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The Airmen's Stories - P/O H R G Poulton


Harry Robert Godfrey Poulton was born on 1st September 1918, the son of Harry Poulton and Sylvia Olive Poulton (nee Godfrey).

His father was serving as a Lance Corporal in the 1st Battalion, Essex Regiment when he was killed on 8th October 1918 aged 28. He lies at Marcoing British Cemetery near Cambrai.

In 1927 HRG Poulton entered the London Orphan School at Watford. In 1934 he began work at Maple & Co., the well-known London furnishers.

Poulton joined the RAFVR about November 1938 as an Airman u/t Pilot and began his elementary flying training at 18 E&RFTS Fairoaks.



Called up at the outbreak of war, he was posted to No. 1 ITW Cambridge, went to 22 EFTS Cambridge in January 1940 and then to 15 FTS Middle Wallop in May 1940.

Poulton completed his training at 15 FTS Chipping Norton on 30th August and arrived at 7 OTU Hawarden on 2nd September. After converting to Spitfires he joined 616 Squadron at Kirton-in-Lindsey on 23rd September, moving to 64 Squadron at Leconfield on 12th October.

During a routine patrol on the 28th Poulton made a forced-landing near Horsford in Spitfire N3293, cause unknown. On 27th November 1940 he was posted to 74 Squadron at Biggin Hill.

He damaged a Do17 on 4th March 1941, destroyed a Me109 over North Foreland on 7th May, probably destroyed a Me109 on 24th June and destroyed a Me109 on 3rd July.

Later in July Poulton was charged with low flying and posted away from 74 to No. 1 ADU at Hendon. He was court-martialled in August and cleared. He was immediately posted to 53 OTU Llandow as an instructor on Spitfires.

On 15th February 1942 he collided with another Spitfire, flown by F/O JH Pickering, who was killed. Poulton escaped with bruises.

He was posted to 611 Squadron at Drem in March 1942. He married Nancie Dallyn on 27th June 1942 at Shere Parish Church, Surrey.

Some time later he was injured in a motor accident but after recovering he rejoined 64 Squadron at Fairlop on 1st September 1942.

He damaged a Fw190 NW of Calais on 20th January 1943.

He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 25th May 1943).

On 14th January 1944 Poulton's Spitfire, EP549, had engine failure near Dieppe and he baled out before it dived into the Channel. He broke his leg on landing and was captured by the Germans.

After two months in hospital at Amiens, Poulton was sent to Dulag Luft at Frankfurt, moving soon afterwards to Stalag Luft 1 at Barth.

In January 1945 Poulton was repatriated in an exchange of wounded prisoners and went into the RAF Hospital Weeton. He was released from the RAF on 1st September 1946. He rejoined on 1st September 1951, in the Aircraft Control Branch.

Poulton retired on 9th September 1968 as a Flight Lieutenant.

He died in May 1998.

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