Born: 21st June 1920, Colchester, Essex.

Died: 17th March 1941; age 20; killed in an aircraft collision, at King’s Lynn, Norfolk.

Residence: 40, Hamilton Road, Colchester, Essex.

Occupation: a Laboratory Assistant for a Plastic Manufacturer.


Rank: Pilot Officer/Pilot; Service Number: 89345.

Regiment: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, 86 Squadron.


Memorial Reference:

Screen Wall,

Ipswich Crematorium,



Relatives Notified & Address: Youngest son of Mr. & Mrs. B.T. Cresswell, of Colchester, Essex.



Father: Bertram Thomas Cresswell, born April 1884, Colchester, Essex. A Water Rates Collector – Colchester Borough Council.

Mother: Ethel Cresswell (nee Denny), born November 1886, Colchester, Essex.


Jack was educated at the Colchester Royal Grammar School and is remembered on their school memorial.



Jack was a Laboratory Assistant – Plastic Manufacturer. He was living with his parents at their family home – 40, Hamilton Road, Colchester.

Bertram, a Rating Officer – Colchester Town Council.

Ethel, unpaid Domestic Duties.



17th March 1941

Aircrafts: Bristol Blenheim IV; serial numbers: Z5808 and V5464; based at R.A.F. Station Wattisham, Suffolk. The two Bristol Blenheims, of 86 Squadron collided and crashed on a convoy escort flight.


Fellow Crew:

William Rex Loxton; Sergeant/Observer; age 23; R.A.F.V.R.

Frank Joseph Berry; Sergeant/Wireless Operator; age 21; R.A.F.V.R.




Basil George Mace; Flying Officer/Pilot; age 23; R.A.F.

Bernard Charles Gilmore “Benny” ; Sergeant/Wireless Operator; R.A.F.V.R. ( Mark Gilmore, a family note: The picture was taken only a few months before the collision when he was just 19.)


John Sinclair Wrightson; Sergeant/Observer; age 25; R.A.F.V.R.


Chelmsford Chronicle – 28th March 1941                                                          


The funeral of Pilot Officer Jack Raymond Cresswell, R.A.F.V.R., aged 20, younger son of Mr. and Mrs. B.T. Cresswell, of Hamilton Road, who was killed on active service, took place on Saturday, service at St. Mary’s (where deceased, like his father, was a chorister) preceding cremation at Ipswich. The coffin was covered with the R.A.F. flag. The choir rendered Martin Shaw’s fanfare, “Gloria in Excelsis,” and the anthem, “Jesu, joy of man’s desiring” (Bach), and the hymn, “Alleluja, the strife is o’er,” was sung.

Image unknown Bristol Blenheim aircrew 1941 R.A.F. Station Wattisham, Suffolk.

Wattisham Air Museum 

One Comment

  • My uncle, Bernard Charles Gilmore, was also killed in this tragic accident. My family only learned what happened to Bernard today (02/04/21) 80 years after the event. If anyone else has any more information on what happened, please get in touch.


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