Hornby, John Samuel
HMS Corncrake, Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve
Killed in an aircraft accident on Wednesday 10 October 1945 (aged 21)
Ballyhalbert (St. Andrew’s) Church of Ireland Churchyard, Ballyeasborough, Co. Down (Grave 5)
Wanganui Collegiate School, Wellington, New Zealand
New Zealand National War Memorial in Wellington
New Zealand Cenotaph Database in Auckland War Memorial Museum
John Samuel Hornby was born on 9 October 1924 in New Zealand and he was a son of William Henry and Priscilla Muriel Hornby (nee Addenbrooke) who were married in 1923. William Henry Hornby died in 1942 (aged 55).
John Samuel Hornby was a stepson of Allan Noble Campbell whom his mother married after his father died. Allan Noble Campbell was manager of the Sports Department in a store in Wanganui, Wellington, New Zealand, and the Campbell family lived at 9 Selwyn Street, Wanganui and later at 86 North Street, Timaru. During the Second World War Allan Noble Campbell served as a Sergeant in Infantry Reinforcements.
From 1939 until 1942 John Samuel Hornby was educated at Wanganui Collegiate School where he was a member of Marris House, a school prefect and he played rugby for the school. On leaving school he joined No. 9 (Wanganui) Squadron of the Air Training Corps (ATC). During the Second World War he served with the Royal New Zealand Naval Volunteer Reserve and he died at 2.15 pm on 10 October 1945 in a flying accident when he was stationed in Ballyhalbert at HMS Corncrake. It was the day after his 21st birthday.
[On 24 April 1945 Ballyhalbert Airfield transferred to the Admiralty and became a Royal Naval Air Station. It was commissioned as HMS Corncrake and, in July 1945, Kirkistown Airfield was commissioned as HMS Corncrake II. Ballyhalbert Airfield was closed on 13 November 1945].
Sub-Lieutenant John Samuel Hornby died when his Supermarine Seafire Mark III aircraft (NN631) of No. 718 Squadron Fleet Air Arm based at Ballyhalbert, crashed at Crockagarran, south-south-east of Carrickmore, Co. Tyrone while on a cross-country training exercise.
Sub-Lieutenant John Samuel Hornby was buried in Ballyhalbert (St. Andrew’s) Church of Ireland Churchyard at Ballyeasborough and there is a memorial plaque in the field where he crashed. His second cousin, Pilot Officer Frederick Hugh Anderson, was killed on 19 November 1941 and he too was buried in Ballyhalbert (St. Andrew’s) Church of Ireland Churchyard. Both men are commemorated in Wanganui Collegiate School; on the New Zealand National War Memorial in Wellington and on the New Zealand Cenotaph Database in Auckland War Memorial Museum.
In the School Museum there is a 1:48 scale model of John Samuel Hornby’s aircraft. Made by Robin Ruddock from a piece of aluminium fuselage wreckage from his aircraft, it was presented to the school by Aviation historians Gary McFarland and Robin Ruddock.