Campbell, Alexander (No. 974217)

Campbell, Alexander

Sergeant (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)

No. 974217, 50 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Killed in an aircraft accident on Wednesday 18 June 1941 (aged 19)

Buried:

Hatfield (Woodhouse) Cemetery, Yorkshire, England (Row EE Grave 20)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Family grave headstone in Comber Cemetery

Brother of Sergeant James (Jimmy) Campbell (No. K/53057)

BIOGRAPHY

The deaths of brothers Sergeant (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner) Alexander Campbell (No. 974217) and Sergeant James (Jimmy) Campbell (No. K/53057) on active service during the Second World War are commemorated on the Campbell family grave headstone in Comber Cemetery.

Alexander and James Campbell were sons of James and Jane Seeds Campbell (nee Martin) of 24 Woodlee Street, Belfast and, later, 25 Brownlow Street, Comber.  Jane Seeds Martin was born on 12 August 1883 and she was a daughter of Moses and Jane Martin (nee Seeds) who were married on 30 March 1878.  James Campbell was a hackle maker and he and Jane Martin were married on 30 April 1904 in Woodvale Presbyterian Church, Belfast.  They had at least eight children:

Jane (born 20 December 1904 at 24 Woodlee Street, Belfast)

James (born 20 May 1906 at 24 Woodlee Street, Belfast)

John Samuel (born 28 December 1907 at 3 Loughview Place, Ballysillan, Belfast)

Sarah Martin (born 26 December 1909 at 3 Ingram’s Buildings, Ballysillan, Belfast)

Ellen (born 3 March 1912 in Brownlow Street, Comber)

Margaret (born 15 July 1915 in Brownlow Street, Comber)

Isabel (born 21 May 1918 in Brownlow Street, Comber)

Alexander (born around 1922)

Other Campbell deaths are also commemorated on the headstone in Comber Cemetery:  Elsie died on 10 April 1929 (aged 0); Margaret died on 24 November 1932 (aged 22) and Albert died on 28 May 1945 (aged 20).

James Campbell Senior died on 31 March 1952 (aged 70) and Jane Seeds Campbell died on 28 January 1969.

On 18 June 1941 Alexander Campbell was one of a crew of five aboard a Handley Page Hampden Mark I aircraft (P4389) that took off from RAF Lindholme in Yorkshire at 6.50 pm to carry out an air test.  Almost immediately after take-off the aircraft crashed into a field beyond the airfield and everyone on board was killed.  The other crew members who died that day were:

  • Sergeant Lawrence Rex Hinde (aged 20) from Lymington, Hampshire (his brother Michael Dounis Hinde also died in service)
  • Corporal Morris Ernest Balkin from Langside, Glasgow
  • Leading Aircraftman Harry Barton (aged 26) from Bacup, Lancashire
  • AC2 Class Percy Charles Kemp (aged 26) from Worthing, Sussex

Sergeant (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner) Alexander Campbell (No. 974217) was 19 when he died and he was buried in Hatfield (Woodhouse) Cemetery, Yorkshire.  There is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:

JUST TWO LITTLE WORDS

THEY MEAN SO MUCH

‘OUR SON’