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Can You Help?

This section of the website is for individuals who are searching for information about relatives or friends who served with Balloon Barrage to have enquiries posted here by the webmaster in an effort to see if others can help them.

There is no charge for this service, but any donations are welcome as this website costs a great deal to host and maintain!

Please post cheques made out to:

"BBRC" attention of Peter Garwood,

BBRC, Rock Cottage, Trellech Road, Trellech, Monmouthshire NP25 3EY.

If you can help contact them directly or contact

His details are:

1105416 Sgt Daniel Currie Hamilton

The family of the above are keen to know if anyone can help them with research into the history of his RAF career.

He was born 26.11.1919 [although service record says 26.5.19!]

Was embodied on 10.7.40 as Aircraft ChargeHand / Motor Boat Crew from Unit 3 – RC Padgate

Under Miscellaneous it states F,2171.No.5ACSB 14/6/40 Not accepted for Air Crew Duties – Dad always said he was too heavy to be a rear gunner in a plane and ended up on boats.

The ranks he attained are as follows 31.12.40 = AC2, 1.1.42 = LAC, 15.12.42 = T. Cpl, 1.4.44 = T. Sgt.

 His movements as far as I can make out are:

On entry - RC Padgate

2.8.40 – Stn Thorney Island

26.6.41 – M. East

3.3.42 – 975 Squadron

then various Port Said  and 975 squadron entries until

1.8.43 – 980 Squadron

12.9.43 – MCU absc

Next entry not until 1945 with more letters unknown to me!

 Dad spoke of delivering a boat from the south of England to the west coast of Scotland – I presume Greenock

 as this is one of Dad’s photos.  Then he spoke of Port Said, Alexandria and a shorter time later on in Larnaka,

 Cyprus. (I have a letter redirected on 10.8.44 from Alexandria to Larnaka)





542358 Thomas Scott

Carol Scott would like to know if anyone can help her with her fathers RAF history:

Born 5th October 1910. . He enlisted before the war but we are not sure of the date. We do have a little statuette of a boxer with a plaque which reads:

No2 RAF Depot Novice Competition Middleweight Winner, October 1937
 In 1941 he was stationed at Port Talbot with the 965 squadron. In his diary He refers mostly to site numbers and we are having difficulty in pinpointing them.
 We know that he went to Europe about 6 days after D-day and ended up in Holland.
Many thanks, Carol Scott




Acting Squadron Officer Diana Mary BARTON O.B.E.(1912-2001)

Acting Squadron Officer Diana Mary BARTON O.B.E.1348 Women's Auxiliary Air Force (1912-2001) was unique in the history of Balloon Command. She was born on the 24th January 1912 in Reading. In 1938 she volunteered for the Women's Legion. This obviously gave her a flavour for serving her country and within 12 months she had volunteered for The Women's Auxiliary Airforce (WAFF) and became 880136 Corporal Miss Diana Mary BARTON.

The London Gazette shows her being gazetted on the 3rd December 1940 as having an appointment as Assistant Section Officers (ASC), and she was now commissioned as 1348 ASC Miss Diana  Mary BARTON. She was then made up and gazetted on the 27th March 1942 as a Section Officer (Temp), she became an instructor for Barrage Balloon Units. She was the first woman to command a Barrage Balloon Unit in the United Kingdom and this was based in Grosvenor Square, London.

She was later posted to Bomber Command and subsequently became a Staff Officer with Transport Command. She was awarded the 1939 War and Defence Medals together with the Air Efficiency Award ( See Link Air Efficiency Award) and the Military Order of the British Empire for her pioneering work in RAF Balloon Command.

She became an Acting Squadron Officer in 1943.

In the Gazette of 29th December 1944 (Issue 36866) she was gazetted by the King as an Additional Officer of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. If anyone  has anymore to add to her history then please contact: as I am sure there is much that was not known about her career in and after WWII. We would love to have more information about her.

To see what we know about her follow this link: Acting Squadron Officer Diana Mary BARTON OBE



840231     L.A.C Albert Edward WARD     901 Balloon Squadron  

No. 1 Balloon Centre, Kidbrooke

I'm trying to find any information on my Grandfather above. He was killed on 17th September 1940 at Bostall Wood, Abbey Wood, Kent.
As far as I can tell he was the only one that died that night and I would like to find out the circumstances. If anyone has any information on him, the day he died or photos of 901 squadron please get in touch.
Thank you
Tracy Bennett
13 Primmett Close
West Kingsdown
TN15 6SW




 A Request from a researcher at Lancaster University about 960 Squadron

 My name is Emma Vickers and I'm in the first year of a PhD at the University of Lancaster. I'm trying to trace a member of 960 Balloon Squadron, based at St Mary's Holm on Orkney. I've received a letter from
 a veteran of the squadron who referred to a male comrade he worked with there called 'Cynthia'. If possible, I need to trace this person, or contact anybody who served with him.
 Thank you for your time,
Best wishes,

 Emma Vickers, University of Lancaster

Contact Emma at



343487 Cpl Alfred Sydney Poulter

I live in Ontario, Canada. I am researching my great Uncle 343487 Alfred Sydney POULTER who was killed in July 12 1941 while serving as a driver in the No.18 Balloon centre in Glasgow. I was wondering if you could tell me or help me in anyway to find out some info on the No 18 balloon centre or how my great uncle was killed. I do appreciate your time and any info you may offer, Thank you
Drew Poulter




Barrage Balloon Wire Experimental Wire Cutting Station at Pawlett, Somerset,

Rex Haggett writes:

 I do not know if you can help but I am attempting to put my memories on paper of what went on at the Barrage Balloon Wire Experimental wire cutting station at Pawlett, Somerset  during the second  war.  I was 12 when the war broke out and for us children the building of the huge hangar and the subsequent sight of Fairey Battle bombers cutting away equipment from the Balloon and the larger Wellington Bombers cutting away the actual Balloon was a great adventure.We kids spent a lot of time chasing after the various flags and the parachutes which fell. 
One of my greatest memories was of helping the official recovery team  to pack up a cut away balloon by jumping on it to exclude the remaining gas and air so as to  flatten it. One thing you may not know was that on one very windy day instead of balloons they used three huge 18 foot box kites flying in tandem to hoist the equipment which was to be cut away.  I only remember seeing it once and I cannot recall whether any plane came over to do the cutting.
Any rate I am preparing a talk on the subject for a local men's meeting and I was wondering whether any members of your club have any recollections of the project which could refresh my memory.I was so interested in the goings on that I tried to recreate the whole scenario in miniature from by erecting a hoist about 30 feet from the ground from a conveniently placed branch of a local elm tree.  I then pulled up a large stuffed barrage balloon together with home made flags, parachutes, wind socks etc. 
Rex Haggett,
27 Meadow Close,
CV37 9PJ





Cpl Albert (Brownie) Brown who served at Scapa Flow in WW2
I am trying to find out about the balloon squadron's that were posted to Scapa during WW2.
My father Albert {Brownie} Brown was a corporal up there.
He was a driver with the London Omnibus Company in peacetime.
 Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Chris Brown [his son].


 Barrage Balloon Defences of Yeovil

Duncan Black wants help with the following

I am researching the subject of the barrage balloon defences of Yeovil with a view to recording the locations of the individual bases so that they can be entered in the Somerset Historic Environment Record as at the moment
they are not recorded in any way. I have aerial photographs showing them from altitude but cant be sure of their dimensions etc. Was there any accommodation/shelter at the bases and how did they communicate with each other or the control. I wonder if you can help me in any way. Such help would be greatly appreciated.
Regards Duncan

Contact Duncan at:>


840546 Harry Oliver Smith who served with 901 squadron in 1940 and 1944, 961 in 1942, 902/3 in 1943. He also spent
time with 1 BC and 2 MBU.

Rich ard Smith writes: A bit of a long shot, but I wonder if you can help, I'm looking for information about my father 840546 Harry Oliver Smith who served with 901 squadron in 1940 and 1944, 961 in 1942, 902/3 in 1943. He also spent
time with 1 BC and 2 MBU.He was promoted to corporal in 1941 and sergeant in 1946.
I have a copy of his service record, but it is very sketchy so any help or pointers will be very gratefully received.

Many thanks





County Of Warwick BB Squadrons, ( Nos 911 to 917 Sqns), and No 5 Balloon Centre at Sutton Coldfield and No 6 Balloon Centre at Wythall. 

Phil Bonner is currently researching the County Of Warwick BB Squadrons, which comprised Nos 911 to 917 Sqns, along with No 5 Balloon Centre at Sutton Coldfield and No 6 Balloon Centre at Wythall.  He would particularly like to know the location of any of the balloon sites in the Birmingham and Coventry areas.  Contact e-mail address is


William Henry Armstrong (11th April 1942) was “6th Flight 914 Squadron

.  I am trying to trace my family history. My mother is adopted, but her birth mother married an Airman 3 years after my mother’s birth.  The Airman gave his name as William Henry Armstrong and his address on the marriage certificate (11th April 1942) was “6th Flight 914 Squadron”. It has taken me a few weeks to learn that this squadron was in fact a barrage balloon squadron protecting Northfield in Birmingham– which fits perfectly. I have a few questions.  Can you tell me anything about “6th Flight” – I can’t find out anything about this particular flight number.  Are there any sources of information about the personnel in this squadron?  Did the RAF have any connection with Newcastle under Lyme, Chesterfield, or Luton just after the Second World War?    

 Any hits or tips in locating information about 914 Squadron will be most appreciated.


Shaun Williams is seeking information on his Grandfather, who was on 914 Sqn,

Contact : or



COOPER  Leonard Winston  T/CPL no:- 843081

My Father, Leonard Winston COOPER  was in 905 BB Squadron from 18/10/1938. The attached picture was taken in that year. In 1942 he was at B.O.E Cardington. From there the records show him at 906 Sqdn,  904/5 Sqdn, 995 Sqdn, 907/8 Sqdn, No. 1B Centre, & 949 Sqdn. ending up in 1944 at RAF Mawgan. 

My Father died in 1994 and I am trying to do the family history  - if anyone knew of him  during his RAF days I would be interested to hear about those times.

Many thanks

 Lynda Vickery (Mrs.)

If anyone can help please contact


I have had a request from a Mr Sargeant about a balloon site in Leyonstone/Forest gate in WWII:

 I should be very please to receive any information you may be able to provide concerning a Barrage Balloon site established in the playgound of Cann Hall Road Primary/Junior School, Leyonstone/Forest Gate, in 1941 and after.
I attended this school from 1941 - 1946.
A H Sargeant

If anyone can help please contact: or



Museum of Fulham Palace. Barrage Balloons at Fulham Palace.

I am the Curator at the Museum of Fulham Palace.  One of my colleagues kindly drew my attention to the item about Barrage Balloons at Fulham Palace.
In 1991 I was contacted by a Maureen Dolphin who served as Maureen Knapp (No. 2094776) at the site here in 1944 so too late for your questioner.  She gave us a photograph of some WAAFs on site plus a photo of the Barrage Ballon site on the Fulham Palace Allotments.  I subsequently gave the latter to Hammersmith and Fulham Archives and it may be accessible via the Council website
I do not know if Maureen is still alive, but we do have an address for her daughter if your questioner is interested.    The WAAf's were certainly billetted on site as they were nearly caught pinching some of the Bishop's firewood.
I would be most interested to obtain copies of the photographs from the George family for our archives as we did not know of the Queen's visit.
I think I can throw light on Madame Burleys Garden as the Coachman in 1901 was a John Burley, who was certainly married.  It may be that one of his sons took over from him as Chauffeur or maybe the name lingered on for the garden. The Museum office is actually based in the Coachmans Lodge at present whilst restoration work goes on.
If you get any other replies, I would be most interested as we would like to cover the history of the Palace during the War but currently have very little material.  Our email is and our telephone number is 020 7736 3233 and address:  Museum of Fulham Palace, Bishops Avenue, London SW6 6EA
Thank you
Miranda Poliakoff
Museum of Fulham Palace


AC1 Edwin James Jarvis (1120160) RAFVR of 936 Balloon Sqdn

Fl.Lt Graham Bankswrites:

My wife June is the daughter of Alan Jarvis (of Cwmfrwd, Carmarthenshire), whose father was AC1 Edwin James Jarvis (1120160) RAFVR of 936 Balloon Sqdn.  He died on 26 Jul 1941 and he is laid to rest in Pen-y-Graig Congregational Chapel yard near Carmarthen in Wales.  He is afforded a military headstone, maintained by the family and the CWG Commission.  Edwin details appear on your website.

It is Alan's wish to try and find a little about his father and his time in service and how he died.  It may be that he died either at or near his Unit in Newcastle Upon Tyne (where I believe the Sqdn was located from 1939) but am aware they also had a Unit located at Waterborne.

My internet research has not proved that successful but it did lead me to your excellent website.  I have of course (you will note my office and where I serve) approached the RAF PMA offices and hope their records might reveal something (nothing at present).

I am now turning to you and your contacts for any information you can offer.  Alan and his family would appreciate all or what little assistance that can be offered.

With grateful thanks,

Graham Banks


Flt Lt

SO3 Med Ops Pol (RAF)

HQ PTC Innsworth

Tel: (01452) 712612 Ext 7899

Military Network: 95471-7899


CHOtS: DGMS-SO3 Med Ops Pol(RAF)



L.A.C. Stanley Albert Ross No. 840928

Stanley Pullin from the USA is interested in any details of his father in law : L.A.C. Stanley Albert Ross 
No.840928 , he enlisted at RAF Kidbrooke in 1938, was mobilised with everyone else on 24th August 1939, in 902 Squadron.
 His early war was spent on a balloon site at Ladywell Recreation Ground in the Lewisham/Catford area, with a later spell on a site in Peckham, SE15, but I do not know the exact location.
 In 1944 he moved during the setting up of the V1 Belt, to Snodland in Kent, where I think he and his crew looked after two or three sites, they were in tents,along The Pilgrim's Way. After this event closed down, he went to RAF St.Athan, which I think was Transport Command at that time, and his duties were in the Admin Offices, prior to demob.
 Any information please contact: 
Arthur Pullin at or Peter Garwood


T/CPL William James DAVIES [ Bill ] 864077

Trevor Davies of New Zealand is keen to track down any history on his father above.

He writes:

I am trying to track my father William James Davies [ Bill ] movements with the R.A.F, during the second World War.
I know he was with a Barrage Balloon Regiment through most of the War. The only records of his I have are:His RAF service and release book. Which states he joined the R.A.F 24.8.1939 and released 31.8.1945.
Service particulars:  Service No 864077     Rank T/CPL    of      W.J.Davies     R.A.F. trade 15/OP 
The above named airman served in the  AAF.
In the front of this book is, The Senior Accountant Officer,  No 102 Dispersal Centre, R.A.F.  Cardington, Beds,
The only other things I have are two leave passes, both near the end of the War.The first is : Fairlop 2.6.1945 to 13.6.1945.The other is Digby 17.8.1945 to 22.8.1945.
My father Bill Davies died 24. 7. 1998, I do remember him telling me he was in Plymouth at some time during the war, but I think he spent most of his time in Essex.
If there is any information, you could help me with, or any one who you know, who might be able to give me information, it would be much appreciated.
I live in New Zealand so to contact me my email is or contact peter Garwood

LACW Beryl Irene Eckton 2035650

Barbara Limb one of our Australian members is interested in finding if any one knew her mother,

LACW Beryl Irene Eckton 2035650

Enlisted in the RAF 25/07/1942. Beryl then went to Bridgenorth on the 30/07/1942.

Posted to Morecambe 06/08/1942

Posted to Balloon Training Centre Titchfield 27/08/1942

Promoted to ACW1 09/11/1942

Posted in November 1942 to Swansea

Promoted to LACW on 01/10/1943

February 1944 posted to Balloon Site at Abbey Wood, East London

August 1944 Posted to Balloon Site at Portsmouth

Posted to RAF Langton Maltravers 13/10/1944

Posted to RAF Cranwell December 1944

Posted to RAF Benscombe Down 19/02/1945

Discharged 26/07/1945

Beryl sadly died in 2000, Barbara  Limb has given us some superb photographs to put on the website of her mother

and RAF colleagues. Anyone who thinks they might have known Beryl is asked to look at these photographs.

To see these pictures click here: Beryl Irene Eckton


The Enquiries are as follows:

Albert Cecil ( Jim ) Searle


 Albert Cecil ( Jim ) Searle served in the RAF from 1938 to 1945 demobbed 21-9-1945.

Served in:

902 Sqdn 17 11 38

No 10 Balloon Centre 2 7 41

 931 Sqdn 6 7 41

Ringway A 22 10 41

 931 Sqdn 12 10 41

MSBRO 27 5 42

He served in these squadrons (in order) 931 / 925 / 950 / 902 / 906 / 902 / 906 / 925 / 906 / 925    Promoted to AC2 in 1938,. AC1 in 1939 and LAC in 1940 - Discharged in 1945 as a Corporal with Class "A" release.

Albert died in 1965.His daughter Mrs J Harris (nee Searle) would love to hear from anyone who knew him.

If there is anyone out there who knew of this man please contact them at or

 Peter Garwood at


Kathleen BOOTH

 My mother (Kathleen Booth as she was known then) was one was the first women to train as a Barrage Balloon Operator and was given Sergeant status within the first two weeks I believe.

She trained at Cardington.  Thereafter she was stationed in Alvaston Derby, Waterloo,
Gosport (by a castle),  Kidbrooke, Stanmore, East Ham (with a 'randy' goat!!). She could have been at other places, but those are the sites I am aware of.  She later transferred to signals, working in Cambridgeshire and the Orkney Islands.

To see pictures of Kathleen BOOTH please click here

Laura Ellis  would love to make contact with any former members of Balloon Command who may have served with her mother. You can contact her at:


6 Pike House Close, Cricklade , SWINDON, Wilitshire SN6 6EX

Stationed at a billet in Maynell Crescent, Hackney, East London. 1942-1943. She is seeking Christine Stonelake WAAF officer from Devon who served with her.

AC Purser (Percy) BUSH 840141

The information supplied below has been sent in by Arthur Bush about his father:

 LAC Purser (known as Percy) Bush, service no. 840141.
who served in Sqdns. 901, 948, 982 and 966, having signed up on 11/10/38.

For a time, he was stationed at Shrewsbury Park, Shooters Hill, SE London
 (ideal as he was a local lad from Plumstead). He also served in Wales and
 abroad in Belgium, where he was wounded.

To see pictures of Percy click on this link

If you can help contact Mr Bush at


9 WestHolme Gardens, Western Blud, Nottingham NG8 3NY 0115 9295339  is seeking information on 918 Sqdn, the County of Derby Sqdn (Barrage Balloons) 03/03/39 to 20/10/42. His grandfather served with 918 Sqdn.

Flight Sergeant 654206.Edward (Ted) CAVILL

Date of Birth – 05/12/21

 Home Address – 61 Albany Street Hull

 Date of Enlistment – 29/8/39

 RAF Career Details:

29/8/39 – 03/11/39 – 2 Depot Cardington

4//11/39 – 30/8/40 – 947 Squadron

31/8/40 - 26/1/41 – 967 Squadron

27/1/41 – 4/8/41 – 929 Squadron

5/8/41 – 26/12/41 – 960 Squadron

27/12/41 – 28/04/42 – 950 Squadron

29/4/42 – 26/8/42 – 939 Squadron

21/9/42 – 3/10/42  - 16BC

4/10/42 – 3/11/42 - 939 Squadron

4/11/42 – 26/3/43 - RAF Station Abbey Lodge

27/3/43 – 28/4/43 – 1658 CU

29/4/43 – 28/5/43 – 35 Squadron

 RAF Duties:

Aircraft Hand

Balloon Rigger & Fabric worker

Balloon operator

Rear Gunner

 Ted was sadly killed in action on 28th May 1943. At this time he was serving with 35 Squadron in the role of rear gunner with a Halifax pathfinder squadron bases at RAF Graveley and was killed on a raid to Essen.

He is resting at Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.

You can contact Neil at : 

August 26, 2004
My Dad Joe ( Ginger ) Cheneler was transferred to 965 Sqdn in 1944 from Gravesend Fighter Drome ,where he was a crash tender/ambulance driver.
He was attached to HQ staff, and 965 was posted to Terneuzen Holland in August 1944 to protect the Scheldt estuary.
The C.O.was WgCdr.( Popeye )( He only had one eye )Berriman.
His Sgt.was Hodson or Hodgeson.
A couple of his friends were Bob Vaughn. Johnny Bergoin.
The reason for this enquiry is my dad celebrated his 21st birthday on,in Terneuzen and would like to return their next year, for the first time since 1945 , and wondered if any reunions were taking place or if he could contact any old oppos. Please can you help with any information that may assist.
Many thanks. Chris Cheneler can be contacted on :

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Adrian Hall

I am researching my family history and was wondering if you could help me with some information.
I have discovered that my Grandfather used to be in the 993 Balloon Squadron.
His name was Leslie Samuel Hall and it appears he died on 14 May 1943
I was wondering if you could tell me where the 993 Balloon Squadron was based and anything else you might know about Leslie Hall.
Any information would be most grateful Adrian Hall

Contact Adrian by email if you can help him:

We have this listing for Leslie Hall in the Roll of Honour

Hall LS LAC 1121572 died 14/05/1943 993 Sqdn RAF VR

Follow this link to see the CWGC information on L Hall : HALL

Henry George HODGES 1665674.

Dear Peter,

I hope you do not mind but I am attempting to trace my grandfathers movements during his overseas service, World War II. I have obtained his service details from the P.M.A. which did show the units he was attached to.
He was overseas from 25th January 1945 until 25th June 1945. During this time his record shows he was attached to 967 Sqdn, 980 Sqdn (A), 967 Sqdn. His record for 26th June 1945 details 145 of JJ.
I would appreciate any information you and your organisation could supply.
Regards David Hodges Grandson of Henry George Hodges 1665674.

If anyone can help please contact David at:



Served at Aston Park as a corporal, she served with a Sgt Gwen Peagan (Nee Fudge), later they were posted to Shooters Hill, London. They would love to meet up or hear from: Kathy SHAW, Trixie, Ada, Jesse DUDDY, Bobbie, Daphne FOX, Geordie, Kay Hawkins, Kathy SOUTHERN, Joan BECKET.


I have been researching aircraft collisions with balloon cables in the Southampton/Eastleigh barrage areas (930/1, 924 Squadrons) on the 15th August (Whitley & Hudson); 26th August 1940 (Blenheim) and also a Whitley collision at the Langley Barrage, on the 15th August 1940. The Eastleigh Squadrons were under No 12 Balloon Centre at Titchfield (Fareham) and 32 Group at Romsey.
I understand that balloons were flown to prevent German dive bombing, thus forcing German bombers to fly at higher altitudes, resulting in their bomb aiming being less accurate and also at an altitude where A.A. shells were fused to detonate.
I have become interested in barrage balloons because my grandfather was an Air Observer on a Whitley V, P5044, which collided with a balloon of the Eastleigh barrage at 03.30 hrs on 15th August 1940, resulting in the loss of the crew and aircraft. The Whitley was off track whilst returning from the Oil refinery at Ambes (near Bordeaux). I have found a few references in the balloon records at the PRO/ Royal Observer Corps and Air Historical Branch.
I am interested in anyone who served on the Portsmouth and Gosport barrages, No 12 Balloon Centre, Southampton and Eastleigh balloon barrages.
A barrage balloon was involved in the loss of an RAF Whitley near Eastleigh in the early hours of 15th August 1940 according to the Air Historical Branch.
However my research through the surviving balloon records indicates that whilst the RAF Whitley did seem to finally impact a cable at the Eastleigh/Southampton barrage per a Balloon Command Signal which also confirms their Accident Report (by No.12 Balloon Centre) was delayed due to requiring confirmation. However the Balloon Command ORB and the two Appendices ORB's at Kew never acknowledged the accident as theirs. In fact the Balloon Command ORB's don't even mention the Whitley crash in their 3 ORB's at Eastleigh at all, I have them photocopied and have been through them thoroughly.
Also I have discovered that one of the two 4 Group Whitley's which was claimed to have hit a balloon that morning was involved in a friendly fire incident with another aircraft at an unknown location, but not damaged?. The Whitley which crashed at Eastleigh had dropped red distress flares 5-6 miles S.E. of Sandown Isle of Wight and may also have been engaged by A.A. guns in the Solent area?
Do you know of anyone who may recall this Whitley crash to the South-east of Eastleigh at about 03.30 hrs and what really did happen early that morning, 15th August 1940?
To help anyone remember that day there was a fire at the cold store at Southampton Docks, also there was a later incident at about 5.20 pm (17.20 hrs) when a Hudson (from RAF Silloth) was taking off from Eastleigh Aerodrome without permission, impacting a balloon cable which was being raised due to an air raid and the Lockheed Hudson crashed on 3 houses at Eastleigh
However I wondered whether you have former balloon crews, operating in the Southampton, Eastleigh and Langley areas during 1940, belonging to your Barrage Balloon Reunion Club, who would be willing to discuss their recollections by post or email?
Also do you, or your members have any barrage maps or knowledge of balloon site locations? I Have enclosed some interesting attachments regarding the Whitley crash near the Aerodrome at R.N.A.S. Eastleigh (HMS Raven), on 15th August 1940.

To see these interesting documents click here

Thank you and best wishes

Mark can be contacted on by post at:

15  Swinburne Close
Galley Common
CV10 9RX

or email any information to


0105550 Cpl George Grout

Tim Grout says I hope you can point me in the right direction.  I am trying to find out more about the use of balloons in WW1 as my grandfather served in No. 2 Balloon Squadron and No. 7 Balloon Wing but I do not where he served or whether the balloons were barrage balloons or being used for observation.  The date was around 1917. The theatre of war was S.E.A. 

 Thanks a lot for any assistance.  Please email me at

 If anyone can help please contact him directly.

Edna Joyce MANN or her twin sister Eva MANN and their sister Phylis MANN

Information is being sought by Ednas' daughter Kathleen George for her adopted brother about Edna and these balloon operators who were aunts to the children.

Click here to see an article about Edna MANN

Olive MAXWELL would like to make contact with ex service pals as detailed below:

 GLADYS GRAVETT ...... served as a W.A.A.F.   M.T. driver.  She was
 stationed at Squadron HQs. for Balloon Command  on  Woodberry Down,
 Manor House....  Her sister, Doris, was married to a G.I named Glen Van
 Meter.   After the war, Gladys  emigrated to join her sister in
 Baltimore, Maryland  USA.   I lost touch with Gladys in 1950.
 JOE HULME....served as a Clerk in the Orderly Room at Sqdn.H.Q. (set
 forth above).  I met up with Joe one year when I visited England  and I
 believe at that time he was working for a London evening newspaper
 (possibly the Evening News).  We had a delightful lunch, but I lost
 contact with Joe after that one visit.
 DOUGLAS TOYNTON....served  as a Clerk in the Orderly Room (as set out
 above).  I believe his hometown might have been Islington.   Lost touch
 after I was posted to Stanmore  (Fighter Command), where I stayed in
 service until demobilization.
 (Mrs) Olive Hagen Maxwell can be contacted by email on:


John STOKES of  Sandwell Park Farm, Salters Lane, West Bromwich B71 4BG.Tel: 0121 553 0220


Were you in West Bromwich area when the balloon went up?

I am a local government officer at Sandwell in the West Midlands and as part of the government’s Home Front Recall programme I am running a project called  Sandwell at War, covering the Home Front in the area now covered by Sandwell Borough.  If you were manning barrage balloons or searchlight batteries in West Bromwich, Oldbury, Tipton, Cradley Heath, Smethwick or Wednesbury,

I’d love to hear from you..  You can find out more about the project on , but if you aren’t on the internet, you can contact me on 0121 553 0220, or by writing to me at  Sandwell Park Farm, Salters Lane, West Bromwich B71 4BG.

Reginald Ernest WATKINS

 Dear Sir,  I have noticed your barrage balloon club site on the internet.
 I have been trying to find some details on my fathers war service. His name
 was Reginald Ernest Watkins, he was in the RAF, Rank L.A.C. Service number
 1155263. I know he worked with Barrage balloons and went over on D day. I would
 like to know what beach he landed on. I have his Service release book which
 says Unit Snaith/4 Group, would that have been the same unit all the time.
 Could you give me some idea where I can get some information?

  With thanks.
 Jennifer Butland.

She can be contacted by email at:


Garry Baker from Melbourne Australia.

Can anyone shed light on this trophy at all I suspect a Speedway event but where and when and who?

The photo was taken in the late 1930s, the chap on the right is Fred Evans, the promoter of Hackney Speedway at the we think it could be Hackney.  The rider on the left accepting the barrage balloon trophy is Ernie Evans from Melbourne, he was a member of the Wimbledon team at the time, and had been racing in the UK since 1930, he was 17 when he left Australia, and looks to be quite a bit older in the photo.

It's the officer though, and maybe his wife.  

some thoughts are :The officer is a Wing Commander. During the 1930s about 250 officers held
this rank.

The trophy is a barrage balloon and the officer has an Observer brevet.

If we work on the assumption that he was a Wing Commander posted to No.30
(Balloon) Group then the posting narrows to Group HQ in London as the
Commanding Officer for each Balloon Squadron was as Squadron Leader.

I know that in June 1938 the only Wing Commander at No.30 Group was a W/C H
Dawes MBE (RAFO) but the officer in the photo has at least 4 decoration
ribbons so it is unlikely to be him. If anyone can help please contact Gary on


Please contact Peter Garwood at if you can help.