World War II


Weston Turville saw much activity in World War II, partly due to it's proximity to RAF Halton and also as a destination for evacuees. We know some evacuees already had relatives in Weston Turville, such as Mike Ridley who came to stay with his Grandparents.


We have first hand accounts from World War II

in the following books:-

  • "Weston Turville A History" by Hamish Eaton

  • "More than a Village School Master" selections from John Lawton's diaries transcribed by Ray Lawton

  • "Memories of a Weston Turville Boy" by Mick Dubberley

      • Recordings from residents in our sound gallery.

Also from "BBC WW2 People's War " Being in the Home Guard by Ken Rawlinson

In 1943, Weston Turville was featured in the 19 June edition of the Illustrated Magazine.

This includes photographs of many residents, including Jean Lonsdale, Mrs. F Rickard, Mr. Walter Neatherway, Mr. W.H.Vernon, Mr.H.C.Wakefield, Hon. Mrs. James Rothschild, Mr.& Mrs. J.Lawton, Mr. C. Hall, Betty Bolam, Mrs. E. Mitchell, Mrs. E. J. Gadsen, Mr. & Mrs. Neatherway, Mrs. Willis, Frank Goodland, Mrs. V. Biddle, Mrs. J Quilter, Corporal J Foster, Mrs. D Hunt, Mrs. A West, Mrs. G Clark, Mr Gadsden, Mrs. J Sharp, R Cook, G Moss, Mrs. D. Otterwell


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During WW2, Weston Turville was rocked by bombs and incendiaries that landed around the village and also by landmines landing in Aylesbury. Luckily, there were no casualties caused by these raids.

There was a very active Air Raid Precautions (ARP) team in the Village initially led by John Lawton who was also the Billeting Officer and Village School Master. ARP was initially Head-quartered in The School House until Sept 1940, then Pond Farm. They also met up at “Pathacres”

A Bedford National Fire Service Engine (N.F.S.) and auxiliary pump were stationed at Pathacre.

Additionally, at least 8 residents lost their lives, while serving King and country. More details on each of these soldiers available at Bucks Remembers

In addition to the bombs, we are aware of two fatal RAF plane crashes in the village during the war.

10th Aug 1940 a Miles Magister Serial N5431 from the Headquarters No.24 Group crashed in Weston Turville killing Squadron Leader Ian Henry Douglas Walker.[4]

The Station Flight at Halton had a Magister (Air 81/2564) as part of it's Flight and that a sortie was carried out as part of a Station Defence Exercise. Sqn. Ldr. Ian Henry Douglas Walker's death (aged 27) was registered at Aylesbury and the certificate states that the cause of death was 'shock following upon multiple injuries caused by the aeroplane which the deceased was flying crashing into the ground. There is no evidence to show what caused the aeroplane to crash. The location of death is given as Longhill Field, Weston Turville. He was interred at Halton (St Michael) Churchyard, Bucks (WG) 330073[5]. Apparently there were no witnesses to the crash and it's cause remains unknown. The crash isn't mentioned in any of the societies first hand accounts.

07 Mar 1943 a Hawker Typhoon 1b, serial DN271 of 183 Squadron flown by Sgt Theodore Narishkin of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, aged 20, crashed at Manor Farm. He died and is buried at Oxford (Headington) Cemetery. It seems from all the accounts we have that Sgt. Narashkin, heroically brought the aircraft down without any serious damage to property or loss of life, other than his own. Quite a feat bearing in mind the fact that he was only 20 years old. Sergeant Theodore Narishkin, 131903, was a pilot serving in 183 Squadron who flew Typhoon aircraft having been trained in the USA after participating in the Battle of Britain. In some accounts, he is described as Polish, but was in fact born in London, his family were from St. Petersburg, Russia with aristocratic heritage[6].

References

    1. ^ "Memories of a Weston Turville Boy"- A History by Mick Dubberley, available in village archive.

    2. ^ "Much More than the Village Schoolmaster" by John Lawton, (Weston Turville Historical Society)

    3. ^ Casualities in the CWGC.

    4. ^ "War-Torn Skies - Buckinghamshire" by Paul Johnson

    5. ^ Stornoway Historical Society

    6. ^ The War Graves Photographic Project