Recorded as Gilbert on war records.


Born: 1919, Ramsgate, Kent.

Died: 20th October 1943; age: 24; Killed as a result of aircraft crash near Engersen.


Rank: Sergeant/Flight Engineer; Service Number: 621459

Regiment: Royal Air Force, 115 Squadron. DS725


Grave Reference:


Berlin 1939 – 1945 War Cemetery,






Father: Gilbert Batten, born January 1897, Bareneed, New Foundland – died 1985, Ipswich.

Mother: Jessie Winifred Batten (nee Palmer), born September 1899, Islington, London – died 1997, Ipswich.

Father Gilbert Batten was demobilised from the Royal Naval Reserve Service – H.M.S. ‘Attentive’ in July 1919.



1921   Port-de Grave, Conception Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Herbert was 2 years old and living with his parents.

Gilbert, 23, a Cable Operator – West Union Cable Co.

Jessie, 21.


On the 8th December 1919, 10 month old, Herbert arrived at the Port of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada with his parents. They had departed from the Port of St. John’s, Newfoundland, and travelled on board S.S. ‘Rosalind.’ His father, Gilbert Batten, 22, a Cable Operator. Mother, Jessie Winifred Batten, 20. The family were protestant.

 On the 26th September 1925, 6 year old, Herbert departed from the Port of Cristobal, Colon, Panama with his mother & brothers.They sailed 2nd Class, on the S.S. ‘Oropesa’ of the Pacific Steam Navigation Company. Their destination was the Port of Liverpool. They were to stay at ‘Asiel’ Queens Avenue, Whitehall, Ramsgate, Kent. His mother, Jessie, 25, brother, Harold Royston Batten, 3, and brother, Arthur Douglas Batten, 1.

  On the 5th July 1929, at the Port of Cristobal, Panama, 10 year old, Herbert embarked the S.S. Oropesa with his mother & brothers, as 2nd Class passengers. Their permanent residence was at Canal Zone. They were contracted to land at the Port of Liverpool. His mother, Jessie, 29, his brothers Harold, 7 & Arthur, 5. They were to stay at Queen’s Avenue, Ramsgate, Kent.

On the 8th April 1936, at the Port of Liverpool, 17 year old, Herbert embarked the S.S. ‘Oropesa’ with his parents & brothers. They were contracted to land at Colon, Panama and return to their home. His father, Gilbert, 29, an Operator, his mother, Jessie, 26, his brothers, Harold, 14, and Arthur, 11. ‘Asiel’ Queens Avenue, Whitehall, Ramsgate, Kent was the home of Herbert’s maternal grandparents.


20th October 1943

Aircraft: Lancaster II; serial number: DS725; code: KO-F; base: Little Snoring, Norfolk. mission: Leipzig. DS725 took-off at 18:17hrs as part of Bomber Command’s first serious bombing raid on Leipzig, Saxony. The terrible weather made the bombing very scatted, and returning airman described the weather conditions as appalling. 16 Lancaster’s were lost from the 358 Lancaster’s that set off on the mission. DS725 is believed to have come down near Engersen. The 8 crew members were killed.

Herbert’s fellow crew members:

John Thomas Anderson; Flight Lieutenant/Pilot; age 26; R.A.F.V.R.

Ronald Cyril Saville Clements ‘Ron’; Flight Officer/2nd Pilot; age 27; R.A.F.V.R.

Frank Norman Simpson Cowie; Flight Sergeant/Rear Gunner; age 24; R.A.F.V.R.

Ernest Alfred Gibbs; Sergeant/Mid Upper Gunner; age  22; R.A.F.V.R.

Frank George Andrews; Flight Officer/Bomb Aimer; age 20; R.A.F.V.R.

Derrick Leslie Walter Horn; Flight Sergeant/Navigator; age 20; R.A.F.V.R.

Douglas James Boston; Flight Officer/Wireless Operator/Air Gunner; age 23; R.A.F.V.R.


Photograph of Douglas James Boston courtesy of Ross.

The bodies of the crew were originally buried at Gross Engersen Cemetery. On the 27th June 1947, the bodies were exhumed, identified and re-buried at Berlin 1939 – 1945 War Cemetery. Frank Cowie and Walter Horn together in a collective grave.




Harold and Gilbert are also remembered on the war memorial at Rushmere St. Andrew, Suffolk.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!
Scroll to Top