DAY, Arthur Grenville

Acting Sub-Lieutenant (A), Arthur Grenville DAY
Aged 19

806 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm
H.M.S. Illustrious, Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve
Killed on in air accident on Saturday, 24th August 1940

"Vox non inserta" - No uncertain sound
Arthur Grenville DAY was born in 1920, (Bury St.Edmunds Q4-1920 4A:1698)son of Arthur William and Stella Calcot DAY(née TILBROOK ).

He was a member of 3rd Scout Troop Bury St.Edmund (Culford School).

In the 1939 register at Norfolk Road, Bury St.Edmunds were his father Arthur W DAY [24-8-1878] leather merchant and his mother Stella C [25-10-1889].

HMS Illustrious was the lead aircraft carrier of her type. Commissioned in May 1940. Carrying a crew of 1,299 she had a complement of 36 aircraft and a 620 feet long usable flight deck and a catapult launcher.

Fleet Air Arm 806 Sqdn, on HMS Illustrious, air crash on 24th August 1940: Killed :-
Act/Sub/Lt (A) Albert L AYRES RNVR
Act/Sub/Lt (A) Arthur G DAY RNVR
Act/Petty Officer Samuel H GOULD FAA
Naval Airman 1c Harry NEWTON

These were the crew members of two of 806 squadron's Fairey Fulmars Mk1 that collided in mid-air when HMS Illustrious was in the Mediterranean.

The Bury Free Press of 7th September 1940 reported:-

Sincere sympathy has been expressed on all sides with Mr.and Mrs. Arthur Day, of Clingendaal, Norfolk Road, Bury St. Edmunds at the sad news that their son, Acting Sub-Lieutenant(A), Arthur Grenville Day, R.N.V.R. has been killed on active service. The young officer, who was only 19 years old, was very well known in the town and was associated with various interests before joining the Fleet Air Arm. He was educated at Culford School, where he showed marked ability. On leaving, he was for a time with his father in the business of Messrs Day (Bury St.Edmunds) Ltd, leather factors, and he joined up in February last year. He was home on leave about a month ago.
Lieutenant Day was a young fellow of versatile ability. In sport he was a capable tennis player, and on more than one occasion he reached the final stages of the West Suffolk Junior Championships.He was a capable violinist, and an amateur actor of distinct ability. He took part in successful plays by the Bury St Edmunds Evening Institute players and by the dramatic section of the Bury St Edmunds Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society.
A memorial service will be held at the Cathedral Church of St.James, Bury St.Edmunds on Monday, September 9th at 12 noon.
Dr. J.W.Skinner, M.A. the Headmaster of Culford School sends to the Editor the following appreciation:- "The announcement that Grenville Day had been killed in action was sad news indeed - especially so to his many friends at Culford School. Grenville was at Culford from 1929 to 1936. After a school career full of promise he entered his father's business, and then at the earliest possible age was accepted for a Commission in the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Naval Reserve. I think of Grenville Day as a youngster of considerable ability, gifted with an uncommon power of independent and sensible thought; quiet and modest in manner and disposition, but always firm in resolution; and, above all, endowed with a rare gift for friendship - for choosing the right friends and for rejoicing in his loyalty to them. I saw him for the last time this summer when he was home on leave.It was the same Grenville: modest, affectionate, seriously reserved about himself and his perilous job.The term 'crusader' runs the risk of overuse these days perhaps. But is it not the only suitable term for gallant young airmen such as Grenville Day? Grenville was worthy of the best of his intrepid generation. He could have chosen an easier, safer path. Open-eyed he chose the way of peril =, of self sacrifice; for, though he never talked of it, he, like his compeers, had a consuming passionate love of England, and he was ready to express that love by the gift of his life. With his parents and family, we at Culford mourn his triumphant passing to the other side; and as we offer them our sincerest, deepest sympathy, we share their pride in so gallant a son

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Arthur Day is commemorated on the Lee-on-Solent Naval Memorial 1:6

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details