New information about the lost crew of the Wellington of 101 Squadron will be posted here. Z1110 was shot down off the Dutch island of Terschelling on the evening of 20th January 1942 (Chapters 12 & 16). The aircraft and the crew – Chapman, Curtis, Hancox, Spackman, Dunn and Mantle – were never found.
Since Deadlines was published, a little bit more information has come to light about Sgt Francis Ernest Dunn, one of the air gunners on board Wellington Z1110 on its last flight. Sgt Dunn was the son of Ernest George Dunn and his wife Miriam (née Upwood). The family was apparently from the West Ham area of London, north west of the football club`s former home the Boleyn Ground (better known as Upton Park). All the records that I found about Sgt Dunn before publication gave no indication or clues about his parents or where he called home.
The new information, unearthed by the team at the `Aircrew Remembered` website (see Connections), also states that he was born in 1914. This would have meant that he was 28 when he was killed, making him the oldest on board Z1110 by one year (Arthur Spackman was 27). All the previous records stated he was 21. Mind you, I discovered that all the official records claimed that Colin Curtis was 24 on the 20th January 1942 but in fact he was 22 – six months away from his 23rd birthday. His birth certificate clearly shows 21st July 1919.
The name of Sgt Francis Ernest Dunn can be found on Panel 82 at the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede. (posted 14/10/2017)
Erratum from Chapter 7 A Stickler for Exactitude…..
The BBC had numerous buildings in London and I trained in, worked in and visited most of them over the years – Broadcasting House, Bush House, Television Centre, Western House, Egton House, Yalding House, Grafton House, Marylebone High Street, White City, Media Centre…..and The Langham. The building across the road from BH was called The Langham. Before it was sold and turned into a luxury hotel, it was the home of the headquarters of BBC Local Radio and that lively bar. So why, oh why did I call it Grafton House in Chapter 7? Grafton House was the later headquarters of the Local Radio Training Unit at the other end of Great Portland Street. So on page 79 of the paperback edition, when you see the words Grafton House, it should read The Langham. It`s The Langham bar and The Langham ghost. And I called the chapter `A Stickler for Exactitude`…….(oh, and later in the book, Stow-on-the-World really should be Stow-on-the-Wold, should it not? It has all been corrected for the e-book version……………….)