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The Luftwaffe carried out a bombing raid on May 23, 1943 against the town of Bournemouth in Dorset, England. The air attack destroyed 22 buildings and damaged over 3000 in central Bournemouth. Some 131 people were killed and hundreds were injured. RAF Station Bournemouth was the station of No 3 Personnel Reception Centre for Dominion aircrew and No 11 Australian Personnel Dispatch and Receiving Centre. On May 23 Canadian airmen were staying at the Metropole Hotel in Lansdowne Square, Bournemouth. The building was badly damaged and 22 Commonwealth airmen died. Among the Canadian airmen killed on that Sunday morning was one Nova Scotian, Raymond Francis Pelrine of Antigonish Co., NS.
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Air Raid on Bournemouth May 23, 1943
Name: Raymond Francis Pelrine Rank: Sergeant Service Number: R/88040 Unit: Royal Canadian Air Force Division: #3 Personnel Reception Centre Date of birth: July 30, 1922 Place of birth: Port Felix, Nova Scotia Date of Enlistment: February 3, 1941 Place of Enlistment: Halifax, NS (RCAF Recruiting Centre) Address at Enlistment: Rockingham, Nova Scotia Age at Enlistment: 18 Height: 5 feet, 6 inches Complexion: fair Eyes: blue Hair: brown Trade: Handy Man Marital Status: Single Religion: Roman Catholic Next of Kin: Charles Martin Pelrine (Father) Havre Boucher, Antigonish, NS Date of Death: May 23, 1943 Age at Death: 20 Cemetery: Bournemouth North Cemetery Grave Reference: Row H4. Grave 99 Commemorated on Page 202 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance Displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on April 24 Raymond Francis Pelrine was the son of Charles Martin Pelrine (1893-1961) and Clara Pelrine of Havre Boucher, Antigonish Co., NS. Sergeant Pelrine was one of 22 Commonwealth airmen, and approximately 110 civilians, killed during the Luftwaffe bombing raid on May 23, 1943, against the Metropole Hotel in Lansdowne Square, Bournemouth, Dorset, England. Sergeant Pelrine had arrived in England in February, 1943 and was stationed at Bournemouth effective February 27, 1943. He was trapped in the Metropole Hotel when it was bombed. He was buried on May 29, 1943 in the Bournemouth North Cemetery. The air attack destroyed 22 buildings and damaged over 3000 in central Bournemouth. The total number of victims is thought to have been 131, though estimates varied between 70 and 200.
Source: Veterans Affairs Canada findagrave.com Bournemouth’s Bloodiest Air Raid Photo of Raymond Pelrine: Courtesy of Cheryl (Pelrine) Matthews
The Commonwealth Airmen Killed in the Bombing Raid Canadian RCAF Flight Sergeant (AG)William Geoffrey Abbott RCAF Flight Sergeant George Assaf RCAF Flight Sergeant David Rainnie Chalmers RCAF Flight Sergeant Julian Louis Soos RCAF Leading Aircraftman Earle Oscar Gilbert RCAF Sergeant (AG) Robert Richard Courtney RCAF Sergeant Alexander Colin Matheson RCAF Sergeant (AG) Francis John Matier RCAF Sergeant (AG) Raymond Francis Pelrine RCAF Sergeant Ross Clifton Woods RCAF Corporal William Godfrey Wood Australian RAAF Flight Sergeant Colin Bernard Crabbe RAAF Flight Sergeant Ronald Franklin Fenton RAAF Flight Sergeant Allan John Kerrigan RAAF Flight Sergeant John Francis McMagon RAAF Sergeant George Arthur Mills RAAF Flight Sergeant Vivian Lewis Pope RAAF Leading Aircraftman Ronald Crawshaw RAAF Sergeant Neil Morton Gray British RAF Leading Aircraftman Jack Howlett RAF Aircraftman 2nd Class Andrew Joseph Philips Lohoar RAF Aircraftman 1st Class James Joseph Morrissey
Photos of the Burial Service May 29, 1943