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The Airmen's Stories - F/Lt. A R Edge


Alexander Rothwell Edge was born on 16th November 1908 in Manchester. He trained up to 'A' Licence standard at the Yorkshire Aero Club in a scheme sponsored by the Daily Mail as part of Amy Johnson's 'Get Air-Minded' campaign after her record solo flight to Australia.

He was awarded Aero Certificate 12256 at the Yorkshire Aeroplane Club on 5th September 1934 where his occupation was recorded as 'Technical Traveller'.



He joined 609 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force in 1936 and was commissioned in June 1937.

Edge was called to full-time service on 24th August 1939. On 29th January 1940 he and two other pilots were sent to intercept a He111 bombing a merchant ship off the mouth of the Tay. They inflicted damage but it is known that the enemy aircraft regained its base.




Over Dunkirk on 1st June Edge claimed a Me110 destroyed. In an engagement off Swanage on 18th July his glycol system was damaged by return fire from a Ju88. Edge made a forced-landing on Studland Beach in Spitfire I R6636. The beach was mined and Edge had to be taken off by sea by the Navy.

On 2nd August 1940 Edge was posted away to Training Command.

He married Margaret Jean Arbuthnott Hay on 7th August 1940 at Holy Trinity, Haddington (below).



After instructing on Tiger Moths at an EFTS, he moved in November 1940 to a Fighter OTU as an instructor. For these services, Edge was later awarded the AFC (gazetted 1st January 1943).

In late 1942 he went to North Africa and became a Liaison Officer between Group HQ and the operational squadrons. When Edge returned to the UK in 1943 he acted as escort for Leutnant Hubert von Greim, son of General Ritter von Greim, an extremely important figure in the Luftwaffe. The young von Greim, of 6/JG53, had crash-landed at Tabarka after his Me109's cooling system was damaged in combat with RAF fighters on 31st December 1942.

After a spell at an OTU Edge was appointed Wing Commander Flying Training at HQ 12 Group. In March 1945 he was posted to SEAC HQ Delhi as OC Accident Investigation.

Edge was released from the RAF on 15th September 1945 as a Wing Commander.

He died in 1985 in Haddington, East Lothian.


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