ASHFIELD, Leslie James

Fulmina regis iusta (The king's thunderbolts are righteous)

No.40198, Flying Officer (Pilot), Leslie James ASHFIELD
Aged 22

44 Squadron, R.A.F.V.R.
Killed in Action on Wednesday, 15th May 1940

Leslie James Ashfield was born in January 1918 in Horseheath (Linton Q1-1918 4B:401), baptised in Horseheath on 31st March 1918, son of Frederick Henry and Steina ASHFIELD (née ANDERSON).
His parents had moved to the Post Office at Horseheath in 1914 with his two brothers Olaf (born and buried as an infant in Horseheath) and Frederick (commemorated on the Runnymede memorial).
His mother was Norwegian and met his father in USA when working for Duleep Singh the estate owner at Elveden. He was educated at Perse School, Cambridge.

In 1939 his parents were still at the Post Office in Horseheath. The boys were not found, perhaps already in the RAF

His brother Frederick was killed in action in 1942 with the 420(RCAF) Squadron, RAF, also flying a Hampden from RAF Waddington. see here

He was piloting a 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron Handley Page Hampden MkI bomber P4286, call sign KM-?. On 15th May 1940, leading up to the evacuation of Dunkirk, Leslie Ashfield took off from RAF Waddington for a raid on Breda in Holland.
They crashed at Oosterhout (Noord-Brabant), 8 km NE of Breda, Holland.

The crew (all buried in Oossterhout) were:- pilot - F/O Leslie Ashfield RAF; pilot P/O Charles Crawley RAF; observer - Sgt Francis McKinlay RAF and W.Op-Air Gunner - Cpl Frank Preston RAF

In "Nachtjagd, Defenders of the Reich 1940-1943" it is given that Oberfeldwebel Hermann Förster of 11th Staffel NJG2 claimed Hampden P4286.

The four photograhs below are from, please click here

Their field burial and temporary cross which only identified Francis McKinlay

Leslie third from left


Leslie Ashfield is buried in Oosterhout Protestant Cemetery, grave 5

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

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