Ievers, Robert Valentine (Bob)
No. 1126184, 418 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Killed on active service on Monday 30 November 1942 (aged 21)
No known grave
Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England (Panel 86)
RAF Bradwell Bay Memorial
Headstone in Whitechurch Cemetery, Ballywalter
Robert Valentine (Bob) Ievers was born on 16 October 1921 and he was a son of John and Ellen Campbell Ievers (nee Adair). John Ievers (from County Wexford) served during the First World War and in civilian life he worked as a gardener. It was when he was working for Lord Dunleath in Ballywalter Park that he met Ellen Adair. John Ievers and Ellen Adair were married in Ballywalter Parish Church of Ireland Church (Holy Trinity) on 10 July 1920. John Ievers (aged 28), a gardener from Farnborough was a son of Edwin Ievers, a gardener. Ellen Campbell Adair (aged 27) from Ballywalter was a daughter of George Adair, a fisherman.
John and Ellen Campbell Ievers (nee Adair) had seven children:
Robert Valentine (Bob, born 16 October 1921)
Edwin John (died of diphtheria on 23 April 1933 aged 4)
Robert Valentine Ievers was baptised in Ballywalter Parish Church. The family moved from Ballywalter to Belfast when John Ievers was appointed Head Gardener at Forster Green Hospital.
During the Second World War Robert Valentine (Bob) Ievers served with the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in Fighter Command and on 30 November 1942 he was one of a three man crew aboard a Douglas Boston Mark III aircraft (Z2165) that took off from RAF Bradwell Bay in Essex on a Nickel (leaflet dropping) operation and crashed in Belgium. Their bodies were never recovered and the other two crew members who died that day were:
- Warrant Officer Class II Merton Ralph Lockwood (aged 21), Royal Canadian Air Force
- Warrant Officer Class II John Joseph Graham Chabot (aged 25), Royal Canadian Air Force
When Sergeant Robert Valentine Ievers (No. 1126184) was initially reported as missing in action his girlfriend Eileen, who was serving in the WAAF, came to Belfast to visit Bob’s parents.
Sergeant Robert Valentine Ievers is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial in Surrey and on the RAF Bradwell Bay Memorial which was ‘erected in memory of the 121 members of the Allied Air Forces who, in answer to the call of duty, left this airfield to fly into the blue forever’. He is also commemorated on a headstone in Whitechurch Cemetery, Ballywalter. There are two headstones on the grave, one commemorating members of the Adair family and the other commemorating members of the Ievers family. Commemorated on the Adair headstone is Lance Corporal John Adair (No. 17/765) who died of wounds on 14 November 1916. John Adair was a brother of Ellen Campbell Ievers.
The Ievers headstone bears the following inscriptions:
In loving memory of Edwin John
Beloved son of John and Ellen Ievers, died 23 April 1933 aged 4 years
Also the above Ellen Campbell Ievers, died 17 April 1972
Also their eldest son Robert Valentine, Sergeant Observer RAF
Missing on operations 30 November 1942 aged 21 years
2 Samuel 12. 23
This Biblical verse reads:
But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast?
Can I bring him back again?
I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.
(King James Version)