The Friends of St. Peter's Berkhamsted

Friends of St Peter's, Great Berkhamsted

Bunn, Maurice Alec (1914 – 1941)

Grave Number 623

Maurice was born in Berkhamsted on 8th June 1914, his parents had married the previous year and lived at 75 Shrublands Avenue. His father was master builder James and his mother Emily Ada nee White.

The Great War started when Maurice was a few months old, his father signed up with the Bedfordshire regiment in November 1914 but within 30 days was discharged as unfit for service. He later joined the Royal Engineers as a sapper and was attached to the 227th Field Company serving on the Western Front.

Maurice would have been nearly 5 years old when his father returned in 1919. He had a sister, Marjorie, who was born in 1922.

When Maurice left school, he followed his father’s profession and by 1939 father and son were both listed as Master Builders, by this time the family had moved to 52 Greenway.

Sometime after the outbreak of WW2 Maurice joined the RAF, he became a Pilot Officer. In 1941 he was based at RAF Ingham in Lincolnshire. On the night of 22nd October 1941 he was giving night flight dual instruction to trainee pilot Philip Zarraga in an Oxford II, V.3632. He made one satisfactory circuit, but, after taking off for the second time, the aircraft was observed to climb hardly at all and it crashed into a belt of trees about half a mile beyond the windward boundary, becoming a total wreck. It did not catch fire, but both instructor and pupil were killed outright. An Investigation was called for, and the accident was reported by Signal T.126 from R.A.F. Station Hemswell. The incident card states that the pilot took off with flaps down and probably failed to adjust other auxiliary controls before take-off (1).

Maurice was 27 and unmarried. He is buried in Rectory Lane with his parents and his sister.

1 Access Jan 2019.

2 The picture of Maurice is taken from the “Find a Grave” website.

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