The Airmen's Stories - P/O G K Gout
Geoffrey Kenneth Gout was was born at Eton, Buckinghamshire on 19th January 1916, the only child of Geoffrey Davee Vernon Goût and of Dorothy Marguerite Goût (née Sawyer) (later Mrs Gennert) of Quakers Hill Cottage, Sevenoaks, Kent.
He was educated at Berneval School, Sevenoaks before going on to Sherborne School (School House) from September 1929 to December 1933.
A keen motorist, he enrolled at the Automobile Engineering College, Chelsea and raced at Brooklands.
Gout joined the RAF on a short service commission in February 1939 and was posted to 6 FTS Little Rissington for No.12 Course, which ran from 1st May to 6th November 1939.
He was posted direct to 234 Squadron at Leconfield at its reformation there on 30th October 1939.
On 17th December 1939 Gout was piloting Blenheim L1206 when its undercarriage was damaged on take-off from Leconfield. He was able to return and force-land with the undercarriage up without injury.
Gout was killed on 25th July 1940 when his Spitfire, P9493, crashed near Porthowan during a routine night patrol over Plymouth, cause unknown.
Official records indicate that he was unable to find his way back in the dark to his base, St Eval. With fuel running low, he probably tried to make a forced-landing, crashing on a farm about 15 miles from St Eval.
A crash investigator gave the farmer's son Gout's wings, from his tunic found in the wreckage. They are now in Flambards Museum, in Helston, Cornwall.
Gout's fiance in 1940, Judy Chard, finally found out in March 1999 the circumstances of his death. They were childhood sweethearts from the age of five. However both families opposed the relationship and theirs was a secret engagement.
Gout's mother did not advise Judy of Geoffrey's death. At the time she was working in the Midlands and read of his death in a newspaper obituary and missed his funeral. She later had a 50 year-long happy marriage.
He was 24 and is buried in St Eval churchyard, Cornwall.
Additional research courtesy of Sherborne School Archives.