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The Airmen's Stories - P/O T Birkett


Thomas Birkett was born on 30th April 1914, the son of James Birkett (1879-1974) and Doris Lilian Birkett (nee Edmonson 1891-1962).

He was employed in 1934 by John Player & Sons in Nottingham, where he was member of local hockey and beagling clubs.

Birkett joined the RAFVR about July 1938 as an Airman u/t Pilot. He was called up on 1st September 1939 and completed his flying training.

He was serving with 219 Squadron at Catterick at the start of the Battle of Britain.

Birkett was commissioned in October 1940. On 13th November 1940, still serving with 219 Squadron and based at Redhill, he was flying Beaufighter 1f R2071 in daylight when it was seen to emerge from cloud with both engines stopped and crash on the bank of the River Eden outside Edenbridge.

He and his observer Sgt. CEP Castle were killed.

Birkett was 26 and is buried at St Andrew's churchyard, near his home at Chew Magna, Somerset.





       Birkett is pictured seated, second from left, in front of a 219 squadron Blenheim Mk1, probably at Catterick.







In December 2014 a commemorative plaque was unveiled in the church of St. Peter & St. Paul in Edenbridge (below).







Battle of Britain Monument