Wartime Heritage ASSOCIATION
Stephen Mate (Maitland) Passenger on the flight Special Operations Executive (SOE) Parent Unit: British Army (General List) Special Forces Lieutenant Service No: 84000 Stephen Mate was born on August 20, 1911 in Kurd, Tolna, Hungary the son of Ferenez Mait (1889-1970) and Maria (Horvath) Mait. He was the brother of Rozalia Mate (Matyasovszky) (1922-2005) and Marie Mate. Ferenez Mait immigrated to Canada in 1927; his wife and three children arrived in 1929 when Stephen was age eighteen. The family lived in Ontario. Stephen enlisted on August 28, 1942 at Port Arthur, Ontario. however, on October 18, 1943. Fluent in both the English and Hungarian languages he was accepted for training with British Security Co-ordination (BSC), and was discharged from the Canadian Army on October 18, 1943. He then began training at Camp X for service with Special Operations Executive (SOE) a secret British World War II organisation. The purpose of SOE was to conduct espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance in occupied Europe and South-east Asia against the Axis powers, and to aid local resistance movements. Following a three month training Stephen Mate moved to England and was given a new identity by the SOE as Lt. Stephen Maitland. He joined SOE in October 1943. He was en-route to Hungary via Brindisi in Italy to Hungary on an Special Operations Executive (SOE) mission. Age: 34 Cemetery: Newquay (Fairpark) Cemetery, Cornwall, United Kingdom Grave Reference: 686. Sources: cbc article findagrave
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Mystery Flight Royal Air Force Squadron 525 Crew and Passengers
Mystery Flight Royal Air Force Squadron 525 Crew and Passengers Flight Crew
Józef Król Passenger on the flight Major Polish Forces (Senior Chaplain) Józef Król was born on March 21, 1906 at Ignacowka, Gmina Jedrejow, the son of Andrze Krol and Rozalia Marcinkowska. He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1933 and on August 24, 1939 was appointed a military Chaplain. He was sent to England to work with the First Polish Corps and he served in both England and Scotland. He obtained permission to return to Poland in 1944 and was to travel from England to Gibraltar and from there to Bari in Italy, before being transferred to Poland. He was killed when the 525 RAF Squadron Vickers Warwick C Mark I, BV247 was lost on April 17, 1944 Cemetery: Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey, England Grave Reference: Plot 27, Row C, Grave 3 Sources: findagrave polish war graves Ipswich War Memorial
Roger Achille Albert Baudouin, (Baudoin) Passenger on the flight Commandant Free French Roger Baudoin, born November 6th, 18961896, distinguished himself as a young Lieutenant in World War I and was decorated with the Croix de Guerre and was honoured as a Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honor). After 1918, as a poly technician, he became a specialist in cryptography, and was recognized worldwide. He was the author of the book Elements of Cryptography. On June 13, 1940, he left France to join General de Gaulle in London and worked with MI.6 and the British Government Communications Headquarters at Bletchley Park with the decoding intelligence services. Roger Baudoin was promoted to Commander in 1943. He participated in Operation Fortitude the code name for the World War II military deception employed by the Allies during the build-up to the 1944 Normandy landings, disinformation and diversionary operations which made the Germans believe that the landing would take place in Pas-de-Calais and not in Normandy. As a passenger on the flight he was en route from London to Algiers. His funeral took place in Westminster Cathedral, attended by Winston Churchill. At the request of Stéphane Baudoin, his grandson, and members of the family, the elected officials, the Associations of Veterans and the Prefecture of La Chapelle-Yvon honoured Roger Baudoin, whose parents were married in the town, when his name was inscribed on the La Chapelle-Yvon War Memorial. Date of death: April 17th, 1944 Age at Death: 47 Cemetery: Brookwood Military Cemetery (French War Graves) Plot: 29. Row: D. Grave: 14. Awards: Croix de Guerre Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur Knight of the Legion of Honor Sources: Traces of War Ouest France Free French Cemetery
Maurice Schwob Passenger on the flight M.O.S.F.F. (Free French Government Agent) Maurice Schwob was born on July 20 1897 in Paris, France, the son Leon and Helena Schwob. He was the husband of Marjorie (Stralem) Schwob (1901-1995) and father of Anne Marie Stehlin (Schwob) (b.1926 Paris, France) and Diane Helene (Strong) Schwob (b. 1932 Paris, France). Marjorie (Stralem) Schwob was born in the United States and married Maurice Schwob on December 10, 1925 in New York. He was six feet, one inch in height, with a dark complexion, brown hair, and blue eyes. Prior to the outbreak of World War II, Maurice Schwob was an industrialist and merchant and travelled extensively, including visits to France, England, Switzerland, China (Shanghai), Canada, and the United States. During World War II he served as a Free French Government Agent and travelled to the United States, Australia, Canada, and the Pacific. In 1942 the Free French High Commissioner for the Pacific, Thierry d’Argenlieu, was located in Nouméa, the capital of the South Pacific overseas French territory, New Caledonia, and Maurice Schwob served as Attaché to the Civilian Cabinet. In January 28, 1942, he carried a letter of introduction to Washington and the request for assistance necessary to ensure the defence of the French possessions in the Pacific and met with Summer Welles , a major foreign policy adviser to President Franklin D. Roosevelt and served as Under Secretary of State from 1936 to 1943. Maurice Schwob travelled via Australia on the SS President Coolidge, Melbourne, Australia to New York on February 15, 1942, travelling as a Free French, Government Agent. On April 17, 1944 he was travelling from London to Algiers carrying documents to meet with General De Gaulle in Algiers. Age at Death: 46 Burial information: unknown Sources: US Office of the Historian
Edmund J. Gójski Passenger on the flight Captain Polish Army (Polish Courier) Born July 25, 1907 at Skarżysko-Kamienna, Poland. On the flight, he was one of two Polish couriers en route to Warsaw. Age: 36 Cemetery: Brookwood Military Cemetery Grave Reference: Plot 27 Row C Grave 2. Sources: findagrave.com polishwargraves.nl
Stanley Casson Passenger on the flight Lieutenant Colonel Service Number: 98094 (Listed as 90894 on official document) British Intelligence Corps Stanley Casson was, born May 7, 1889, was the son of William Augustus and Kate Elizabeth Casson and husband of Nora Elizabeth Art scholar and distinguished Army officer, Stanley Casson read Classical Archaeology at Lincoln College and St. John's College, Oxford, and was admitted to the British School at Athens. During the First World War he enlisted in the East Lancashire Regiment, and as an officer with an infantry regiment in the trenches of Flanders before becoming part of the British Salonika Force in 1916 and finally serving on the General Staff in 1918. He was wounded in Flanders in 1915. His war poetry is now in the War Poetry Collection at Napier University in Edinburgh. He subsequently served on the General Staff in Greece, Constantinople and Turkestan, and was mentioned in despatches. After demobilisation in 1919 Casson returned to academia, becoming Assistant Director of the British School at Athens, Fellow of New College, Oxford, and Lecturer in Classical Archaeology. He directed British Academy excavations in Constantinople in the late Twenties. During this period he published thirteen books of archaeology, art history, philosophy and autobiography. At the outbreak of the Second World War he resumed his Army career, first in Holland and later returning to Greece as Lieutenant Colonel in the Intelligence Corps, where he was a liaison officer until his death, at age 58 years, in a plane crash in 1944 at sea near Newquay, Cornwall. Age: 54 Cemetery: Newquay (Fairpark) Cemetery, Cornwall, United Kingdom Grave Reference: 684 Sources: cwgc.org findagrave.com
Ivor Watkins Birts (Listed as Bitts on official document) Passenger on the flight Lieutenant Colonel Special Operations Executive (SOE) Parent Unit: Royal Artillery Service Number: 132903 Born January 11, 1910, Ivor Watkins Birts was the son of William Thomas Watkins Birts (1883–1942) and Lilian Grace (Stephens) Birts and the husband of Marie Josephine Birts (nee Bain), of Westminster, London. He took a B.A. at Merton College, Oxford and qualified as a Barrister, but later practiced as a stockbroker. He married Josephine Bain in 1934 and had two children, Carol and Douglas. On the outbreak of war he joined the Royal Artillery, serving at Larkhill, Salisbury Plain and South Eastern Command, Home Forces. He was promoted to Captain in 1941 and Major in 1942. He was posted to General Head Quarters in Cairo with MO4, the Middle East and Balkans branch of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) and subsequently in Eritrea. In November 1943 he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel as GSO 1 (General Staff Officer Rank 1) and served with Force 133, a subsidiary SOE headquarters in Bari, Southern Italy under Cairo in Egypt, set up to control operations in the Balkans and Northern Italy and support the Greek and Yugslav resistance movements. He was en-route to Yugoslavia. Age: 34 Cemetery: Newquay (Fairpark) Cemetery, Cornwall, UK Grave Reference: C. of E. plot. Cons. Grave 685. Sources: findagrave.com cwgc.org Special Forces Roll Of Honour
Birts (3rd from left)
Arthur Douglas Gavel Duty on Flight: Captain Royal Canadian Air Force Flying Officer Service No: J/23107 525 Royal Air Force Squadron RCAF Flying Officer, Arthur Douglas Gavel, was from Swift Current, Saskatchewan, in Canada. Arthur was born on February 12, 1921. His parents were George William Gavel and Vera Bell (Campbell) Gavel. In April of 1944, as he climbed into the cockpit of his Vickers Warwick I (BV247) he was 23 years old. He had been assigned to RAF 525 Squadron based at RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire UK since February 1944. Following the crash the bodies of the crew and passengers were recovered, but the remains Arthur Douglas Gavel were not identified and he was initially buried in a grave in the Fairpark Cemetery. The headstone, as was the custom for unidentified bodies recovered from the sea, read: A Sailor of the Second World War Merchant Navy 24 April 1944 Known Unto God Derek Fowkes became interested in the crash when he was examining wartime records. Chief Inspector Fowkes, because of the location where the unidentified body was located began to think it could be that of the pilot of the downed Vickers Warwick I (BV247). In 1984, forty years after the crash, Derek Fowkes in collaboration with Murray W. Gavel, a Saskatchewan wheat farmer, and the brother of Arthur Gavel, were able to finally identify the body of Arthur Gavel. Two RAF Officers, Group Captain Tony Balfour of the RAF’s Institute of Pathology and Tropical Medicine and Group Captain David Chapman-Andrews, a consultant in oral surgery confirmed the unknown sailor’s grave was that of pilot, Arthur Douglas Gavel. In 1988, Flying Officer Arthur Douglas Gavel was re-interred in Plot 687 with full military honours, including a Royal Air Force honour guard. A new headstone was placed on his grave. Arthur Gavel had family connections in the Tusket and Richfield areas of Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia Age: 23 Cemetery: Newquay (Fairpark) Cemetery, Cornwall, United Kingdom Grave Reference: 687 Memorial: Listed on Runnymede Memorial (Part V) Sources: Remembrance Page - Arthur Douglas Gavel The Canadian Virtual War Memorial Library and Archives Canada Research by Derek Fowkes
Michael Kingston Rowe Duty on Flight: 2nd Pilot Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve Flight Sergeant (Pilot) Service No: 1383712 525 Royal Air Force Squadron Michael Kingston Rowe was the son of Walter Stanley and Dorothy Florence Rowe, of Kingston-on-Thames, Surrey. Flight Sergeant Rowe, although not an acknowledged regular crewman, he had flown previously with Arthur Gavel. Flight Sergeant Rowe was missing on the morning of the crash; however, his body was recovered from the sea off Watergate on the May 8, within the general area of the crash. Age: 22 Cemetery: Newquay (Fairpark) Cemetery Sources: findagrave.com
Albert George Tracey Gardiner Duty on Flight: Navigator Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve Flying Officer (Navigator) Service No: 134548 525 Royal Air Force Squadron Born in June 1917 in Dorking, Surrey, England, Albert George Tracey Gardiner was the son of William T. Gardiner (1889-1951) and Ruth Mary Greenaway (1889-1951) and brother to Rosemary Muriel Gardiner (1918-2001) and Evelyn B. Gardiner (1920-1999). Age: 27 Cemetery: St James Churchyard, Abinger, Surrey, England Grave Reference: 315 Sources: findagrave.com
Harold Calven Austen Duty on Flight: Wireless Operator/Air Gunner Flying Officer Royal Canadian Air Force Service No: 134548 525 Royal Air Force Squadron Born on August 15, 1918 in Oyen, Alberta, Flying Officer Austen was the son of Henry John Austen (1892–1956) and Mary Alice (Gibson) Austen (1886–1922) of Oyen, Alberta, Canada. At the age of 22, he enlisted on May 21, 1941 in Edmonton, Alberta. Prior to his enlistment he was employed as a mechanic. Age: 25 Cemetery: Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey, England Grave Reference: 48. H. 1. Commemorated on Page 240 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance Displayed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower in Ottawa on May 21 Sources: The Canadian Virtual War Memorial findagrave.com
George Lionel Seymour Dawson-Damer, Viscount Carlow Passenger on the flight Air Commodore Special Operations Executive (SOE) Parent Unit: Royal Air Force (Auxiliary Air Force) 600 Squadron RAF Service No. 90078 Born December 20, 1907, George Lionel Seymour Dawson-Damer, Viscount Carlow was the son of Lionel Arthur Henry Seymour Dawson-Damer, 6th Earl of Portarlington and of the Countess Portarlington (nee Winnifreda Yuill), of Westminster, London, and husband of Viscountess Carlow (nee Peggy Cambie) of Dunsfold, Surrey. He married on January 7, 1937. Various records indicate that RAF Air Commodore George Lionel Seymour Dawson- Damer, Viscount Carlow was attached to MI9 and was en-route to meet with Tito in Yugoslavia. Age: 36 Cemetery: Golders Green Crematorium, London Borough of Barnet, Greater London, England Reference: Panel 1 Sources: Commonwealth War Graves Commission findagrave.com Unearthing Churchill's Secret Army (p.256)
Passengers
Noel Spencer Nicklin Passenger on the flight Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve Flying Officer Service No: 145574 525 Squadron Royal Air Force Born on December 19, 1909, Flying Officer Nicklin was the son of Frederick William (1869–1919) and Selina (Spenser) Nicklin (a866-1953), of Waterloo, Liverpool, UK ; husband of Norah (Mossman) Nicklin (1914-2001), of Waterloo, Liverpool, UK. He was educated at Merchant Taylors' School, Crosby, and joined the staff of Westminster Bank at its Liverpool Waterloo branch in December 1926. Over the next 15 years he spent time working in the bank's branches at Seaforth, Blackburn, Aigburth, Warrington and Lymm. Outside work he was a keen amateur magician. In 1941 Noel Nicklin left Lymm branch and enlisted in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve attaining the rank of Flying Officer. In addition to his conventional duties, he used his magic skills to entertain at military hospitals and camps and organised concert parties for troops. He was en route to India and a passenger on the flight. Commemorated on the War Memorial, Westminster Bank, NatWest Stockton Heath branch Age: 34 Cemetery: Great Crosby (St. Luke) Churchyard, Lancashire, UK Reference: Section C, Grave 627 Sources: findagrave.com Westminister Bank Memorial
George William Lamb Passenger on the flight Pilot Officer Service No: 53922 525 Squadron Royal Air Force Born August 9, 1916, Pilot Officer Lamb was the son of William Saunders Lamb (d. 1941) and Jeannie Noble (Byth) Lamb (1896-1970) of Hull and husband of Doreen Alice (Wilson) Lamb (1916-2009), of Hull. Age: 27 Cemetery: Hull Crematorium Reference: Screen Wall, Panel 3 Sources: findagrave.com
Thomas Percival Ward Passenger on the flight Major Service No: 100464 Royal Army Medical Corps Born in 1908, Thomas Percival Ward was the son of Thomas Ward (1872-1949) and Alice Josephine Ward (1888-1970) and husband of Dorice Bentley (Gunn) Ward (1909-1996). He was educated at Cambridge and St. Thomas College. He obtained degrees: M.A., M.B., B.Ch. (Cantab.). L.R.C.P., M.R.C.S. He was married on December 10, 1931. During World War II he served with the Royal Army Medical Corps. Commemorated at the St. Thomas Hospital Kings College (London)'s War Memorial. Age: 35 Cemetery: Brookwood Military Cemetery Grave Reference: 33A. A. 3. Sources: findagrave.com kingscollections.org www.cwgc.org
William Godfrey Tilley On the Flight: Passenger Squadron Leader Service No: 45766 525 RAF Squadron Award: Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire Born in Colerne, Wiltshire, England, February 27, 1910 the son of William Tilley (1872-1952) and Emma Selina (Holder) Tilley (1884-1966). He was the brother of Jocelyn Richard James Tilley (1921-2002) and Joyce Marguerite Tilley (1912- 1918). From May 22, 1941 to July 18, 1943, he was with 31 OTU (Operational Training Unit) at Debert, Nova Scotia first with the rank of Flight Lieutenant, and later as Squadron Leader. During the period he was serving in Canada, he was awarded the MBE(M) (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) on September 23, 1941. Age: 34 Cemetery: St John the Baptist Churchyard, Colerne, Wiltshire Unitary Authority, Wiltshire, England Grave Reference: 126 Sources: findagrave.com