The Airmen's Stories - P/O R C Thomas
Richard Ceredig Thomas was born on 2nd April 1911 in Ton Pentre, Rhondda, Glamorgan, Wales.
His parents were Rev. John James Thomas, a church minister, originally from Eisteddfa Gurig, Ponterwyd, Cardiganshire, and Annie Thomas née Morgan originally from Rhyader, Radnorshire.
RC Thomas grew up in Cardiff where his father became minister at Crwys Hall in Cathays. He attended Cardiff High School.
His father was a prominent member of the Forward Movement of churches and Secretary to SASWIN (South Wales Association of Presbyterian churches). In 1935 the Western Mail reported that SASWIN appealed to the Pope to summon a Conference of all Christian communities to renounce war.
In December 1935 RC Thomas became engaged to Mary Nansi Williams, daughter of the late Rev. Trefor Williams OBE, Chief Inspector to the Minister of Health. They married in Cardiff in July 1939.
Thomas joined the RAFVR about May 1939 as an Airman u/t Observer. Called up on 1st September, he completed his training, was commissioned and joined 235 Squadron at Thorney Island from No. 1 (C) OTU Silloth on 16th August 1940.
He was one of the crew of Blenheim N3530 which failed to return from a sortie over the Channel on 9th October 1940. Thomas and Sgt. GE Keel were killed and the pilot, P/O JC Kirkpatrick, was reported missing (report below).
Above image courtesy of the National Archives.
Thomas’ body was washed up at Newhaven on 13th November 1940 and he is buried in Cathays Cemetery, Cardiff.
He is commemorated on the Crwys Hall Roll of Honour (whereabouts unknown). His widow Nansi later remarried and moved to Australia.
Above image and additional research courtesy of Alun Nevett.