Laid to rest in the field of honour
Born: 1911, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Died: 10th/11th September 1942; age: 31; at Chediston, Suffolk. Tom had 308 hours as a pilot.
Occupation: a Publican.
Rank: Sergeant/Pilot; Service Number: 415505.
Regiment: Royal New Zealand Air Force, 11 Operational Training Unit.
crash time 21:05 flight to Dusseldorf aged 31
Air crafted: Wellington Bomber IC TX-D DV930
Station: RAF Steeple Morden
Medals Awarded: 1939- 1945 Star, The Aircrew Europe Star and The Defence Medal.
Buried with full military honours – 15th September 1942.
Relatives Notified & Address: Husband of Dorothy M. Munro, of Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand.
Father: George Munro, born 1875, Oldshoremore, Eddrachillis, Scotland, a Policeman at Leith, Edinburgh after being in the Black Watch Regiment, serving in India and Boer War. While in South Africa George had had his bagpipes silver mounted and they have passed down through the family as an heirloom.
Mother: Angusina Fraser, born Achlyness, Scotland.
In 1912, Augusina and her 4 children left Scotland to join her husband, George in New Zealand.
Tom was a champion piper, along with his father George Munro winning many awards. Tom’s bagpipes were his father George’s. They were Henderson bagpipes made of African Blackwood mounted with silver in South Africa for 22 Pounds when he bought them. Tom’s son George played the same bagpipes at St. Andrews College in Christchurch and in the Temuka Pipe Band, in South Canterbury.
Tom’s brother, Iain Fraser Munro also lost his life during the Second World War, when he was KiA on the 25th April 1943, aged 25. Iain was ranked a Corporal, service number 18079, for the New Zealand Infantry, 26th battalion. He was laid to rest at Enfidaville War Cemetery, Tunisia.
11th September 1942
Aircraft: Vickers Wellington IC; serial number: DV930; code: TX-D Bar; based at R.A.F. Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire. The aircraft took off at 21:05hrs from a grass satellite dispersal airfield at Steeple Morden, near Royston, Hertfordshire, on a mission to Dusseldorf, Germany. On the return journey at 11:50hrs the Wellington crashed into the stack yard at Herne Hill Farm near the village of Chediston, Suffolk. Four of the crew were killed, Andrew Renwick although aided by the local villagers’ died a few hours later.
Jack Foden Stanley; Sergeant/Navigator; age 20; R.N.Z.A.F.
Andrew Boott Renwick; Sergeant/Wireless Operator/Air Gunner; age 20; R.A.F.
Kenneth Hamilton Vigers; Sergeant/Wireless Operator/Air Gunner; age 24; R.A.F.
Robert Walter Freeman; Sergeant/Air Gunner; age 20; R.A.F.
The aircraft crash is recorded and the crew members remembered on a brass memorial inside St. Mary’s Church, Chediston, Suffolk.
Thomas is also remembered on the Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle.
Family information and photographs courtesy of George & Ann.