JRGS News Archive Page 43
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- Page 43 - Dec 2007 thru Jan 2008

JRGS Alumni Society


 Roger Adcock (JRGS 1963-68) profiles the post-Ruskin career of W. L. Powell...

JB701 Crew
The JD710 Air Crew, with Powell centre of bottom row.

Further my recent report of the 2004 dedication ceremony of a memorial to the crew of crew of JB701, which included Flight Lieutenant William Leonard Powell (JRCS 1933-38), I have been looking further into his career. His Lancaster of 49 Squadron, JB701, was shot down over northern France on July 29th, 1944, after a bombing mission to Stuttgart Germany. There were no survivors amongst the crew of seven, pictured right.
   As I discovered during a recent visit to the Croydon Archive and examined the school attendance register, W. L. Powell was pupil number 412 when registered at John Ruskin Central School on 4th September, 1933. (My father, Brian Adcock, was registered as pupil number 369 on the same day.) Powell registered at the school with the address of 223 Morland Road, Croydon living with his parents, William & Gertrude Powell. Since numbers were assigned to boys on a strictly date of birth order, we can tell that my father Brian (DOB 07.12.21) was older, with number 369, than William (DOB 09.05.22).
   Powell first left the school on 07.09.34 to emigrate to Australia, but returned and re-registered on 16.01.35; he stayed until 22.07.38, when he left to join the Army. On his return his address was 83 Morland Road, but then later 223 Morland Road is registered. As far as we can see, he was in Class A.
   After Powell left JRCS he served in the army in Palestine and Egypt. He was in the RAF during 1941 and commissioned in Canada as a Pilot into Sqdn No. 49. The Lancaster III serial JB701 Code EA-G from 49 Squadron took off from RAF Fiskerton at 22:33 on 28 July, 1944, on Ops to Stuttgart. Due to enemy action, the aircraft crashed at St-Martin-sur-Oreuse near Yonne while returning from the operation.
   A total of 494 Lancasters and two Mosquitos of Nos 1, 3, 5 and 8 Groups flew in the last raid of the current series on Stuttgart. German fighters intercepted the bomber stream while over France on the outward flight; there was a bright moon and 39 Lancasters were shot down - 19 per cent of the force. A total of 307 aircraft - 187 Halifaxes, 106 Lancasters, 14 Mosquitos from Nos 1, 6 and 8 Groups - arrived over Hamburg. German fighters again appeared, this time on the homeward flight, and 18 Halifaxes and four Lancasters were lost, 12% of the force. The Halifax casualties were 9.6%; No 431 (Canadian) Squadron, flying from Croft airfield in Co. Durham, lost five of its 17 aircraft on the raid.
   This was the first heavy raid on Hamburg since the Battle of Hamburg just a year earlier. The bombing on this raid was not well concentrated. The Germans estimated that only 120 aircraft bombed in the city area, with no recognisable aiming point, though western and harbour areas received the most bombs.
   A total of 119 aircraft from Nos 1, 4 and 8 Groups attacked the flying-bomb stores area at Forêt De Nieppe again. No aircraft lost. Support and 95 training aircraft on a diversionary sweep over the North Sea, 13 Mosquitos to Frankfurt, 41 RCM sorties, 50 Mosquito patrols, five Halifax aircraft mine laying in the River Elbe. No aircraft were lost.
   Total effort for the night: 1,126 sorties, 61 aircraft (5.4%) lost.
   The JB701 crew comprised:

  • 121347 Pilot, Flight Lieutenant William Leonard Powell, aged 22 of Croydon, Surrey.

  • 1592150 Flight Engineer, Sergeant John Frederick West, aged 29 of Altrincham, Cheshire.

  • 142089 Navigator, Flying Officer Geoffrey Edward Franklin, aged 31 of Lampeter, Cardiganshire.

  • 151428 Air Bomber, Flying Officer Albert Stanley Cole, aged 21 of Hastings, Sussex.

  • 1184749 Air Gunner, Sergeant George Edward Kirkpatrick, aged 30, of Sutton-in-Ashfield, Notts.

  • 1339900 Wireless Operator, Flight Sergeant Donald Carl Stephens, of Truro, Cornwall.

  • 1868952 Air Gunner, Sergeant Thomas Moore, home town unknown.

 Below are a collection of images unearthed at the Croydon Archives; click on any thumbnail to view larger image.

Lancaster of 49 Sqdn in 1943 St Martin-sur-Oreuse Cemetery

This is not Powell's crew but a similar Lancaster of
49 Sqdn in 1943 based at RAF Fiskerton. John
Jack, second from left, was the Navigator.

JB701's grave at St Martin-sur-Oreuse Cemetery.
There are five headstones - four members were
placed together in two graves because of their injuries.

Copyright Croydon Archives St Martin-sur-Oreuse

William Powell's entry in Croydon War Dead with
an incorrect reference to 45 Squadron.

Crew memorial at St Martin-sur-Oreuse
Cemetery, Yonne, France

Copyright Croydon Archives Copyright Croydon Archives

JR School Record held at Croydon Archive, showing pages that relate to unveiling of War Memorial.

Copyright Croydon Archives Copyright Croydon Archives

The Bishop of Croydon leads the War Memorial unveiling ceremony at the school on 3rd June, 1948.

Memorial Fund 1947

Copyright Croydon Archives

Copyright Croydon Archives Copyright Croydon Archives

Page 35 of 1947 JRGS School Magazine describes setting up a fund collection for War Memorial.

Clipping from
Croydon Times.

Page 1 of the Ceremony of Unveiling program held at the school 3rd June, 1948.

Page 2 of the Ceremony
of Unveiling program.

Copyright Croydon Archives Copyright Croydon Archives Copyright Croydon Archives Copyright Croydon Archives

Page 3 of the Ceremony
of Unveiling program.

Page 4 of the Ceremony
of Unveiling program.

Page 5 of the Ceremony
of Unveiling program.

Page 6 of the Ceremony
of Unveiling program.

Copyright Croydon Archives Copyright Croydon Archives Copyright Croydon Archives Copyright Croydon Archives

National Inventory of War Memorials form dated 1992

Page 2 of National
 Inventory form.

Page 3 of National
 Inventory form.

Page 4 of National
 Inventory form.

Copyright Croydon Archives JRGS School Hall in 1991 Fiskerton War Memorial
Fiskerton War Memorial

Handwritten note inserted into Inventory Form.

Upper Shirley Road School Hall where the Memorial
was sited (circled) prior the 1991 demolition.

Fiskerton War Memorial
to RAF Crews.

RAF Fiskerton, from which William Powell's Lancaster crew flew on its final mission to Germany in late-July 1944, is commemorated in Fiskerton village church and in an airfield memorial, shown above far right. Fiskerton village church of St Clement contains a plaque in the Lady Chapel that commemorates the personnel of RAF Fiskerton from 1943 to 1945. St Clements also holds 49 Squadron's Roll of Honour.

Our sincere thanks to Chris Bennett, Archivist at Croydon Local Studies Library and Archives Service.

Roger Adcock, Oxted, Surrey January 2008 Email

Unless otherwise indicated, all scanned images and quotes on this page are Copyright Croydon Council, and are
reproduced by permission of Croydon Local Studies Library and Archives Service.


 Mel Lambert (JRGS 1959-65) considers the December issue of "Your Croydon"...

"Your Croydon" - Dec 2007 cover"Your Croydon" - Dec 2007 page 17Once again, the December 2007 edition of Croydon Council's Your Croydon magazine includes a photo essay from Frazer Ashford (JRGS 1962-69) as part of a continuing series entitled From Here to Modernity, which charts Croydon during the past 25 years.
  As in last month's column, Frazer looks at the dramatic changes that have taken place to local Croydon landmarks, but also the similarities between the town in the early Eighties and the same locations today. Specifically, in his December feature Frazer compares photos taken of North End on a busy shopping afternoon, with people dodging through the traffic at the junction with George Street, and the same scene as a pedestrian-only zone.
Click each thumbnail to view  a larger version, or here to view the 24-page magazine in PDF format.
As the magazine notes: "While some buildings and landmarks had gone, to be replaced by others, the biggest change was in the amount of greenery that’s to be seen around the borough, and that’s probably more true of Croydon’s main shopping street than anywhere else.
   "North End was always the main artery running through the centre of Croydon. It was a bustling mass of people and traffic, particularly on Saturdays and during the days leading up to Christmas, when it seemed to take forever to travel from one end to the other.
   "Then, in a stroke, the traffic was gone and pedestrians ruled the world. It was different, but something was missing – the heart had been taken out of our town – the atmosphere had left with the last bus.
   "But then something happened, a new atmosphere was born. Street market stalls, kids’ roundabouts, exhibition stands, small café areas and, most importantly, trees came to take the place of the traffic.
   "It might still be as busy as far as pedestrians are concerned, but now you can see just how just much our
main artery has effectively been unblocked."

And here are close-ups of Frazer's Then and Now images of North End, with the Alms Houses to the right:

North End - 1980/81

North End - Today

Mel Lambert, Burbank, CA, USA, January 2008 Email.                                                               Your Croydon ©2021 Croydon Council.


 Mike Etheridge (JRGS 1963-65) spots an article about two football managers...

Daily MailJust in case you missed seeing the feature in last Tuesday's Daily Mail about two former JRGS Alumni, Roy Hodgson and Lennie Lawrence, facing each other in an FA Cup replay, I attach a scan of a relevant page from the 22nd January edition. Click on the thumbnail to view a full-size version. ©2008 Associated Newspapers Ltd.
   I am amazed at the careers these two have had from football. My own recollections are of both of them playing in the Wednesday afternoon Sixth Form games, but for some reason Robin "Lennie" Lawrence was present less often than Roy Hodgson. Both appeared above average players - Roy would always play in the friendly games with a huge grin on his face, and at some time during the games would demonstrate his ball dribbling ability.
   As former JRGS centre half David Guscott once explained: "Roy would beat three players and then beat them again before thinking about crossing the ball, whilst the rest of us would stand and watch!'' However, mid-fielder Roy would adopt different approaches in the serious games and appeared most capable of directing the matches.
   I specifically remember one Wednesday afternoon when JRGS Sports Teacher Charles Smith had somehow organised matches against Southampton University. The JRGS First Team featured Steve Kember, who was obliged to leave his fifth-form lesson to ensure, as we saw it , that our first team would win, which they subsequently did by a high margin of goals. However, the JRGS Second Team lost about 10-1 to the Southampton second team, our only goal being scored by Robbie Lawrence from my one and only pass from the left.
   Somehow "Smut" had put me on the left wing without, in football terms, ''me having a left foot.''

Mike Etheridge, Sanderstead, Surrey. January 2008 Email.

ML adds: John Byford (JRGS 1959-66) late last December alerted our attention to an article published on the BBC website about Roy Hodgson (JRGS 1958-65) being named as Fulham Football Club's new manager. According to the article, Roy has played for Crystal Palace, Maidstone and Berea Park, and managed Halmstad, Bristol City, Orebro, Malmo, Neuchatel Xamax, Switzerland, Inter Milan, Blackburn, Inter Milan, Grasshoppers, FC Copenhagen, Udinese, United Arab Emirates, Viking FK, Finland and now Fulham. Click here for the full story.


  Cliff Cummins (JRGS 1956-62) unearths a School Concert photo from 1957...

JRGS 1957This is a photo taken in 1957 by the Croydon Advertiser at a Junior School Concert. Click on the thumbnail to view a full-size version.
   Faces I recognise, apart from myself, slightly obstructed, are David Burgess, David Hall, David Hyde, Peter Baines, John Carter, Colin Smith, Geoffrey Bacon, Malcolm Alais, David Stanhope, Robin Clarke, Stan Bruin and the following, who I can only remember by their surname: Shoubridge, Burr, Holmes, Howes and Turvey.
   Even remembering those is not bad after 50 years! I am sure other Alumni can add to this list of names.
   I am sorry the picture is not very good quality although I feel sure an original may be in the Croydon Library Archives. This copy was supplied by David Hyde.
Cliff Cummins. January 2008

Ian Macdonald  (JRGS 1958-65) adds: Turvey's first name was Stewart or Stuart, and he later joined the Metropolitan Police.


 Clive Whitehead (JRGS 1950-52) meets former teacher Mr. Charles Smith...

In about mid-December, during the course of a UK visit, I was privileged, through the good offices of Peter Oxlade (JRGS 1940-44), to meet up one evening with Mr. Charles "Smithy" Smith at his home somewhere in the general area of West Wickham.
   Peter took me to see Charles in his car but it was a very wet and dark evening so I am not exactly sure where we went. But Peter managed to get me back to East Croydon station afterwards.
   Peter, who was instrumental in getting "Smithy" to record his memoirs for the JRGS website, arranged the meeting which took place in the early evening. Mrs. Smith (Elisabeth) welcomed us and then we went into the lounge to find Smithy waiting for us to arrive. I can assure all old boys and former staff that he was in good spirits and we enjoyed a memorable visit which lasted well over an hour.
   "Smithy" walks with the aid of a Zimmer frame these days, and has a lift to take him upstairs to sleep, but he still recalls much of his long and eventful life with great clarity. He is also very lucky to have Elisabeth to look after him.
   Our conversation covered many things from my early days as a pupil at Tamworth Road - he well remembered Miss Hickmott! (for those of you who, like me, were fortunate or unfortunate to be in Form 1H) - to my time as a staff member in the mid-60s, and later to the transition from a grammar to a comprehensive school.
   Perhaps the highlight of our meeting was Mr. Smith's account of how he came to meet Elisabeth and subsequently get married. I consider THAT the coup of this website to date. No. I am certainly not going into the finer details but I am sure that most former boys and staff would not readily think of Smithy as the romantic type. How wrong we would all be.

A love of dancing
After some friendly encouragement, and certainly no discouragement from Elisabeth, he told us of a sports-committee meeting that he had attended one evening. As he was leaving he noted that there was a dancing class going on in another part of the building. As he passed by he "noticed" one of the dancers - and the rest, as they say, is history. In a short time he too was dancing! Their favourite tune is still "One Enchanted Evening"!
   It really was a truly romantic story and I am sure that he and Elisabeth have shared a very happy life together ever since.
   Charles clearly enjoyed telling his story - even singing a few words of the song - which reiterated what I have always felt about him - that the bluff exterior was no more than that. In reality, he always had a deep concern for the welfare of all those under his charge, even though there were no doubt times when some of his charges might have thought otherwise.
   We drank tea, ate cakes and biscuits kindly prepared by Elisabeth, and talked .. and talked. We discussed the English football team (post-Croatia) for a very short time (there wasn't really much to talk about); and the English cricket team for a little longer. (Do any of you JRGS chaps know anything about last winter's whitewash down under? I do. We Aussies still want to know why the English test players haven't handed back the Queen's Awards they received the previous summer.) But we spent far longer talking about modern society and schools and how life has changed so much since the 1950s.
   The time passed very quickly and we finally called it a day for fear that we might overtax him. I am sure that all of you who, like me, remember Smithy with great respect and affection, would have been proud of him. He may be 95 but he still has a presence that generates a deep respect for him both as a man and for the values he instilled in us (well some of us).
   Please let me take this opportunity publicly to thank Peter Oxlade for making it possible for me to meet Smithy - and also for the beer we had beforehand at the Shirley Park Golf Club where Peter is currently Club President. Peter will no doubt be somewhat amazed at the current rise of his beloved Crystal Palace in the Championship league since we said goodbye at East Croydon station. I'd also like to thank Elisabeth for her hospitality and good humour. Take good care of him, Elisabeth.
   Down Under we refer to people like Smithy as "National Treasures".
   And, finally, thank you Smithy for allowing me the rare privilege of meeting you personally once more, and also for the influence you had on me as I grew to adulthood. I feel certain that in saying so I speak for countless other old boys who also remember you with great respect and affection. At 95 years of age he is quite amazing; as we started to talk the years fell away and there he was - the same Smithy we have always known.

Clive Whitehead, Western Australia, December 2007 Email.

Norman Day (JRGS 1960-66) adds: I really enjoyed reading Clive's article about "Smut," who was the best form teacher I had. The item further inspired me to browse through the roster of "Masters" (I am sure that's what we called them). Anyway I see that Terry T. James is down as a BA, whereas his lucky pupils (of which I was one) always called him "Doc" (never knew his first name).
   I would be very disappointed to find that the doctorate we conferred on him was not backed up by reality and I am fairly sure that the LP I had with him conducting credited him as Dr. James. Still, memories and LP notes can be defective, I suppose. Great character though.


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