IRISH, Cyril Vivian. Sergeant (934541)
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 18 October 1941, aged 20
Cyril Irish in uniform and flying gear
Cyril was born in Epsom on 2 December 1920, the third child of Charles George and Dora Lilian Irish. Like his siblings, Cyril was baptised at Christ Church Epsom Common.
His father had been born in Devon but moved to Epsom, where the 1911 Census recorded Charles as a 26 year-old "Clerk" lodging with Police Constable Robert Rounce and family at 57 Miles Road. The residents on Census Day did not include the family's 27 year old daughter, Dora Lilian: she was at "Pendennes", Bridge Road, Epsom working as "cook domestic" for widowed Frances Kent and his 7 year old daughter. The 1911 Census records Charles Irish as a "Clerk", probably at Epsom's Long Grove Mental Hospital. This was his place of work noted in the LCC's record of his WW1 service as a Private from 1915 to 1919 - at the beginning of which Charles and Dora married in Epsom Q3 1915.
Post war, the family's long-term home was 7 West Hill, Epsom. In his teens, Cyril attended Glyn School and was a member of the Scouts - almost certainly the 2nd Epsom Group, attached to Christ Church. As he is remembered on the Epsom Brotherhood's WW2 memorial
, he must also have been active in that organisation.
He had attested in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, and his RAF career took him to No. 27 Operational Training Unit RAF (27 OTU). This had been formed at RAF Lichfield in April 1941 as part of No. 6 Group RAF Bomber Command with the purpose of training night bomber crews.
On 18 October 1941, Cyril (who was training as a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner) was one of a training crew flying a Vickers Wellington Ic (X9821). It crashed while turning to the north of the Aerodrome and all four of the crew were killed.
Cyril's body was brought back to Epsom for burial. On 25 October, he joined his brother, Ernest John, who had died aged only one month in 1916 - four years before Cyril was born. In 1947, these two were joined by their father. The grave also now carries memorials to their mother (who died in 1987) and their sister, Cynthia Irish (1918-2011).
The Irish family grave (A348) in Epsom Cemetery
Photograph by Roger Morgan ©2017
Roger Morgan © 2017
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