Sunday, December 05, 2010

Just one Bomber Command casualty



Commonwealth War Graves Commission:
'A Cross of Sacrifice'


The Commonwealth War Graves Commission commemorates more than 55,000 casualties from WW2 who served with RAF Bomber Command. The Commission remembers each one as an individual.

For additional information click on 'Comments' below

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Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional information

During WW2 there were over 55,000 casualties serving with RAF Bomber Command between 1939 and 1945 (55,573). Large numbers tend not to mean much - except that each individual casualty meant something to their family and friends. This is the story of just one of the many casualties of the Second World War: Sergeant Reginald Ernest Hibbert, who died aged 20 years on Monday 22 July 1941.


Sergeant Reginald Hibbert lost his life while night flying with RAF Bomber Command. He had volunteered for the RAFVR in the summer of 1940 and was a promising and popular crewman. Sergeant Hibbert had trained as a 'First Wireless Operator / Air Gunner'. Generally speaking this was one of the positions on the aircraft most at risk.

Reginald Ernest Hibbert was the son of Ernest George Hibbert and Jane Jardine Hibbert (née Graham) and he had one sister. At that time the family lived at 2 George Street, Uxbridge, Middlesex (a little to the west of London). Mrs Graham, known as 'Janie', had originally come from Cleator Moor, Cumberland where the family remained well-known.

Before joining the RAF Reginald Hibbert had attended Bishopshalt Secondary School (Uxbridge) and was a member of the football and cricket clubs. His funeral service took place at the Old Meeting Congregational Church, Uxbridge on Saturday 26 July, the service being conducted by the Reverend Luther Bouch. Sergeant Hibbert had attended this chapel since childhood.

Sergeant Hibbert's coffin was draped in the Union Jack from his RAF base, with his RAF cap and wreaths from his family and RAF colleagues placed on top of the coffin. After the service, Sergeant Hibbert was interred in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission plot at Hillingdon and Uxbridge Cemetery (Row P.D. Grave 26).

[Unfortunately there the squadron or RAF station where Sergeant Hibbert was based at the time is not specified in the report of the funeral].

On Thursday 31 July 1941 the family placed following notice in 'The Whitehaven News':

ROLL OF HONOUR
HIBBERT - On July 22 1941, while night flying, Sergt. Reg. Hibbert R.A.F. V.R., only son of Mr and Mrs E. Hibbert of 2 George Street, Uxbridge, Middlesex, aged 20 years. Interred at Hillingdon Cemetery on July 26 following a service at the Congregational Church, Uxbridge.

Thank God for his beautiful life:
He died that we might live.

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So here is brief account of just one Bomber Command casualty. But, it was clear Sergeant Reginald Hibbert was a young man who meant much to his family and friends.

Acknowledgements:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

'The Whitehaven News'

Cumbria County Archives

Sunday, 05 December, 2010  

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