil refinery at Wanne-Eickel, a small city in the Ruhr, Germany. There was a lot of cloud and the sky-markers dropped from the Oboe Mosquitoes disappeared as soon as they were ignited. LM731 was last seen losing height through the cloud. All seven crew members were killed.


Graham Sydney Cozens-Hardy; Pilot Officer/Navigator; age 21; R.A.F.V.R.

William Ernest Gray; Flight Sergeant/Wireless Operator/Air Gunner; age 32; R.A.F.V.R.

James MacLean Wilson; Flight Lieutenant/Pilot; age 29; R.A.F.V.R.

John Archibald Duncan Ross; Sergeant/Air Gunner; age 32; R.A.F.V.R.

Brian Espin-Hempsall; Sergeant/Flight Engineer; age 19; R.A.F.V.R.

John Wadsworth Robertson; Pilot Officer/Air Bomber; R.A.F.V.R.


Bernard and his fellow crew members are remembered in the Roll of Honour for 625 Squadron, at St. Faith’s Church, Kelstern, Lincolnshire.

Posted in Second World War

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