Airman honoured 70 years after war

Have your say

A NEW name has finally been added to a Doncaster town’s war memorial more than 70 years after he was killed during a wartime flying accident.

Kenneth Brown, a naval airman, lost his life in the build-up to the ill-fated Norwegian campaign of 1940, when British forces had to be evacuated.

His name has now been placed on the memorial off Old Road, Conisbrough, by Doncaster Council, after a member of his extended family made a special request for belated recognition.

Airman Brown was in the Fleet Air Arm delivering planes to the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious at Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands, off the north east coast of Scotland, when he died.

The navigator was a Naval Airman First Class in 303 Squadron which was deployed to provide air cover for British forces landing in Norway.

Joan O’Brien, of Laburnum Road, Balby, said that during one of the flights in May 1940, the pilot lost control and ditched into the sea.

She said: “The pilot survived, but to our knowledge Kenneth is still in his seat at the bottom of Scapa Flow.”

If he had survived the crash he may have been among the 1,400 lost when HMS Glorious was sunk by German cruisers off Norway the following month.

“I understand he had a sister and other family in Conisbrough, where he grew up. We don’t know why he wasn’t put on the memorial at the time, but I’m told this is quite often the case,” said Mrs O’Brien.

“He was the half-brother of my aunt Lillian, a member of the Fox family who lived in Conisbrough. My aunt is 93 and it is something she wanted to put right before she died.

“His stepbrother John Fox is also on the memorial and two more members of the family through marriage.”

The O’Briens contacted Doncaster Council and Kenneth’s name was added on a small stone inscription alongside JC Peace, who died in World War One.