Shaw, Edmund Verner (No. 748518)

Shaw, Edmund Verner (Edmund)

Flight Sergeant (Pilot)

No. 748518, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Killed in an aircraft accident on Thursday 21 May 1942 (aged 22)


Belfast (Dundonald) Cemetery, Co. Down (Section D. 4. Grave 105)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Family grave headstone in Belfast (Dundonald) Cemetery


Edmund Verner Shaw was born on 28 September 1919 at 14 Church View, Holywood and he was a son of Edmund and Mary Shaw (nee Clemence) who were married on 28 January 1916 in St. Barnabas’s Episcopal Church, Paisley in Scotland.  Edmund Shaw, who worked as a commercial traveller, was born on 23 September 1876 in Belfast, and he was a son of Edmund and Sarah Jane Shaw (nee Dawson) of 168 Parkgate Avenue, Belfast.

Edmund and Mary Shaw (nee Clemence) had at least two children:

Unnamed male (born 21 January 1917 at 286 Upper Newtownards Road, Belfast; died of debility 20 minutes after he was born; buried in the Public Ground of Belfast City Cemetery)

Edmund Verner (born 28 September 1919 at 14 Church View, Holywood)

Edmund Verner Shaw attended Holywood Public Elementary School, Strandtown Public Elementary School, and Royal Belfast Academical Institution (RBAI).  When he left school, he worked as a clerk for the Belfast Steamship Company.  He joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in May 1939 and was called up for full time service at the beginning of the Second World War.  He went to England for training and on 14 December 1940 he was posted to 218 (Gold Coast) Squadron based at RAF Marham near King’s Lynn in Norfolk.  In February 1941 he survived when he had to bale out of his Vickers Wellington aircraft which ran out of fuel in fog on the way back to base after a bombing mission over Bremen.  In April 1941 he was posted to Egypt and then Iraq.  He returned to Britain in March 1942 and in April was posted to 20 Operational Training Unit (OTU) as an instructor on Avro Anson aircraft.  On 21 May 1942 he was returning with his pupils from a cross country exercise in Anson N5259 when the aircraft struck overhead pylon cables near RAF Little Rissington in Gloucestershire and crashed.  Flight Sergeant Edmund Verner Shaw (No. 748518) was severely injured, and he died in the Station Hospital; his effects amounted to some £187.  Everyone on board the aircraft was killed.

Flight Sergeant Edmund Verner Shaw’s funeral took place on 27 May 1942 and he is commemorated on the family grave headstone in Belfast (Dundonald) Cemetery.

Flight Sergeant Edmund Verner Shaw’s father Edmund died on 9 August 1960 (aged 83) and his mother Mary died on 31 March 1968 (aged 80).