George, David Burrows (No. 1796593)

George, David Burrows (David)

Sergeant (Flight Engineer)

No. 1796593, 153 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Killed on active service on Monday 22 January 1945 (aged 22)

Buried:

Venray War Cemetery, Limburg, Netherlands (Grave VII. B. 4)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Bangor and District War Memorial

Wesley Centenary Methodist Church, Bangor

BIOGRAPHY

David Burrows George was the youngest child of James and Ellen George (nee Stewart) who were married on 25 September 1907 in Bangor Abbey Church of Ireland Church.  James George (aged 23), a shoemaker from Newtownards was a son of James George, a surface man.  Ellen Stewart (aged 27) from Bangor was a daughter of Edmund Stewart, a postman.

The George family lived at 6 Dufferin Avenue, Bangor and it was from that address that James ran his own shoemaking business.  During the First World War James George serves as a Sergeant in the 30th Division of the Army Service Corps.  Ellen George (nee Stewart) worked as a dressmaker and she and James had six children:

Edmund Stewart (born 19 March 1909 in Church Street, Bangor; died four days on 23 March 1909)

Sarah Nelson (Sadie, born 8 January 1911 in Dufferin Avenue, Bangor; died of tuberculosis in 1937)

Anne (Annie, born 11 February 1913 in Dufferin Avenue, Bangor; died in 2012 aged 99)

James (Jim, born 9 November 1915 in Dufferin Avenue, Bangor while his father was stationed on Salisbury Plain in England during the First World War; died aged 78)

Elizabeth (Elsie, born 8 April 1921; died aged 87)

David Burrows (born 1922)

David was 8 when his mother Ellen died on 11 May 1931 and after that it was his sister Annie who cared for her younger siblings.

On 14 March 1933 James George married Lydia Jackson in Cregagh Presbyterian Church, Belfast and Lydia became the children’s stepmother.  James George died on 20 July 1948.

David George was educated at Bangor Central Public Elementary School and on leaving school he worked in the engineering department of the Post Office at Telephone House, Belfast.  He joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in December 1943 and on completion of his training in England he led the cadet parade of his unit and was recommended for a commission after achieving a high percentage in his examinations.  David spent Christmas 1944 at home in Bangor with his family who at that time lived at 8 Donaghadee Road.

On 22 January 1945 Sergeant David George was one of a crew of seven aboard an Avro Lancaster Mark I aircraft (NG185) that took off at 4.40 pm from RAF Scrampton in Lincolnshire on a mission to bomb Duisburg.  The aircraft crashed over Germany and, initially, Sergeant David George was posted as missing in action.  After his death was officially confirmed his family placed a Killed in Action notice in the 17 November 1945 edition of the County Down Spectator.  He was deeply regretted by his sister Mrs Annie Daniels in Quorn, Leicester, his sister Mrs Elsie Orr in Springfield Avenue, Bangor and his brother, Jim George, in Airdrie, Scotland.

The other six crew members who were killed were:

  • Flying Officer Kenneth William Winder (aged 33) from Stamford, Lincolnshire
  • Sergeant Alfred Jack Rabin (aged 22) from Kentish Town, London
  • Flying Officer Matthew Arnold Smith, Royal Canadian Air Force
  • Sergeant Robert Evans (aged 21) from Liverpool
  • Flight Sergeant Gerald Burton Hamilton (aged 18), Royal Canadian Air Force
  • Sergeant Thomas O’Gorman

Their bodies were found by US forces and taken to the Netherlands for interment in the American Cemetery at Margraten.  Later their remains were exhumed and transferred to Venray War Cemetery.

There is an inscription on Sergeant George’s CWGC headstone:

DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP IN VICTORY

1 CORINTHIANS XV. 54

Sergeant (Flight Engineer) David Burrows George (No. 1796593) was 22 when he died and he is commemorated on Bangor and District War Memorial and in Wesley Centenary Methodist Church, Bangor.