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1939 - 1945

Benson's War Graves Cemetery is located oppposite the church and entered by a lych gate. There are 29 graves from WW2, beautifully kept by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. These include British, New Zealand, Canadian, Czechoslovakian  and Polish airmen. Since the end of the war, 22 more airmen have been buried here.


Further information is available on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website.

History of Benson

Name      Rank      Service Number      Date of Death        Age         Regiment / Service             Memorial Reference

                                                                                                                                                                                                 (Row /Grave number)


BARNETT, MICHAEL EDWARD FULTON     Pilot Officer     36235     08/04/1940     18     Royal Air Force                  C/6


On the night of 8 April, Barnett aged 18, was detailed to carry out circuits and landings on Benson Aerodrome. Having made one landing, he took off again at 22.45 hours, climbed to a height of 600 ft, swung to the right and crashed at Ewelme, near Benson.


BLYSKEL,  FRANCISYEK        Sergeant             P793314          26/11/1940            21          Royal Air Force                      D/9


One of three Polish airmen, who took off from Benson. After completing two circuits at 1,000 ft, the aircraft dived and crashed at Mount Farm, Dorchester, Oxfordshire.


CAMPBELL, JAMES             Pilot Officer            41345           07/11/1939            20           Royal Air Force                      B/5


On the morning of 7 November, Campbell collected an aircraft from Feltham for delivery to Brize Norton. He crashed into a hill in low cloud and fog near Ewelme Park, Oxfordshire. 


CANTWELL, NICHOLAS WILLIAM              Sergeant       581320          20/09/1940      21      Royal Air Force                 E/8


Cantwell was killed in Euston Road, during an enemy air raid on London.


CONSTABLE, ALBERT VICTOR   Lance Corporal   7590727      22/03/1943   28   Royal Army Ordnance Corps            C/39


Constable, from Benson, took part in the BEF action, which ended at Dunkirk. He contracted pleurisy, whilst waiting to be evacuated from the beaches and was taken to hospital in Headington, Oxford, where he died. He is commemorated in a window in St Helen's Church, Benson.


COUPER, THOMAS MACKINTOSH      Pilot Officer    J/3742     18/04/1941      20    Royal Canadian Air Force            F/10


At the age of 20, Couper was on night practice landings, when his aircraft struck a farm building and crashed at 04.00 hours.


CRAVEN, DEREK JOSEPH   Sergeant         581207               11/06/1940              25       Royal Air Force                           F/7


Craven was killed when his aeroplane crashed one mile south-west of Benson.


CUMBERLEGE, PATRICIA MARY BRIDGET  Section Officer   7014    29/11/1946  33  Women's Auxiliary Air Force     E/11


Cumberlege was a Photo Interpreter in the WAAF. She was flying to gain air experience, when her Mosquito crashed at Coombe Park Farm.


DUNLOP, DUNCAN DARROCK      Sergeant     1330863     04/06/1942    19  Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve         C/10


Aged 19, Dunlop was a member of the crew of a Wellington, which crashed near Henley, Oxfordshire.

EVERITT, MAURICE VIVIAN     Sergeant            654354            24/07/1940          19          Royal Air Force                    D/7


Aged 19, Everitt was killed when his aircraft crashed at North Stoke, Oxfordshire.


FISHER, ARTHUR VIVIAN         Pilot Officer      43702              06/08/1940           23           Royal Air Force                   B/7


Fisher was airborne on his first night landing practice. His aircraft crashed at Britwell House Estate, near Watlington, Oxfordshire.


GRIERSON, JOHN ALEXANDER      Pilot Officer      405256     07/12/1941      21    Royal New Zealand Air Force       D/10


Aged 21, Grierson was the pilot of a Wellington on a non-operational flight, which crashed at Benson.


HENDERSON, CYRIL CLIFFORD    Sergeant     901353      20/09/1940     23      Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve     F/8


Henderson died as a result of injuries received in an enemy air raid on London the previous evening.


HUGO, PETER JOHN     Flying Officer     122131      08/01/1944       21      Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve             G/11


Aged 21, Hugo was killed when the Mosquito in which he was flying, stalled on landing at RAF Benson.


HUNT, JAMES DOUGLAS     Sergeant          553383           28/12/1940            19                 Royal Air Force                   G/9


Aged 19, Hunt was a member of the crew of a Hampden, which crashed at Appleford Bridge, near Abingdon, Oxfordshire, on a return flight from Bordeaux.


IGNASZEK, ANTONE HENRYK        Pilot Officer     P0071               26/11/1940          25          Royal Air Force               E/9


One of three Polish airmen, who took off from Benson. After completing two circuits at 1,000 ft, the aircraft dived and crashed at Mount Farm, an airfield near Dorchester, Oxfordshire.


JONES, NORMAN GRENVILLE        Corporal         348270        12/03/1941             37                  Royal Air Force            B/9


Jones was killed as a result of enemy action at Mount Farm, an airfield near Dorchester, Oxfordshire.


KEOGH, ROBERT ALLAN WALKER     Aircraftman 1st Class      569519         18/10/1939    20       Royal Air Force        C/5


Keogh was a passenger in one of three aircraft of 52 Squadron, engaged in formation flying practice. His aircraft collided with another aeroplane of the formation and crashed one mile west of Dorchester, Oxfordshire.


MAKAREWICZ, WLADYSLAW            Pilot Officer               P0063            26/11/1940      25      Royal Air Force            C/9


One of three Polish airmen, who took off from Benson. After completing two circuits at 1,000 ft, the aircraft dived and crashed at Mount Farm, an airfield near Dorchester, Oxfordshire.


McLEAN, DONALD     Sergeant      R/66040           18/04/1941             22            Royal Canadian Air Force                G/10


McLean died in the aircraft on night practice landings, piloted by Thomas Coupar, which struck a farm building and crashed at 04.00 hours.

ODSTR-CILEK, OTAKAR    Sergeant     787369        30/09/1940        29       Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve           D/8


Odstr-Cilek, from Czechoslovakia, was on his first solo flight in the type of aircraft he was flying. He crashed at 11.45 at Streatley, Berkshire.


PARRY, HERBERT WILLIAM     Sergeant      1181625       19/06/1941    19    Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve        E/10    

Aged 19, Parry was flying at night in a Wellington practising circuits and landings. His aircraft overshot the runway at Mount Farm aerodrome, near Dorchester, Oxfordshire and crashed at Drayton St. Leonard, with the loss of the entire crew. Sgt Parry was from Isleworth and was based on No12 OTU from RAF Benson and his fellow crew were: Sgt Kenneth Turner Mitchell, from Falkirk; Sgt Howard Ursell from Hampton Middlesex and Sgt Leslie Owen Hodnett from Stourbridge.     

Click here to see a photograph of Sgt Parry and his interment.

PERRY, CHARLES DAVID     Sergeant             561615      14/06/1940         29                 Royal Air Force                          E/7


Perry was seriously wounded in a raid in France, and made a forced landing on his return to base. He was evacuated to Stourbridge, where he died. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal.


PHYPERS, JOHN    Aircraftman 1st Class     1611663      12/06/1943       39   Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve       B/10



ROBB, WILLIAM          Sergeant               628511              29/07/1940                 18             Royal Air Force                     C/7


Robb died in an aircraft crash at Benson aged 18.


ROONEY, LOUIS JOHN         Flight Lieutenant         39955            28/12/1940             25         Royal Air Force              F/9


Rooney was the pilot of a Hampden, which took off from Scampton to fly to Bordeaux. He crashed at Appleford Bridge, near Abingdon, Oxfordshire on the return flight.


ROSE, MERTON LAMBERT HORFIELD     Flying Officer      124222        08/01/1944   25  RAF Volunteer Reserve        F/11


Rose was killed when the Mosquito in which he was flying, stalled on landing at RAF Benson.

SOKOLOWSKI-DE-JENKO, GEORGE       Pilot Officer           P1360       01/10/1940       33     Royal Air Force                 C/8


Sokolowski was practising night flying, when he crashed at Heath End, near Checkendon.


THOMSON, BASIL PERCY     Pilot Officer          36264                      11/06/1940      20           Royal Air Force                G/7


Thomson was killed in an aircraft crash one mile south-west of Benson aerodrome.


WAINWRIGHT, ANTHONY GEOFFERY BRIAN, MC         Major         74537       13/06/1942        Royal Artillery           F/39



WEST, FREDERICK HORNBY SUTCLIFFE       Pilot Officer      66507      28/02/1941    23     RAF Volunteer Reserve      B/8


Flying from Benson for the first time, West was receiving instructions on landing when his aircraft crashed at Watlington, Oxfordshire.


Researched by the authors of Benson Book of Remembrance :

Alastair Jack, Janet and William Burtt and Don Fletcher


History of Benson
History of Benson

Benson children laying red, white and blue posies in the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in 1995 to mark fifty years since VE Day. 


Click on a name from the list below, for more details, which will open in a new window.


Close window to return.

History of Benson

CASUALTIES  1939 - 1945


Alec E. Beal

Old boy of Benson School, died near Dunkirk


Richard J. Chamberlain DFC

Civil Engineer from Crowmarsh Battle Farm, awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.


Walter N. Chamberlain

Half-brother of Richard Chamberlain, above, who died from fever, whilst serving in Burma.


Robert Dunlop-Mackenzie

Pilot of a Manchester aircraft, he died, aged 23, and was buried in the Netherlands.


Thomas W. Heath

A Flight Lieutenant, attached to a Balloon Wing, he was seriously injured by a V1 flying bomb and died in hospital.


Ben M. Pick

A Halifax pilot, who was killed, aged 21. His parents were publicans at Roke.


Ernest A. Phillips

He was killed in action in Burma.


Frank Salter

He died at sea, when his vessel struck a mine and sunk with few survivors.

(See photograph in slideshow on RAF history page.)


John Wood

Old boy of Benson School and Wallingford Grammar School, who came from Castle Square, Benson. His aircraft failed to return from a mission over the Norwegian coast.


Kenneth Howse

He was a carpenter from Wood Street, Wallingford, who died of his injuries, whilst serving in India.


                                 Researched by the authors of Benson Book of Remembrance :

Alastair Jack, Janet and William Burtt and Don Fletcher


To order a copy, please click the button at the foot of this page.

History of Benson
Group photograph of Benson Home Guard
19. Hedley Mitchell
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