Battle of Britain Monument Home THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN LONDON MONUMENT Battle of Britain London Monument
The Battle of Britain London Monument "Never in the field of human
conflict was so much owed
by so many to so few
Site of Battleof Britain London Monument Work in Progress London Monument Site Drawing of Battle of Britain London Monument
Battle of Britain London Monument Home    

The Airmen's Stories - P/O J M Horrox


James Michael Horrox of Keyingham, Yorkshire was born on 20th October 1920, the son of the Revd. Harold Thompson Horrox MA and Clarice Horrox.

James grew up in Lockton, near Pickering, after his father became rector of Levisham-with-Lockton.

James had a younger brother, Paul, born in 1922. In their school holidays they were joined by a girl, Jean Sedman from Guiseley in Leeds, who spent her holiday with an aunt in Lockton. Both were very fond of Jean but she was closer in age to James.

After leaving school James was employed at the Blackburn Aircraft Factory in Brough, East Yorkshire.

He joined the RAFVR in July 1939 as an Airman u/t Pilot. Called up on 1st September 1939, he completed his training at 15 FTS Brize Norton on No. 10 Course, which ran from 15th June to 21st September 1940.

He arrived at 6 OTU Sutton Bridge on 22nd September 1940 and was commissioned as a Pilot Officer that day.



After converting to Hurricanes he was posted to 151 Squadron at Digby on 5th October.

After he was warned for overseas service he became engaged to Jean on 2nd November 1940.

In mid-November 1940 the carrier HMS Argus sailed from Gibraltar with Hurricanes for Malta. Horrox was one of the six pilots who flew off on 16th November in the second flight of Hurricanes, led by a FAA Skua.

A series of mishaps saw the Hurricanes run out of fuel and fall one by one into the sea, with the loss of all six pilots.

Horrox was 20. His name is on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 8.


Above image courtesy of Dean Sumner.


Above and below: he is commemorated at his father's church.





Paul Horrox had meanwhile joined the RAF, qualified as a pilot and was posted to Bomber Command.



On the night of 12th/13th August 1941 he was aboard Halifax L9530 of 76 Squadron as 2nd Pilot to F/Lt. CC Cheshire (brother of Leonard Cheshire VC).

They took off from Middleton St. George on a night raid to Berlin. The aircraft was shot down and crashed at Parnewinkel near Hamburg, Germany.

F/Lt. CC Cheshire, Sgt. PHT Horrox, Sgt. GJ Smalley and Sgt. R Wash were able to bale out and became prisoners of war.

F/Sgt. W Woods and Sgt. AT Niven were killed.

James Horrox had by then been confirmed as dead rather than Missing. Paul Horrox wrote to Jean from Stalag Luft 3 asking her to marry him.

By that time Jean was serving with the Voluntary Aid Detachment (VAD) and had become engaged to an Army officer. She wrote to tell Paul this, but by the time Paul received the letter the Army officer had also been killed.

Paul and Jean were married in July 1945 after his return from Germany, she died in 1981, Paul in 1998.


Above research courtesy of the Horrox family via Nick Horrox.


Battle of Britain Monument