Author Topic: Charles Holmes: RAF - are there any more clues by looking at these photographs?  (Read 146 times)

Offline LouiseB31

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Good afternoon

I am hoping to find out any possible extra clues from these two photographs of Charles Holmes.
His nephew John wants to know what happened to him.

He became estranged from the family after WW2 and these are a couple of the only photographs that survive (one showing Charles, his policeman father and his civilian brother, the other of him on his own. We know he was alive at least into the 1970s as he did back to the area briefly.

Charles was born on 5th August 1919 in New Row, Bebside, Blyth. When he signed up he would have been living at 15 Merton Cottages, Embleton.

I have looked at military records as best as I can and as far as I have established, the following men with the name of Charles Holmes were in the RAF – one of these may be our man.

Service Number: 2303208 enlisted at Padgate, Cheshire after February 1946
Service Number: 1456846 enlisted at Cardington, Bedfordshire, after April 1941
Service Number: 1493905 enlisted at Padgate, Cheshire after April 1941
Service Number: 1152614 enlisted at Cardington after April 1940. Was appointed as a Class F Reservist.
Service Number: 1440207 enlisted at Cardington after April 1941. Militia

And I found a Charles Holmes who was an airman/radio operator, who may be one of the earlier mentioned men, or a different man. There is no service number for him. Enlisted 1941, left 1942 - forced to retire due to injury. Rank: Aircraftman 2nd Class, Radio School Madley, Herefordshire.

There are also a number of men with the initial C, that are not necessarily a Charles

Service Number: 1030117, Royal Air Force Police
No service number - Pilot Officer of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service Number: 1644294 - class F reservist, enlisted Cardington after October 1941
There was a Flight Sgt with Bomber Command but he died in 1942 so we know that can't be our man
There was a Substantive Flying Officer of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1945 (no service number)
Service Number: 949925, Sergeant Aircrafthand who had been in the Mediterranean and was coming back from Italy in 1946.

I wonder whether there are any clues in these attached photographs that might suggest whether he belonged to any particular squadron or job role. That might then help me to narrow it down.

There is also a fascinating suggestion that he may have been working with “the Americans” on propaganda films, somewhere in the South East, I don’t know whether that was as part of his RAF role, or as a civvy afterwards.

I can't find his death anywhere with that date of birth, there is a suspicion he might have gone to America (perhaps as a result of working with some colleagues) and maybe the oil industry.

Thanks to anyone who can assist
Baldock, Millward, Harriman, Wilson, Hilton, Fairclough, Hadley, Bedford, Brady, Butler, Watchorn, Marshall, Jutson, Pinfold, Masters, Mottram, Upton, Daffern, Shellswell, Skelding, Wall, Taylor, Scattergood, Ferguson, Innous, Mulley

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Offline medpat

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Re: Charles Holmes: RAF - are there any more clues by looking at these photographs?
« Reply #1 on: Friday 11 January 19 12:21 GMT (UK) »
Top picture is him as a sergeant, no indication he is aircrew at this time. Rank on arm.

Bottom picture he's a Flying Officer (rank on shoulder) and is in a flying suit and that looks like an unidentified (by us ex RAF) squadron badge on left breast.

Look at the officers not the airmen as he was at least a Flying Officer.

Some Officers Ranks

Pilot Officer
Flying Officer
Squadron Leader
Wing Commander
Group Captain
Lloyd, Paddock, Cooper, Morris, Darby, Rigby, Platt, Armstrong. All based in West Midlands

GEDmatch M157477

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Offline LouiseB31

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Re: Charles Holmes: RAF - are there any more clues by looking at these photographs?
« Reply #2 on: Friday 11 January 19 12:39 GMT (UK) »
Gosh I had no idea
Thank you very much, that is very helpful
Baldock, Millward, Harriman, Wilson, Hilton, Fairclough, Hadley, Bedford, Brady, Butler, Watchorn, Marshall, Jutson, Pinfold, Masters, Mottram, Upton, Daffern, Shellswell, Skelding, Wall, Taylor, Scattergood, Ferguson, Innous, Mulley

Online GrahamSimons

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Re: Charles Holmes: RAF - are there any more clues by looking at these photographs?
« Reply #3 on: Friday 11 January 19 13:17 GMT (UK) »
If you can get sight of the Air Force List - available in complete run at TNA on open shelves, patchily at the SoG and perhaps at some big libraries, you could do some more detective work.

Alternatively with the dob you might approach the Ministry of Defence, but either you need a death cert at least. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/requests-for-personal-data-and-service-records

His promotions will have been published in the London Gazette searchable online but the search system is a bit clunky and unreliable - and with a relatively common name you may find there's a lot of sifting to do.
Simons Barrett Jaffray Waugh Langdale Heugh Meade Garnsey Evans Vazie Mountcure Glascodine Parish Peard Smart Dobbie Sinclair....
in Stirlingshire, Roxburghshire; Bucks; Devon; Somerset; Northumberland; Carmarthenshire; Glamorgan

Offline LouiseB31

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Re: Charles Holmes: RAF - are there any more clues by looking at these photographs?
« Reply #4 on: Friday 11 January 19 13:42 GMT (UK) »
Thanks Graham, those are a couple of good suggestions.
I shall certainly try both
(We don't have the death certificate, we don't know where he died, if he died, that's part of the search, so that rules out getting his service records for the moment).
Baldock, Millward, Harriman, Wilson, Hilton, Fairclough, Hadley, Bedford, Brady, Butler, Watchorn, Marshall, Jutson, Pinfold, Masters, Mottram, Upton, Daffern, Shellswell, Skelding, Wall, Taylor, Scattergood, Ferguson, Innous, Mulley

Online MaxD

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Re: Charles Holmes: RAF - are there any more clues by looking at these photographs?
« Reply #5 on: Friday 11 January 19 14:07 GMT (UK) »
The US story may have some substance.  The badge on his pocket is not an RAF Squadron badge and much resembles the format of USAF squadron badges (of which there were many!).  He doesn't have an aircrew brevet.

Doesn't help identifying him though!

MaxD
Double  Essex/Suffolk
Randle/Millington Warwicks
Sokser/Klingler Austria/Croatia

Offline LouiseB31

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Re: Charles Holmes: RAF - are there any more clues by looking at these photographs?
« Reply #6 on: Friday 11 January 19 14:39 GMT (UK) »
Thanks Max. I am going to try to get a much higher resolution scan and hope that will help a bit.
Baldock, Millward, Harriman, Wilson, Hilton, Fairclough, Hadley, Bedford, Brady, Butler, Watchorn, Marshall, Jutson, Pinfold, Masters, Mottram, Upton, Daffern, Shellswell, Skelding, Wall, Taylor, Scattergood, Ferguson, Innous, Mulley