Ramshaw, John William “Jack”.

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Ramshaw, John William “Jack”, born 26-04-1916 in Beverley, the son of Mr. and Mrs.Harry Ramshaw, of Beverley Yorkshire and educated at the grammar school there. In 1934 he began work as a clerk with the Halifax Building Society. He took private flying lessons and was awarded Aero Certificate 16928 at Hull Aero Club on 15-01-1939.

John joined the RAFVR in April 1937 as an Airman u/t Pilot. Service No: 740175. Called up on 01-09-1939, Ramshaw completed his training and arrived at 5 OTU Aston Down on 06-04-1940. After converting to Hurricanes he was posted to No 222 Squadron at Digby on 6th May.

Death and burial ground of Ramshaw, John William “Jack”.

John crashed on 04-09-1940, after only 5 months service, at Mockbeggar Farm, Collier Street near Yalding, after being shot down by Me109’s in Spitfire K9962. Severely injured, Ramshaw was taken to West Kent Hospital, Maidstone but was dead on arrival.

Spitfire K9962 was already in service earlier and the pilot then was Squadron Leader (90158) Alistair Douglas Farquhar who shot down a Heinkel 111 and then overturned his aircraft trying to land near the downed bomber in a failed attempt to prevent the German crew from setting fire to their aircraft. The Germans rescued Farquhar from his Spitfire.

Squadron leader Farquhar landed his plane alongside the downed He 111 at high speed; the bomber’s crew looked on in disbelief as it trundled on down the hill and cartwheeled into a bog. They first hauled out their injured rear gunner and set fire to their plane, then ran down the hill to rescue the gallant Squadron Leader, who was suspended upside down by his safety harness, the bomber’s crew all took part in this rescue. By then, the Heinkel was well alight so they all rushed up the hill to pull the German rear gunner further from the flames. The comedy of errors was not quite over, the LDV (Local Defence Volunteers, a.k.a. The Home Guard) arrived on the scene over the crest of a nearby hill and because they hadn’t seen the Spitfire at the bottom of the hill, they assumed that the Squadron Leader was part of the Heinkel’s crew, so they arrested him too!

K9962 went to Air Services Training on 04-03-1940 for repair. Jack Ramshaw was the new pilot and would die a month later, on 04-09-1940, age 24, as he was shot down, at Mockbeggar Farm, Collier Street near Yalding in the Battle for Britain.

John was 24 and is buried in Queensgate Cemetery, Beverley, Block 35. Grave 15, next to his old school. The coffin was carried by 6 RAF Sergeants and sadly one of those present was his finacee Irene Williams..

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