BRODERICK, George Adrian Leonard. Flying Officer (Observer), 122067,
RAFVR (Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve) 608 Squadron
Died 16 May 1943, aged 32
The marriage of Adrian Joseph Broderick (b. 1881) to Elizabeth Lydia Watkins, born 24 January 1879 at Greenwich, daughter of William Isaac Watkins, was registered at Epsom, 12/1910. A son, George Adrian Leonard was born 23 April 1911 followed by two others recorded in Epsom, Leonard A[drian]., 9/1914, & Joseph M[aurice]., 6/1916. The family lived at 14 Upper Court Road, Epsom, whilst Adrian was employed in one of the local mental hospitals as an 'Asylum stores porter' or 'store's clerk'.
George attended Pound Lane School until 1923 when he obtained a scholarship to what used to be known as Sutton County Grammar School, and later Sutton Manor School. He left aged 16 with his School Certificate. His first employment is unknown but the London Gazette of 8 September 1936 reported his appointment, 'Without Competition', as an Assistance Clerk in the Unemployment Assistance Board.
On 26 June 1937 George married Frances Rose Madeleine, only child of Caroline Rose (née Shaughnessy) and Percy George Vincent Edwards, from Stoneleigh. He had been working in Newcastle upon Tyne but subsequently obtained a transfer to a UAB office in Soho.
George is said to have volunteered for the RAF at a Recruiting Centre in West Croydon early in 1941 and his service number 1383536 suggests that he was subsequently inducted at Euston. By the middle of May he had been stationed at No.24 Elementary & Reserve Flying Training School at RAF Sydenham, Belfast, originally used exclusively for the training of R.A.F. Volunteer Reservists, being equipped with Tiger Moth and Hawker Hind aircraft. He did not reach the standard of flying solo and was re-assigned for training as a Navigator, attached to RAF Blackpool. The navigational school was situated in buildings on Squires Gate airfield. On 5 September 1941 he set sail destined for No. 31 Air Navigation School, Port Albert, near Goderich, Ontario, Canada.
A fresh number 122067 applied from his advancement to Pilot Officer (on probation), emergency, 16 March 1942. Promotion to Flying Officer (war sub.) followed with effect from 1 October 1942.
About this time George had been appointed to 608 Squadron at No 6 Operational Training Unit, RAF Thornaby, joining the crew of a Hudson Mk. V, AE 641. They arrived in Gibraltar on 26 November to carry our sorties until leaving for Blida, Algeria, on 18 December. AE 641 returned to the repair base RA F Henlow on 28 March 1943 for refurbishment.
A daughter, Jill Susan Broderick, arrived 20 April - reg. Surrey N E, 6/1943.
After a month's leave in England the crew left for a second round: by mid-May 1943 the war in North Africa seemed to have turned in favour of the allies, but for the Coastal Command Squadron, work had to continue. Hudson Bomber AE 641 (Freddy) was sent out on submarine patrol the fatal evening of May 15. Their plane crashed in the early morning of 16 May 1943, near Cheraga, attempting to return to base through a thick coastal fog; the contributory causes were not clearly established.
Allied fatalities in the Blida area were buried at the El Alia Cemetery, 20 miles east of the city of Algiers on the road to Bougie. The crew of AE641 were laid to rest there side by side.
Jill S E Broderick, attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart School in Epsom, married Derek M Tansley, Southend 6/1967, and went to live in Othery, Somerset.
Whilst he served in the RAF, George and his wife had shared a home with his parents in law at 110 Chadacre Road, Stoneleigh, Ewell. Mrs Caroline Rose Edwards, aged 69, was brought from St Helier Hospital, for burial in Plot O134 at Epsom Cemetery on 31 May 1945.
Mrs Frances Rose Madeleine Broderick acquired her own home, also in Chadacre Road, Stoneleigh Park, and taught at the Sacred Heart before leaving the area following the death of her widower father on 24 June 1962. Having eventually entered sheltered accommodation at Guillemard Court, Chichester Grove, Birmingham, her death was recorded in the West Midlands during 1994.
Many further biographical and operational details, with photographs, may be found in James R Stevens' Searching for the Hudson Bombers, re-published 2004, of which a copy is held in the Epsom and Ewell Local and Family History Centre at Bourne Hall, Ewell.
The name of George Adrian Leonard Broderick also appears on the Suttonian Memorial.
Brian Bouchard 2014
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