LISTER, Arthur

No. 570069, Sergeant (Pilot), Arthur LISTER
Aged 24

No 1 Air Armament School, Royal Air Force
Died on Active Service on Tuesday 2nd May, 1944

Born 24th February 1920, the son of John Wright and Ada LISTER (n&eaxcute;e MILLER) of Chefs Cottage, Windmill Hill, Exning. In Q3-1943, in Banbury, he married Nora SMITH, later of Dudley, Wolverhampton. Their son Donald was born in Rowley Regis, after his father's death. It is Donald we thank for his father's service records.

In the 1939 register, at Chef's Cottage, Windmill Hill, Exning, were his widowed mother Ada Mary [1-1-1881], sister Ida E [20-11-1912] and three lodgers. His father had died in 1936. There are 5 closed records.
Arthur and Nora were living at Chefs Cottage, Windmill Hill, Exning at the time of Arthur's death. Arthur was at Newmarket Secondary School, and joined the RAF as an Apprentice at Halton in August 1st September, 1936

Accepted for flying training he went to Canada towards the end of 1942, to 13 Service Flying Training School at St Hubert, Montreal, Quebec, it is now Montreal/St-Hubert Airport. His early training would have been on Harvards initially then Ansons. He got his "wings" on 14th May, 1943. Passing through 31 Personnel Depot ( a Holding Unit) at Moncton, New Brunswick, he arrived back in England at 7 PRC, Harrogate, (Personnel Reception Centre) (The Majestic Hotel !). He was one of the later ones through there as it disbanded in July 1943. Next he trained at 6 (pilot) Advanced Flying Unit, Little Rissington in Gloucestershire and at 1516 Beam/Blind Approach Training Flight, Pershore, near Stratford. Then on to his final station at RAF Manby.

Sgt (Pilot) Arthur ('Skid') LISTER was flying Blenheim IV N3613 of No. 1 AAS (Air Armament School) from RAF Manby in Lincolnshire, on bombing exercise. They collided with Blenheim V5449 over Theddletorpe Ranges, off the Lincolnshire coast, about 2 miles E of Saltfleet, 11.15 hrs. Killed on same aircraft were: 1320145 F/Sgt (Bombaimer) Alfred G. BROWN, and 134555 F/O (Bombaimer) Russell G. KIRBY. All were recovered to their home towns.
The other aircraft, Blenheim IV V5549 carried:- 1532537 F/Sgt Charles Leslie JOHNSON; 61064 F/Lt Norman Howard WOODWARD and 138096 F/Sgt Donald Lloyd BRETT. The crew of V5549 are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

This is the RNLI record for the event. MABLETHORPE,LINCOLNSHIRE.
At 11.15 in the morning of the 2nd of May, 1944, two R.A.F. aeroplanes collided over the sea some two miles east of Saltfleet. A strong westerly wind was blowing and the sea was rough. Mr. C. Mountain, fisheries officer at Mablethorpe, was at the railway station when he saw an aeroplane coming down. He ran to the fishery motor boat and found its engineer, H. West, preparing it for launching. Three other men helped them to launch the boat, which was not at all easy from the beach. The two men searched, but only found two rubber dinghies and some wreckage.
- Rewards, letters, of appreciation to Mr. C. Mountain and Mr. H. West, with 15s. to the men who helped to launch their boat.

Happier times, the Newmarket Secondary School team in 1935-36, Arthur seated on chair on left
Having identified all others here, fortunately the rest returned home in 1945

Arthur is buried in Exning Old Cemetery..Ref: Z.159

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