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Promotions in WWII
Notes from the newspapers

Lt. LeeThe Rushden Echo & Argus, 13th August, 1943, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Commission Won - Success for Rushden Artilleryman

  A commission as 2nd Lieutenant in the R.A. has been gained by Walter Sidney Lee, of 31, Tennyson-road, Rushden.

  Lieut. Lee, who is now 25 years old, has been serving since March, 1938, and is at present attached to an anti-tank regiment.  Prior to joining the Army he worked for Messrs. Allebone and Sons, boot manufacturers, and was a keen sportsman.  He is the only son of Mr. and Mrs. W. Lee, who also have two daughters, both engaged on war work.

Pilot Officer Fred Newell
Sgt-Pilot JacquesThe Rushden Echo, 28th May, 1943, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Won His Wings - Rushden Airman’s Success in Canada
Mrs. M. Jacques, of 100, High-street South, Rushden, has learned that her husband, Sergt. Pilot Jeffrey Lewis Jacques, R.A.F.V.R., has gained his wings while in training at Weyburn, Canada. He is 24 years of age and has served for 14 months, eight of them at Weyburn. He formerly worked with his father, a plumber, and was the assistant cub master of Rushden St. Mary’s Wolf Cubs. His parents are Mr. and Mrs. A. Jacques, of 84 Bedford-road, Rushden.

The Rushden Echo, 18th June, 1943, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Pilot Officer BoneWon His Wings - Rushden Airman Also Gains Commission
News has been received by Mrs. M. Bone, of 119, Washbrook-road, Rushden, that her son, Corporal W. J. Bone, aged 25, of the R.A.F., now in South Africa, has gained his wings and has been granted a commission. He joined in 1939 as a general clerk, and served in that capacity in France, and was at St. Nazaire when France capitulated. He was among the last to get away, the Germans being in the next village. After further service as a clerk at a home station, he volunteered for training as a pilot. He was sent to South Africa to do his practical training.

Pilot Officer Bone was educated at the Intermediate School, Rushden, and worked for a time in a grocery department of the Rushden Co-operative Society, and then for a year or two he was employed by Messrs. H. W. Chapman, Ltd., carton manufacturers, at their Irthlingborough branch.

The Rushden Echo & Argus, 23rd July, 1943, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Commission for Air-Gunner - Rushden Man’s Fine Record of Flights
Ronald Cox
A commission as Pilot Officer in the R.A.F. has been gained by Ronald Cox, only son of Mr. and Mrs. W. H. Cox, of 45, Park-avenue, Rushden.

Joining the Air Force in February 1940, P/O Cox became a sergeant air-gunner and took part in scores of operational flights over enemy territory. During a well-earned rest period recently he has been serving as a gunnery instructor.

After attending Rushden Newton-road School, where he was in the hands of Coun. J. Allen, he completed his education at Kettering Grammar School under the late Mr. J. I. Scott. He afterwards worked in Rushden Co-operative Society’s furnishing department (Higham-road) and then obtained a position with the Worksop Co-operative Society.

The Rushden Echo and Argus, 4th February, 1944, transcribed by Gill Hollis

A.T.C. Boy Wins Commission - Rushden Squadron is Proud of Him
  Latest ex-member of the Rushden A.T.C. Squadron to win a commission in the Royal Air Force is Pilot Officer John Edward Drage, described by his old A.T.C. chief Ft.-Lt. A. H. Whitton, as “one of the best boys we ever had.”

  P.O. Drage is the only son of Mr. and Mrs. G. E. Drage, of 47, St. Margaret’s-avenue, Rushden.  After school days at Alfred-street he worked for the London Central Meat Co., and when the Rushden A.T.C. Squadron was formed he became one of the original members.  He had less than nine months’ pre-service training, but in that time gained a useful degree of proficiency in drill, navigation, signalling and aircraft recognition.

  This all proved of value to him when he joined the R.A.F. in March, 1942.  He became a sergeant last June, and his commission has just come through.  His air work is as a navigator under Bomber Command, and he has already made a number of operational flights.

  The Rushden Squadron is particularly proud of P/O Drage as an example of what can be done – with the help of the A.T.C. – without the advantage of secondary education.

F/O LaughtonRushden Echo & Argus, 11th February 1944, transcribed by Kay Collins

Air Officer’s Promotion – Formerly Employed by Rushden Firm
The promotion of Pilot Officer Ernest Eaton Laughton, R.A.F., to the rank of Flying Officer took place recently in N. Ireland.

F/O Laughton is 23 years of age and the son of Mr and Mrs H Laughton of 38, Wollaston-road, Irchester. He is married and his wife is in Ireland with him. Previously employed as a carpenter by Messrs Sanders and Sanders, of Rushden, he has been with the R.A.F. since the beginning of the war and was commissioned about nine months ago.

As a boy he attended the Irchester Council School and was connected with the Irchester Boys’ Brigade.

The Rushden Echo and Argus, 23rd June, 1944, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Another Pilot - Rushden Fleet Airman Gains Wings in Florida

  A cable from Midshipman James B. Neville, R.N.V.R., Fleet Air Arm, in Florida, U.S.A., to his parents at Rushden on Monday notified them that he has received his pilot’s wings.  Midshipman Neville was 19 years of age last Saturday and was commissioned a fortnight previously.  He is the elder son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Neville, of 10, Windmill-road.

  In the service since April, 1943, he went to America last September.  Formerly he worked in the R.U.D.C. offices, belonged to the Home Guard and attended Rushden Adult School.  He was educated at the Higham Ferrers School and Wellingborough Grammar School.

The Rushden Echo and Argus, 21st July, 1944, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Rushden Man on Ferry Control
Promoted to Warrant Officer
  For the past twelve months on ferry control from this country to Algiers and Gibraltar and back the active R.A.F. career of Warrant Officer Horace Roberts, elder son of Mrs. F. Roberts, of 20, Irchester-road, Rushden, has been interesting.

  Joining the R.A.F. in 1939, he went to the Middle East in 1941, and returned here from one tour of bombing operations in 1942.

  Another tour, bringing his total operations up to about 58, was done out there, and he came back again early in 1943.  The airman encountered one stroke of bad luck in November, 1942, when he was badly wounded, accidentally, by a hand grenade.  In addition he has been mentioned in dispatches.

  During this period he held the rank of Flight/Sergt. and was promoted to Warrant Officer two months ago.  Before service, he was employed at Messrs. John White’s Newton-road factory.  He used to attend Rushden Adult School.  He was educated at the Alfred-street school and is now 23 years of age.

  His younger brother, Pte. E. L. Roberts, R.A.S.C., is serving in France.

Sgt perkinsRushden Echo & Argus, 10th November 1944, transcribed by Kay Collins

Air Navigator – Solicitors’ Clerk Wins his Wings
Well-known in Rushden, where he was employed in the office of Messrs. J. T. Parker, Son, and A. N. Groome, solicitors, Sergt. W. D. (“Don”) Perkins, only son of Mrs. W. Perkins, of 119 Finedon-road, Irthlingborough, has gained his wing as a navigator, following training in Rhodesia and South Africa. He joined the R.A.F. in March 1943, at the age of 19, proceeding overseas shortly afterwards.

One of the earliest members of the A.T.C., he held the rank of Flight Sergeant in C Flight, No. 378 Mannock Squadron.

Don LoakesRushden Echo & Argus, 17th November 1944, transcribed by Kay Collins

Fleet Airman – Rushden Man Wins Wings in Canada

P.O. Donald Loakes, Fleet Air Arm, has cabled from Canada to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Loakes, of “Shirlyn,” Shirley-road, Rushden, Rushden, to say that he has gained his wings.

Aged 18½ years, P.O. Loakes is a telegraphist – air gunner. He has been in the service for 12 months and went to Canada in February. Formerly he was employed by Messrs. A. Sargent and Sons. He was educated at the Intermediate School, played in the junior football and attended St. Peter’s Church Sunday School.

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