Colin Curtis


CHC life

A brief moment in time. Colin`s RAF cap badge and Wings, the end of course dinner menu in Canada, Colin`s RAF diary for 1942 (of which he only lived to see 20 days), his driving licence, the Bomber Command clasp, finally awarded to all living and deceased WW2 Bomber Command members in 2013….and a photo of him with Doris.



Colin was engaged to be married to Doris Fines, his childhood sweetheart. He was killed in January 1942 shortly after this photograph was taken.



The page in the Book of Remembrance at the RAF`s church, St Clement Danes in The Strand, London which includes the name of Colin Hubert Curtis. There are 48 other men named Curtis on this page alone, all with their own stories. Francis Wilfred Smith is also commemorated in the church. St Clement Danes was re-consecrated in 1958 as a perpetual shrine of remembrance to those killed on active service in the RAF and the Allied Air Forces during the Second World War. (Thanks to Philippe Daveney, Clerk at SCD)


Doris (2)

Miss Doris Fines from south Lincolnshire in 1941. Doris was engaged to be married to Pilot Officer Colin Curtis



Tiger Moth similar to the one in which Colin Curtis did his elementary flying training at Yeadon in 1941. He was involved in an accident during the course. This Moth was in the static at the Waddington air show in 2005, alongside modern types such as the KC135 and the Tornado. See Chapter 4 (Photo: MC)


Wellington DP2

Another of Denis Pannett`s paintings of Wellington bombers over East Anglia. The evocative `Moonlight over Norfolk` can be found in the book. The link to Denis` website is under Connections.


The medals that Colin earned through his brief service in the war – the 1939-1945 Star, the 1939-1945 War Medal and the Air Crew Europe Star. They were posted to his mother a few months after the war ended. The Air Council wrote that it shared her sorrow that Pilot Officer C.H.Curtis did not live to receive them (Chapter 27)

LE Curtis 19-9-1944

More than two and a half years after Colin Curtis failed to return, his mother Lilian wrote to his old college in London. The two letters to the Principal of Borough Road College have come to light in the archives of Brunel University in London. The archives cover Brunel`s predecessor colleges and the British and Foreign Schools Society (BFSS).  The University is currently preparing an exhibition (online and physical) about former students of Borough Road College who died serving in WW2, including of course Colin Curtis (Ch 4)

LE Curtis 25-9-1944


Dad age 22

Wilf Curtis, younger brother of Colin and my father, joined the Army and became a motorcycle despatch rider in North Africa and Italy. Pictured here in Anzio in 1946 age 22 – the same age as Colin when he was killed.


Bomber Command Memorial, LondonThe Bomber Command Memorial, unveiled in Green Park, London in 2012 and 70 years after Z1110 disappeared with all on board. (Photo: MC)


Lt Ludwig Becker

Oberleutnant Ludwig Becker. The night fighter expert shot down the Wellington bomber of Colin Curtis, along with two other Wellingtons, on the night of 20 January 1942. He was killed just over a year later. (Chapters 12 and 16).


From an RAF recruiting pamphlet at the beginning of the war


Lincoln Cathedral, a striking visual reference point for pilots for more than a century. Within can be found the Airmen`s Chapel of St Michael where three memorial books are held listing thousands of men who lost their lives with Bomber Command in WW2. My father was ordained priest in the Cathedral in September 1952 and I read a lesson there during a recording of the BBC`s Songs of Praise in December 1984 (Ch 26) (Photo: Tom Curtis)


back to the top