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The Airmen's Stories - P/O G L Roscoe


Geoffrey Lawrence Roscoe, of Stoke-on-Trent, was born in September 1916, the son of Harry and Elizabeth Annie Roscoe.

He was educated at Newcastle-under-Lyme High School then studied mining.

He played for Stoke-on-Trent Rugby Club and on occasion for the Harlequins.

Roscoe was commissioned in the 5th Battalion, The North Staffordshire Regiment (TA) in April 1935. He transferred to the 41st (North Staffordshire Regiment) Anti-Aircraft Battalion, Corps of Royal Engineers in December 1936.



Roscoe was seconded to the RAF and granted a temporary commission in March 1940. After completing his training he joined 79 Squadron at Pembrey on 17th September 1940. He moved to 87 Squadron at Church Fenton on 8th October.

Starting in December 1940 the squadron maintained a detachment at St. Mary's in the Scilly Isles. On 21st July 1941 Roscoe shared in the destruction of a He111 which went down into the sea off the islands.

He married Barbara Anne Brock in January 1942 in Chippenham.

Roscoe was killed on 24th February 1942 as a Flight Lieutenant with 87 Squadron, aged 25. His Hurricane IIC Z3776 flew into the ground near Northleach in Gloucestershire.

A witness claimed that Roscoe was performing a dummy attack on an American convoy when he struck newly erected power lines.

He was cremated at Stoke-on-Trent Crematorium, Staffordshire.


His elder brother Kenneth Harry Roscoe studied engineering at Emmanuel College, Cambridge and obtained a First in the Mechanical Sciences Tripos, on graduation he was offered a research studentship. But owing to a badly broken arm he went instead as a trainee in mechanical engineering to the Metropolitan Cammell Company Limited, where he was made Assistant Works Manager just before the outbreak of WW2.

Despite his arm (broken while playing for the Harlequins) he went to France with a commission in the Sappers in 1939, and in 1940 was awarded the Military Cross. He was captured and spent five years as a PoW. Liberated in April 1945, he returned to Cambridge as a research student in soil mechanics and became a world authority on the subject.

He was killed in a car crash in April 1970.





Below: the crash site is marked by a commemorative plaque.


Above image courtesy of Rick Chase.


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