BARTON Hugh Hartil
Regiment : Royal Canadian Air Force
Service number : J25015
Conflict : WW2
Date of death : 9th November 1943 aged 28
Buried : Pershore Cemetery, Worcestershire, England, Plot Q. Grave 38.
Relatives : Son of Richard and Cecelia Hartil Barton, of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. B.A. (University of Western Ontario, London)
Memorial : Rowney Green Canadian Aircrew Memorial
Also appears on : Pershore Cemetery
The inscription on the memorial reads:
THIS MAPLE TREE WAS PLANTED TO REMEMBER
OF THE ROYAL CANADIAN AIR FORCE WHO LOST THEIR
LIVES WHEN THEIR WELLINGTON BOMBER CRASHED
AT ROWNEY GREEN ON 9 NOV 1943
“WE WILL REMEMBER THEM”
Alvechurch Ex Services Association 2007.
Additional information on the memorial: FO
Hugh Barton enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force on 25th May 1942 at No 8 Recruiting Centre, RCAF, Windsor, Ontario. He was born on 23rd June 1915 at Herberton, Northern Queensland, Australia, the son of Richard Barton and Cecilia Hartil Barton, nee Milward. Richard was born in Wigan, Lancashire, England and was an accountant. Cecilia was born in Cheshire, England. The family had taken Canadian citizenship and were resident at 1025 Curry Avenue, Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Hugh was employed as a Stockroom Clerk. His service records list the particulars of his education, his employment prior to joining the Royal Canadian Air Force and a number of sports that he enjoyed participating in. Hugh was 5 feet 8 inches tall with hazel eyes, brown hair and a medium complexion.
The RCAF accident report records the following information on Hugh Barton:
Rank: P/O Unit: No 23 O.T.U. Pershore
Date and time of accident: 9.11.43 19.49 hrs
Place of accident: Rowney Green, S.E. of Alvechurch
Circumstances: Result of an accident to Wellington aircraft X.3932 at 19.49 hours on 9th November 1943, whilst engaged on night flying exercise
Aircrew category: Navigator, undergoing operational training.
Description of injuries: Multiple injuries and burns.
On 17th November 1943 Hugh’s Commanding Officer wrote to Hugh’s mother with details of the crash and his burial service in Pershore Cemetery.
The following information is courtesy and copyright of Veronica Ingram and Anne Humphries:
Hugh Hartil Barton’s parents had emigrated from England to Australia where Hugh was born in 1915, but had then moved to Windsor, Ontario in 1918. He was a graduate having obtained a BA at the University of Western Ontario and was studying for a BSc in Chemistry when he was called up.
The following is an extract from a letter from Delwyn Griffith, Midland Aircraft Recovery Group which was printed in The Village magazine, December 2010:
The story of the crash is as follows: At 18.38 hours, Wellington X3932 of 30 Operational training Unit took off from its base at Pershore on a routine training exercise manned by its newly-formed pupil crew from The Royal Canadian Air Force.
By 19.40 hours, the exercise had been successfully completed and X3932 was on its landing approach to Pershore.
At this point the aircraft’s port engine failed. Unable to make a safe landing, the pilot opted to overshoot and continued to fly northward. A Wellington could not maintain height on one engine and as the aircraft was already below the altitude from which a safe parachute descent could be made, something had to be done.
The pilot, therefore, began a turn to starboard, but too much air speed had been lost and drag from the failed engine whipped the aircraft into a vicious turn to port causing it to stall and dive into the ground at 19.49 hours.
The aircraft fell starboard wing low and such was the force of the impact that the starboard engine was driven nine feet into the ground. Fuel tanks burst and the wreck caught fire immediately, burning petrol setting fire to a nearby hayrick.
First on the scene were members of the Home Guard led by Mr Craner, of Rowney Green. There was nothing they could do for the crew who had all been killed on impact so they attempted to contain the fire until the arrival of the National Fire Service.
Hugh Barton’s brother, Flight Sergeant Thomas Barton RCAF was killed on 29th July 1944 when the 425 Squadron Halifax he was piloting was posted missing on an operation to Hamburg.
Article accessed via:
Link still valid 8th November 2016
Flying Officer Hugh Hartil Barton, age 25, serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force was buried in consecrated ground in Pershore Cemetery on 13th November 1943. The ceremony was performed by the Reverend H. Crawford Scott.
Register of Burials in War Graves in Pershore Cemetery courtesy of Pershore Town Council.