Image from the Evening Star – 27th October 1943.

Registered at birth – Percival Dennis James Burley

Born: 1922, Lincoln, Lincolnshire.

Died: 11th October 1943; age: 21 – flying accident near Heany, Southern Rhodesia.

Occupation: a Metallurgist at Manganese & Brass Company, Ipswich.

Percival was a member of the Manganese & Brass Company’s Home Guard.

Rank: Sergeant/Pilot under training; Service Number: 1635395.

Regiment: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.


Grave Reference:

Grave 88.

Bulawayo Athlone Cemetery,



Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Florence Ellen Burley, of Ipswich.

Father: Frederick Percy Burley, born 1886, Paddington, Middlesex – died 1930, Ipswich.

Mother: Florence Ellen Burley (nee Smith), born 1880.

Percival was educated at Northgate School, Ipswich.

11th October 1943

Aircraft: Airspeed Oxford; based Heany, Southern Rhodesia. On the 11th October 1943, both BM785 and BM803 were lost over South Rhodosia. It is not known whether the two aircraft crashed separately or collided. One report suggests that James Burley may have been flying BM803, with John MacLuskie and John Halbert (who were both qualified pilots) flying BM785. Another report suggests that James, John MacLuskie and John Halbert were all killed in BM785 which crashed in unknown circumstances.

John Kenneth MacLuskie; Sergeant/Pilot; age 23; R.A.F.V.R.

John Halbert; Sergeant/Pilot; R.A.F.V.R.

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