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The Airmen's Stories - P/O A J S Pattinson


Aberconway John Sefton Pattinson was born on 18th December 1918 in Chelsea, London at the home of his mother's parents.

His father, John Francis Pattinson, came from Melbourne, Australia. In civilian life he was a mining engineer and had enlisted in the 2nd Tunnelling Company of the Royal Australian Engineers. He was serving at Ribemont, near St. Quentin in France when he was killed by a shell on 14th May 1918. He is buried in Querrieu Military Cemetery.

On 14th December 1917 at the Holy Trinity Church in Upper Chelsea he had married Daphne St. George Alix Sefton Toms.

Daphne Toms was an opera singer and ballet dancer, its likely that they met in 1916 in the 3rd London General Hospital Wandsworth, close to her home. Lieutenant Pattinson had been treated for injuries there on three occasions and Daphne may have been part of a concert party entertaining the wounded.

She numbered Ivor Novello, Sir Malcolm Campbell and Lord and Lady Aberconway among her friends. The Aberconways were appointed godparents and this was marked by her son taking their name.

Daphne Pattinson never remarried and died in 1976.

AJS Pattinson was brought up, possibly near Hampton-on-Thames, and was enrolled at the Chard School, Chard, Somerset on 18th December 1918.

Between 1932 and 1935 he was a Private in the Chard School Cadet Corps. On 29th November 1937 he started taking flying lessons at the Reading Civil Flying Club.

By now Pattinson was 6ft. 4ins. tall and an enthusiastic sportsman, he broke an arm in 1936 playing rugby.

He applied to join the RAF and was granted a short service commission as Acting Pilot Officer on probation with effect from 19th February 1938 at No.1 Depot, 24 (Training) Group. His appointment as a Pilot Officer was confirmed 29th July 1939.

He was posted to 5 FTS Sealand on 5th March 1938 and joined 25 Squadron at Hawkinge on 17th September, flying Gladiators.

The squadron was re-equipped with Blenheims and on 16th August 1939 Pattinson landed Blenheim L1436/RX-M at Sutton Bridge with the wheels up, he was unhurt.

By early July 1940 Pattinson was serving with 23 Squadron at Collyweston, flying Blenheims.

The first large-scale night raid on the UK was made on a clear night on 18th/19th June 1940, involving about 70 raiders. 23 Squadron sent up seven aircraft, including Pattinson in Blenheim 1f 'U' with Sgt. WD McAdam.

Promoted to Flying Officer on 29th July 1940, he was posted to 616 Squadron on 7th September 1940 to convert to Spitfires.

He was posted to 92 Squadron at Biggin Hill on 11th October 1940 and the next day was killed in action on his first sortie at 4.30 pm over Folkestone, shot down by a Me109.

His Spitfire, X4591, crashed and burned out in Shrine Farm, Postling.

Pattinson was 21 years old.

He is buried in Parkstone Cemetery, Poole, Dorset.







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