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Thorne F A W

WW2 individuals

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F. A. Thorne

Full Names

Rank /Unit  

Years at Q.E.G.S.

Frederick Arthur William Thorne

Sergeant 214 Squadron.
Royal Air Force



Date  / Place of Birth

Date  / Place of Death

Age at Death

Near Fordingbridge

Friday 24th July 1942
Werkendam - Holland


Fred was the son of Frederick Arthur and Kathleen Jeanette Thorne of Railway Cottage, Daggons Road, Alderholt and he was the husband of Elsie Thorne. He was a pupil at W.G.S. from 1932 until 1938. At WGS he was in Derby House and, in the early Spring of 1932, he took part in the Boxing Competition but lost his fight in contests for boys of 7.5 - 9.5 stones in weight. Later, he played regularly for the House Under-Fourteen Cricket Xl.
F.A.W. Thorne, as he is mentioned in the School magazine, was in the First Eleven Soccer team in the Spring term of 1934 when, at right back, he, "...played well. He did all that was expected of him. He [is] only thirteen; it is his first season; and he should make an excellent back in a few years." He was also in the, "... very successful Under 14 Eleven."
In the Summer term of 1935, Fred was in the First Xl Cricket team and his, "... average number of wickets per match worked out at about four." In the "Individual Performances" appears the following, "Another newcomer, opened the season rather shakily, but in the second half he revealed amazing bowling powers. Somewhat slow in the field, he has fairly safe hands." Not surprisingly, in the Autumn Speech Day, he was awarded the "Fielding Cup & Prize" in recognition of his Bowling.

Toward the end of 1940, Fred is understood to have been training as a Wireless Op/ Air Gunner.

On 23-7-42, Sgt. Fred Thorne was the rear gunner in the crew of Stirling Mk1, W7567, BU-S, which took off from RAF Stradishall, some 10 miles south-west of Bury-St. Edmunds for an attack on Duisburg in the heavily defended Ruhr Valley, the industrial heartland of Germany. It is believed that 300 aircraft were despatched to attack the docks area on the River Rhine.
The aircraft was shot down by a night fighter and it crashed at Werkendam (Noord Brabant), 11 miles NW of Waalwijk, Holland. The village is 2.5 miles SW of Gorinchem and approx 20 miles ESE of Rotterdam. Six of the crew who were killed are interred in Werkendam Protestant Cemetery. One member of the crew survived and became a POW.
There can be little doubt that Sgt Thorne saw action that night and his position in the tail turret would have made him specially vulnerable. Indeed, he might even have been killed by fire from the attacking the night-fighter, prior to the crash.

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