Date of birth: 27th April 1923
Parents: Charles and Sarah Gibbs nee Baldwin
Address: 21 Hampton Street, Warwick
Occupation: Worked at Percy Johnsons, Bath Street, Leamington Spa
The 1939 Register shows that Harry’s father, Charles (1894-1975) was a Carpenter who had served as a private in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in WW1. His mother, Sarah, was born in 1896. The couple had married in October 1918. Harry had an older brother, Charles Thomas (1919-1983) who was a Clerk. Harry is shown as a Garage Hand, Heavy Works. There is one redaction in the register.
Harry’s brother Charles went on to marry Winifred Nicholls in 1941 and they had one daughter.
The 1940 Warwick Advertiser article about Harry’s brother is part of a series featuring local men serving in the forces.
Records show that all three members of Henry’s family were still living in the Warwickshire area when they died.
Rank & Number: Sergeant (Flight Engineer), 1819251
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Brigade/Division: 78 (Preston's Own) Squadron
Date of death: 25th April 1944
Cause of death/Battle: Killed in action when his aircraft lost power and crashed at Benestroff in France
Commemorated/Buried: Buried in Benestroff Communal Cemetery, Mosell, France. Coll. grave 1-4.
Commemorated locally at: St Paul's Church
According to the Warwick Advertiser item, Harry joined up in March 1942.
In April 1944 Harry took off in a Halifax Mark III from RAF Breighton in Yorkshire for operations over Benestroff. Over France. the aircraft lost power and crashed, killing five of the seven crew.
He died 2 days before his 21st birthday.
- Unlocking Warwick Research Group
- Warwick Advertiser excerpts courtesy of Warwickshire County Record Office