Images and additional family information courtesy of Paul Timson
Born: 1923, Ipswich.
Died: 20th/21st January 1944: age 21; KiA on a mission to Berlin.
Residence: 218, Clapgate Lane, Ipswich.
Missions: The same crew, with the exception of the 2nd Pilot, flew on three other missions:
11th November 1943 – Cannes – Halifax II D472 “V”
22nd November 1943 – Berlin – Halifax II JB919 “X” the aircraft returned early due to loss of oil pressure and unable to climb.
25th November 1943 – Frankfurt -Halifax II LL126 “W” the aircraft was hit by flak over target.
Rank: Sergeant; Service Number: 1620951.
Regiment: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, 77 Squadron.
Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Ernest Leonard & Edith Kate May Timson, of 218, Clapgate Lane, Ipswich; husband of Ida Joy Irene Timson, of Ipswich.
Father: Ernest Leonard Timson, born February February 1899, Lewes, Sussex. An Electrician.
Mother: Edith Kate May Timson (nee Coates), born November 1900, Ipswich.
ENGLAND & WALES REGISTER 1939.
Arthur was living with his parents & siblings at their family home – 218, Clapgate Lane, Ipswich.
Ernest, an Electric Mains Linesman.
Edith, unpaid Domestic Duties.
Constane E. Timson, born 1922, Ipswich.
Leonard A. Timson, born 1926, Ipswich.
In 1943, Ipswich, Arthur married Ida Joy Irene Pratt, born November 1921, Colchester, Essex.
20th/21st January 1944
In October 1942, 77 Squadron moved to Elvington airfield just outside York and commenced intensive training on Halifax II aircraft. On the 18th November 1943, the air raids of the ‘Battle of Berlin‘ commenced.
On the night of 20th/21st January 1944, Bomber Command sent a force of 769 aircraft – 495 Lancaster‘s, 264 Halifax’s and 10 Mosquito‘s to Berlin. Arthur Timson was in a Handley Page Halifax serial number HR946 with squadron markings of KN-X. The aircraft departed mission at 16:37 from Elvington near York and joined the stream of bombers which had an approach route taking them in a wide swing to the north. The bomb load of HR946 was 1 x 2000 lb HC, 2 x 500 lb cluster incendiaries, 270 x 4lb incendiaries, 90 x 4lb ‘X’ type incendiaries and 24 x 30lb incendiaries.
The aircraft was reported to have crashed at 19:30 at Berlin-Falkenberg, Rieselfelder, although the cause of the crash is not know it is likely to have been as a result of anti-aircraft fire.
Despite investigations after the war by the RAF’s Missing Research and Enquiry Service the location of the graves of the crew could not be located, and they were all commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.
Flight Lieutenant; Victor Henry Surplice D.F.M., age 25 – died on his birthday; R.A.F.V.R.
Sergeant/Second Pilot; Leo Ashton; age 21; R.A.F.V.R.
Sergeant; Kenneth Emeny; age 24; R.A.F.V.R.
Sergeant; Herbert Peter Hopkins; age 19; R.A.F.V.R.
Sergeant; Thomas King; age 33; R.A.F.V.R.
Flight Sergeant; Baden Henry Stevens; age 26; R.A.A.F.
Sergeant; J.L.Duffy D.F.M. – PoW.
A family note:
Arthurs (and my late fathers parents – my late grandparents) lived in a 2 storey council house on Clapgate Lane. I don’t remember the number but as a child of around 8 or 9 years old, I remember I could look out of the upstairs bedroom window and see a very old Oak tree, and a small group of shops, one of which was a ‘sweet’ shop. My grandparents would give me ‘thrupence’ and I would buy a bag of sweets to share with my younger brother, when mum and dad and my brother and I stayed over. I have tried to locate the house on Google Earth, but I believe the small group of shops have long gone, and there maybe a pub or larger shopping centre there now.
My mother is now 88 years old and in a nursing home. She was always the family scribe and I know my dad had a sister that lived in Ipswich as well, but as she was older than dad, I presume she is now deceased. I think her name was ‘Connie’? Mum used to write and receive letters from family in Ipswich, and now she remembers virtually nothing, sadly. I received a Christmas card for mum last week from ‘Mary & Alan in Ipswich’ but no sender address! I think Mary is Auntie Connies daughter?
The actual box containing the medals (dated 4th Feb 1952) was addressed to a Mrs. E. Stokes, 150 Waterford Road, Ipswich, Suffolk . I am now 63 years old myself, I am trying to put together a family history for my 3 children, my oldest daughter, who is in the Royal Australian Air Force, is carrying on Uncle Arthurs legacy.