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The Airmen's Stories - P/O J H Rothwell


John Hedley Rothwell was born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire on 25th June 1920, the son of James Herbert Rothwell and Evelyn Mary Rothwell.

His father was the Town Clerk. The family moved to Brighton, Sussex, in 1923 when his father was appointed Town Clerk there.

JH Rothwell was educated at Tonbridge School. He entered RAF College, Cranwell in April 1939, as a Flight Cadet.

After the outbreak of war, the course was shortened and Rothwell passed out in March 1940 with a Permanent Commission.

He had a short posting with 98 Squadron in France before returning to England and joining 12 Squadron at Finningley on 12th June 1940.

He must have volunteered for Fighter Command as on 28th August he joined 601 Squadron at Debden but was sent on to 6 OTU Sutton Bridge on 3rd September. After converting to Hurricanes Rothwell was posted to 32 Squadron at Acklington on the 21st.

He moved to 605 Squadron at Croydon on 12th October. He claimed a probable Me109 on 1st November.

Rothwell was killed on 22nd February 1941 when his Hurricane II Z2347 crashed at Upper Bush Lane, Cuxton, Kent, possibly due to oxygen failure.

He is buried in Poynings Cemetery, Sussex.





He is commemorated by a plaque at Tonbridge School (below).



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