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Burntwood Family History Group
Kenneth Thomas JAMES 1818259
 
Researched and written by Janice HUNT
 
 
Kenneth Thomas JAMES
 
03.07.1924 -------- 05.09.1944
 
Royal Air Force
 
Wireless Operator
 
Kenneth was the first son of Samuel and Louisa JAMES. The family lived in High Street Chasetown, where he was born, but later the family moved to Edwards Road, Chasetown. His father Samuel was a miner, he was born in Norton Cannes.  His mother Louisa BARTRAM was born in Edwards Road Chasetown.
 

Judith

JAMES

Head

64

Norton

Mary

MADDOX

Daughter

41

Norton

Ann

JAMES

Daughter

33

Hammerwich

Edward

JAMES

Son

30

Norton

Olive

JAMES

Daughter

22

Norton

Frances W

JAMES

Son

20

Norton

John E

MADDOX

G Son

11

Norton

Thomas

MADDOX

G Son

9

Norton

SAMUEL

JAMES

G Son

2

Norton

Extract from the 1901 Census
 
Samuel was living at his grandmothers with his widowed father
 

Edward

JAMES

Head

40

Norton

Clara

JAMES

Wife

41

Denaby Yorks

SAMUEL

JAMES

Son

12

Norton

Florence Minnie

JAMES

Daughter

11

Norton

Francis W

JAMES

Son

4

Norton

John

JAMES

Son

2

Norton

Extract from the 1911 Census
 
Samuel was still at school living with his father and stepmother
 

Christopher

BARTRAM

Head

31

Tamworth

Emma

BARTRAM

Wife

30

South Wales

Thomas

BARTRAM

Son

12

South Wales

Annie

BARTRAM

Daughter

9

South Wales

Christopher

BARTRAM

Son

7

South Wales

LOUISA

BARTRAM

Daughter

4

Chasetown

Ethel

BARTRAM

Daughter

2

Chasetown

Enoch

PRITCHARD

Father in Law

60

Radnorshire

 
Extract from the 1901 Census
 
Louisa was living at Edwards Road Chasetown with her parents
 

William

SMITH

Head

51

Bilston

Elizabeth

SMITH

Wife

51

Birmingham

LOUISA

BARTRAM

Servant

14

Chasetown

Extract from the 1911 Census
 
Louisa was working in service in Handsworth
 
Kenneth went to Chasetown Infants School in Church Street and then later to Chase Terrace High School. He didn’t follow his father’s footstep to the mines; he began working at the Co-operative grocery shop, as an assistant.
 
 
(*1) Chasetown First School
 
Kenneth was very interested in radio, whilst still at school he made a wireless at his house, which he connected to his friends’ house with telephone cable through the garden. As a teenager he joined the Air Training Corp at Chasetown where he attained the position of warrant officer; he was the youngest in the county to reach this position.
 
He enlisted in the RAF 31.12.1942 in Birmingham.  He was with the Initial Training wing until April 1943 when he was transferred to No 4 Radio School at Madeley then No 9 AFU (Advanced Flying Unit) in Wales. He was promoted to Sergeant 31.12.1943 and was transferred to 12 OTU (Operation Training Unit) at Chipping Warden. They were generally billeted 30 to a hut until 12 OTU when it was 15 to a hut. All radio operators were billeted together until they were “crewed up” and train together as a crew. His Wellington X LP155 took off from Chipping Warden, but went down over Normandy on the night of 16th May 1944.  He was reported missing, presumed dead. His body was never found.  He was 21 years old.
 
 
(*2) Wellington Bomber
 
Wellington B Mark IA.     The geodesic construction is evident through the Perspex windows along the aircraft's side.
Role                              Bomber, anti-submarine aircraft
Manufacturer                 Vickers-Armstrong (Aircraft Ltd)
Designer                        R. K PIERSON
First Flight                     15 06 1936
Introduction                   October 1938
Retired                          March 1953
Primary Users                Royal Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force, Fleet Air Arm, Polish Air Forces
Produced                       1936 to 1945
Number Built                 11,461
Variants                         Vickers Warwick, Vickers VC.1 Viking
 
 
(*3) Figure 3: Flight Crew LP155
 
It is believed that, this photo was taken prior to their fatal flight there were no survivors.
 
The crew of the Wellington X serial No LP155 was, left to right:-
 
Flying Officer G D COLDWELL-HORSEFALL, Sgt H DALY, Sgt N C Rushton RCAF, Sgt K T JAMES, Sgt R H MOYLE, Sgt N WALTERS
 
 
(*4) Loss record of the flight
 
 
(*5) Crash Report -Wellington LP155
 
 
(*6) 12 OTU Group
 
Kenneth is on the 2nd row from the back 2nd from the right
 
 
(*7) No. 2 Entry Madley
Kenneth is on the back row 6th from left
 
The Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, overlooking the Thames on Cooper's Hill four miles from Windsor, commemorates the names of over 20,000 airmen who were lost in the Second World War during operations from bases in the United Kingdom and North and Western Europe and who have no known graves. They served in all commands from Bombers to Maintenance, and came from all parts of the Commonwealth as well as countries in Europe which had been taken by the Germans (such as Denmark, the Netherlands, or Poland) and whose airmen continued to fight in the ranks of the Royal Air Force. The memorial was designed by Sir Edward MAUFE with sculpture by Vernon HILL and ceilings by John HUTTON.
 
Kenneth’s name is listed on Runnymede Memorial, in Surrey and on Chasetown War Memorial.
 
                 
 
                                                       (*8) Runnymede Memorial               (*9) Chasetown War Memorial

Item Source Credit

(*1) Photograph Chasetown Primary School © Alan BETTS (BFHG)
(*2) Photograph Wellington Bomber © Wikipedia
(*3) Photo Flight Crew © Paul Elliot
(*4) Loss Report © Paul Elliot
(*5) Crash Report © Paul Elliot
(*6) Photograph 12 OUT © Paul Elliot
(*7) Photograph No. 2 Entry Madley © Paul Elliot
(*8) Runnymede War Memorial © C.W.G.C.
(*9) Chasetown War Memorial © Alan BETTS (BFHG)

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