College members who died in 1945
Robert Hamilton Bernays (1902-1945)
While up at Worcester, Robert Bernays was a member of the College Boat Club, rowing in the 2nd Torpid in 1922 and 1923, the 2nd Eight in 1923, and the 1st Torpid in 1924. He was elected President of the Worcester College Junior Common Room and President of the Oxford Union. He graduated in 1925 with an aegrotat degree in Modern History, awarded because he was too ill to take Finals.
After leaving Oxford, Robert Bernays was a journalist of the Daily News until 1930 when the newspaper was taken over and he was made redundant. For the next year he travelled to Australia and India. In 1931 he stood as the Liberal candidate for Bristol North and was elected with a majority of 13,214. Following a visit to Germany in the autumn of 1932 he became something of an expert on the country and was a fierce critic of the Nazi Party. Following the general election of 1935, he was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health in the National Government, moving to Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport in 1939.
Robert Bernays married Nancy Britton in 1942 and they had two sons, born February 1943 and October 1944. He enlisted as a sapper in the Royal Engineers in 1942 before being commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Movement Control Section on 16 January 1943.
On 23 January 1945 Robert Bernays took off from Rome in a Beech 18 Expeditor, flown by an RAF pilot, bound for Brindisi where he was to be part of a parliamentary delegation visiting British troops. Also on board was John Dermot Campbell MP, Member of Parliament for Antrim. A second aircraft containing the rest of the delegation took off three minutes later but turned back when it ran into a violent and severe snow storm. The aircraft with Robert Bernays on board failed to arrive at its destination, and no trace was found following an extensive search of its route. Lieutenant Robert Bernays was subsequently determined to have been killed on active service on 23 January 1945. He was 42 years old.
Robert Bernays is commemorated on the Cassino Memorial in Italy, and on the war memorials of Rossall School and Worcester College, Oxford.Photograph of Robert Bernays in the Worcester College 2nd Torpid, 1923, Worcester College Archives; school information courtesy of Rossall School.
Owen Meredith Clement Jones (1912-1945)
Owen Meredith Clement Jones was born in Bradford on 6 December 1912, the son of Gertrude (née Smith) and Alfred Clement Jones, a master at Bradford Grammar School. He was educated at Bradford Grammar School from 1920 to 1931, where he was a member of the Debating Society and the Historical Society.
Owen Jones entered Worcester College on 9 October 1931 as an Exhibitioner. He achieved 2nd class honours in Modern History in 1934 and after leaving Oxford worked as a stationer and bookseller in Southampton. He married Constance Maud Smith in 1940.
Prior to the Second World War Owen Jones served as a pilot in the Civil Air Guard. He enlisted in the RAFVR and travelled to Canada for pilot training, landing at Halifax on 17 June 1941. He attended No. 31 Bombing and Gunnery School, Royal Canadian Air Force at Picton airfield in Ontario, and spent his leave in February 1942 in New York, travelling via Niagara Falls. Jones rose to the rank of warrant officer before being commissioned as a probationary Pilot Officer on 18 May 1944. He was posted to 166 Squadron in August 1944, and transferred to 153 Squadron on 7 October that year.
On 28 January 1945 Owen Jones and his crew took off from RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire for an operation over Stuttgart. Their Lancaster crashed en route to their target at the village of Michelbach bei Sinsheim and Flying Officer Owen Jones was killed, aged 32. He was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross on 27 March 1945.
Owen Jones is buried at Durnbach War Cemetery in Germany and is commemorated on the war memorials at Bradford Grammar School and Worcester College, Oxford.School information courtesy of Bradford Grammar School Archives; further information from W. R. Chorley, Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War (2005); Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt, The Bomber Command War Diaries 1939-1945 (1985); and www.raf166squadron.com.
Archibald Cluny Campbell Macpherson (1910-1945)
Archibald Cluny Campbell Macpherson was born on 8 June 1910, the eldest son of Margaret (née McNeilly) and Archibald Macpherson. He was educated at Stowe School until 1928, where he was a member of the Officer Training Corps.
Archibald Macpherson entered Worcester College on 12 October 1928 and achieved 4th class honours in Jurisprudence in 1932. While at the College he served as an Officer Cadet in the Oxford University Officer Training Corps. Macpherson was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 8th Battalion Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment) on 19 July 1939. He was transferred to the 1st Battalion and joined them in Italy on 12 September 1944; he was appointed as Motor Transport Officer on 15 January 1945. On 14 January 1945 the battalion arrived at the 17th Brigade rest area at San Giovanni Alla Vena for rest and training. While they were there Captain Archibald Macpherson was killed in an accident on 4 February 1945. He was 34.
Archibald Macpherson is buried at Florence War Cemetery in Italy, and commemorated on the war memorials at Stowe School and Worcester College, Oxford.School information courtesy of Stowe School Archives; further information from TNA - war diary of the 1st Battalion Royal Fusiliers, WO 170/5004.
Roy Archibald Gowing (1924-1945)
Roy Archibald Gowing was born in Leicester on 29 November 1924, the son of Alice (née Freeman) and Clifford Gowing, a clicker in the shoe trade. He was educated at Wyggeston Grammar School for Boys in Leicester.
Roy Gowing entered Worcester College on 30 April 1943, as a cadet with the Royal Navy, and took a short course in English Literature and English Language. Following the completion of the course he was commissioned as a Sub Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve on the 29 November 1944, and was posted to HM Motor Torpedo Boat 776.
HM Motor Torpedo Boat 776 was in the harbour at Ostend in Belgium on 14 February 1945 when it was destroyed by an explosion and ensuing fire. Sub Lieutenant Roy Gowing and another crew member were killed in the incident.
Roy Gowing is buried at Oostende New Communal Cemetery, and comemorated on the war memorials at Wyggeston Grammar School and Worcester College, Oxford.
Clement Fletcher Royds (1923-1945)
Clement Royds entered Worcester College, Oxford, on 24 April 1942 as an RAF Cadet on a wartime short course. He was subsequently commissioned as a Pilot Officer in the RAFVR on 12 November 1943 and was promoted to Flying Officer on 12 May 1944.
At 1.30pm on 14 February 1945 Clement Royds took off from Vokel in Holland with eight other aircraft from 80 Squadron for an armed reconnaissance in the area Einbeck-Hildesheim-Herford to attack targets of opportunity. During their patrol, they attacked and damaged nine locomotives and later in the mission Royds and Pilot Officer Neil James Rankin RAAF attacked a Messerschmitt Bf 109 when they were flying at 6,000 feet and some 10 miles to the east of Celle. During the combat the enemy aircraft exploded and Royds flew into its severed wing. Flying Officer Clement Royds was forced to bail out of his damaged aircraft and was later found dead. He was 21 years old.
Clement Royds is buried at Hanover War Cemetery in Germany, and is commemorated on a memorial window at St Giles’ Church, Haughton in Staffordshire. He is also commemorated on the war memorials at Marlborough College and at Worcester College, Oxford.Photograph and school information courtesy of Marlborough College Archives; further information from TNA: Combat report of Pilot Officer Rankin, 80 Squadron RAF, AIR 50/34/47; 80 Squadron RAF summary of events AIR 27/672/3; and 80 Squadron RAF records of events AIR 672/4.
Richard John Michael Harrison (1924-1945)
Richard John Michael Harrison was born in Cornwall on 6 September 1924, the elder son of Major General Desmond Harrison DSO and Kathleen (née Hazley). He was educated at Rugby School from 1938 to 1943, where he served as a cadet officer in the Officer Training Corps, and was appointed Head of House.
Richard Harrison won a Classical Exhibition to Worcester College, Oxford, for October 1943 but did not take his place, joining the army instead. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Coldstream Guards on 14 May 1944 and was posted to the 4th (Armoured) Battalion of his regiment, which he joined in the field on 17 October 1944.
On 1 March 1945 the 4th Battalion Coldstream Guards began an attack on the German village of Kervenheim in Rhineland. Lieutenant Richard Harrison’s tank led the attack across an improvised bridge over the Muhlen Sleuth to the south east of Kervenheim but as they reached Weykermanshof he was shot and killed by a sniper. He was 20 years old.
Richard Harrison is buried at Reichswald Forest War Cemetery in Germany and is commemorated on the war memorials at Rugby School and Worcester College, Oxford.School information courtesy of Rugby School Archives; further information from TNA - war diaries of the 4th Battalion Coldstream Guards, WO 171/1251.
John Skinner (1920-1945)
He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 19th (King George V’s Own) Lancers, Indian Armoured Corps and joined them in the field on 6 May 1942 where he was attached to A Squadron. In March 1945 the regiment was involved in operations against the Japanese at the village of Tamandu in Burma [now Myanmar] where John Skinner was acting as Forward Tank Officer.
Having successfully completed the operation Lieutenant John Skinner was walking back to his lines when he was killed by an enemy shell on 13 March 1945. He was 24 years old.
John Skinner is buried in Taukkyan War Cemetery in Myanmar. He is commemorated on the war memorial at Worcester College, Oxford.Photograph courtesy of Eton College Archives; school information from 'List of Etonians who fought in the World War 1939-1945'; further information from TNA: war diary 19th Lancers, WO 172/7355; and A Squadron 19th Lancers, WO 172/7356; and from Bryan Perrett, Tank Tracks to Rangoon (2014).
John Charles Goldingham (1921-1945)
John Charles Goldingham was born in Surrey on 25 April 1921, the son of Major Philip Goldingham and Phyllis (née Batt). He was educated at Canford School from 1935. In 1940 he entered Worcester College but left to join the army before taking his degree. While at Oxford he played Laertes in the Friends of the OUDS production of Hamlet in 1941.
John Goldingham enlisted in the army where he rose to the rank of Lance Corporal before being commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in the Indian Army on 12 December 1942. He was attached to the 3rd Battalion, 8th Gurkha Rifles. On 1 March 1942 his battalion was at Kanlan, Burma, when two of its commanding officers were killed by Japanese artillery. John Goldingham was placed in command of C Company and on 4 March was ordered to open a corridor through the jungle to make contact with the 1st Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment further forward. At noon, John Goldingham reported that he had attacked and destroyed one enemy position and that he was about to attack a second one. By 2.30pm nothing further had been heard from Goldingham and Major Bates assumed command of C Company and continued the advance, subsequently finding John Goldingham lying in some long grass, badly wounded. He was evacuated to the Regimental Aid Post in the rear. Captain John Goldingham died of his wounds two weeks later, on 19 March 1945, aged 23.
John Goldingham is buried in Taukkyan War Cemetery. He is commemorated on the war memorials at Canford School, and Worcester College, Oxford.School information courtesy of Canford School Archives; further information from TNA - 3/8th Gurkha Rifles war diaries, WO 172/7786.
Paul Charles Williams (1923-1945)
After joining the RAFVR Paul Williams underwent flight training in the United States. He was commissioned as a Pilot Officer on 1 October 1943 and was promoted to Flying Officer on 1 April 1944. On 27 March 1945 Flying Officer Paul Williams was serving with 298 Squadron and was killed when his Halifax aircraft crashed at RAF Tarrant Rushton in Dorset while landing after a navigational exercise. He was 21 years old.
Paul Williams is buried at Brookwood Military Cemetery in Surrey and commemorated on the war memorials at Radley College and Worcester College, Oxford.Photograph and school information courtesy of Radley School Archives; further information from TNA: 298 Squadron RAF operations book, AIR 27/1653; and 298 Squadron RAF summary of events, AIR 27/1649.
Dennis Hugo (1923-1945)
Dennis Hugo entered Worcester College on 24 April 1942 as an RAF Cadet, and was later commissioned as a Pilot Officer. In 1945 Dennis Hugo was stationed in Holland with 66 Squadron. On 11 April 1945 he took off from Landing Ground B85 in a Spitfire with eleven other aircraft from his Squadron to attack enemy ground positions in the Peheim area of Germany. After dropping their bombs they made a strafing attack on an enemy held village under considerable anti-aircraft fire. During the attack Pilot Officer Dennis Hugo was killed when his port wing was hit by flak at a very low level. He was 21 years old.
Dennis Hugo is buried at Sage War Cemetery in Germany. He is commemorated on the Spitfire Memorial Building at Manston Airfield in Kent, and on the war memorials at Crediton, Bradfield College, and Worcester College, Oxford.Photograph and other information courtesy of the Spitfire and Hurricane Memorial Museum, Manston, Kent; further information from TNA - 66 Squadron Operations record book, AIR 27/600.
William Grant Waugh (1922-1945)
William Waugh enlisted as a Private in the 24th Battalion Durham Home Guard on 6 June 1940 and served with them until 15 October 1940. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Armoured Corps on 18 April 1942 and was posted to the 10th Royal Hussars (Prince of Wales’ Own), joining them in the field on 3 July 1942. He served with them in B Squadron in North Africa, where he was wounded on two occasions. Lieutenant William Waugh was killed in action on 20 April 1945 near Portomaggiore in Italy, when his tank was hit by enemy fire. He was 23 years old.
William Waugh is buried at Ravenna War Cemetery in Italy, and commemorated on the war memorial at Fettes College and at Worcester College, Oxford.Photograph and school information courtesy of Fettes College Archives; further information from TNA:24th Battalion Durham Home Guard records, WO 409/27/86/736; and 10th Royal Hussars war diaries, WO 170/4625.
Kenneth Norman Paxton (1916-1945)
Kenneth Norman Paxton was born in Maidenhead on 15 November 1916, the son of Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Paxton DSO, MC, of the Royal Engineers, and Florence (née Dennys). He was educated at Cheltenham College and subsequently entered Worcester College, Oxford on 14 October 1934. He achieved 3rd class honours in Italian and German in 1938.
Kenneth Paxton worked in the Foreign Office in Berlin after leaving Oxford, until he enlisted in the Intelligence Corps following the outbreak of war. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant on 4 October 1942 and served with an Armoured Division in North Africa, Sicily and Italy.
Captain Kenneth Paxton was killed in a traffic accident while on active service in Berlin on 13 August 1945. He was 28 years old.
Kenneth Paxton is buried in Berlin 1939-1945 Cemetery, and commemorated on the war memorial at Worcester College, Oxford.School information courtesy of Cheltenham College Archives.
Peter George Baguley (1920-1945)
Peter Baguley entered Worcester College on 7 October 1938, and was a member of the College Boat Club, rowing in the 1st Torpid and 1st Eight in 1939. During his time in Oxford he was also a member of the Oxford University Air Squadron, and enlisted in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve at the outbreak of war. He therefore left Oxford without taking a degree.
Peter Baguley was posted to the Far East where he served as an Aircraftsman 1st Class with the Marine Section at Singapore. He was captured by the Japanese on 1 March 1942 and spent over three years as a prisoner of war. Aircraftsman Peter Baguley died at Palembang Camp, Sumatra on 17 August 1945, aged 25.
Peter Baguley is buried at Jakarta War Cemetery, and commemorated on the war memorials at Radley College and Worcester College, Oxford.Photograph of Peter Baguley in the Worcester College 1st Torpid, 1939, Worcester College Archives; school information courtesy of Radley School Archives; further information from TNA - RAF Casualties Far East, WO 361/1328; and cofepow.org.uk.
Richard Charles Rudkin (1924-1945)
Dickie Rudkin entered Worcester College, Oxford, on 9 October 1942 as an RAF Cadet on a wartime short course. He was commissioned as a Pilot Officer on probation on the 10 March 1944 and was confirmed in his rank and promoted to Flying Officer on 10 September that year.
On 16 October 1945 Dickie Rudkin took off in a Tempest aircraft with 80 squadron from Lubeck-Blank en See in Germany for a training exercise. Flying Officer Richard Rudkin was killed in a crash while flying in a cloud. He was 21 years old.
Dickie Rudkin is buried at Hamburg Cemetery in Germany and commemorated on the war memorials at Hampton Grammar School and Worcester College, Oxford.Photograph and school information courtesy of Hampton Grammar School Archives; further information from TNA - 80 Squadron RAF summary of events, AIR 27/672/9.
James Boucher (1919-1945)
Jim Boucher entered Worcester College on 7 October 1938, having been awarded an Exhibition. He was a member of the College Boat Club and rowed in the 1st Torpid and 1st Eight in 1939. On the outbreak of war he enlisted as a Gunner in the Royal Artillery and did not return to Oxford to complete his degree, but it is clear from correspondence in the Archives that he intended to return at the end of the war. He attended the 123rd Officer Cadet Training Unit from where he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery on 18 February 1940. He was promoted to Lieutenant and transferred to the Intelligence Corps on 5 September 1942. On 19 October 1945 Captain James Boucher was killed in an accident in India while on active service. He was 26 years old.
Jim Boucher is buried in Ranchi War Cemetery, India. He is commemorated on the war memorials at Radley College and Worcester College, Oxford.Photograph of Jim Boucher in the Worcester College 1st Eight, 1939, Worcester College Archives; school information courtesy of Radley College Archives.