Stockdale, Thomas Norman (No. 52486)

Stockdale, Thomas Norman (Thomas)

Pilot Officer (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)

No. 52486, Royal Air Force

Killed in an aircraft accident on Saturday 28 August 1943 (aged 21)

Buried:

Belfast (Dundonald) Cemetery, Co. Down (Section D.1. Joint Grave 306)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Bangor and District War Memorial

Wesley Centenary Methodist Church, Bangor

Scott family grave headstone in Belfast (Dundonald) Cemetery

BIOGRAPHY

Thomas Norman Stockdale was born around 1921/1922 and he was a son of Thomas and Hannah Stockdale (nee Coey).  Thomas Stockdale (aged 22) of 5 Geoffrey Street, Belfast worked as a labourer and Hannah Coey (aged 21) of 1 Keswick Street, Belfast worked as a reeler when they were married on 14 December 1913 in St. Silas’s Church of Ireland Church, Belfast.

Thomas and Hannah Stockdale (nee Coey) had at least three children:

Elsie (born 4 May 1915 at 4 Keswick Street, Belfast)

Iris (born 27 July 1920 at 21 McCandless Street, Belfast)

Thomas Norman (born 1922)

They lived at Clonfin, Ballymaconnell, Bangor and Hannah Stockdale died there on 8 February 1926.

Hannah Stockdale was buried in Belfast City Cemetery – Glenalina Extension (Grave J. 120).

Also buried in that grave were:

Ellen Stockdale of 16 Harrybrook Street, Belfast who died on 2 March 1946.

Mary Stockdale of 107 Clandeboye Road, Bangor who died on 18 February 1970.

Ellen Stockdale was Thomas Stockdale Senior’s mother and Mary Stockdale (formerly Brown, nee Scott) was his second wife.

After Hannah died, Thomas Stockdale Senior married Mary Brown (nee Scott).

Mary’s son, Squadron Quartermaster Sergeant Alexander Scott Brown, was killed in action on 21 March 1943 – some five months before Thomas Stockdale (Junior) died.

After leaving Ballymaconnell, the Stockdale family lived at 33 Princetown Road and then at 107 Clandeboye Road, Bangor.  Thomas Norman Stockdale joined the Royal Air Force at the age of 16 and, at the time of his death, he had taken part in 112 operational flights.  His death was reported in the 11 September 1943 edition of the County Down Spectator and the article described how RAF officers acted as pallbearers at his funeral and how his chum, Pilot Officer Geoffrey Bowman, had been in charge of the bearer party.  Some nine months later, on 21 May 1944, Pilot Officer Geoffrey Bowman was killed in action.

It was also reported that Thomas’s sister Molly (she was in fact his stepsister) was a Sergeant in the ATS; Molly’s husband, John Thomson, was a Gunner in the Royal Artillery and Thomas’s sister Iris was a Private in the ATS.

Thomas Norman Stockdale’s stepbrother-in-law Gunner John Thomson (No. 1560614) died on 28 June 1945 at Palace Barracks, Holywood and he was buried in Belfast (Dundonald) Cemetery alongside his stepbrother-in-law.  Pilot Officer Thomas Norman Stockdale was 21 when he died and he is commemorated on Bangor and District War Memorial; in Wesley Centenary Methodist Church, Bangor and on the Scott family grave headstone in Belfast (Dundonald) Cemetery.

Thomas Norman Stockdale and Alexander Scott Brown were both grandsons of John and Mary Duff Scott.

Mary Duff Scott died on 10 April 1933 (aged 66) and John Scott died on 11 November 1942 (aged 79).

Thomas Norman Stockdale was aboard a Bristol Beaufighter aircraft (LZ156) piloted by Ronald Arthur Buckman flying from RAF Port Ellen on the island of Islay when it crashed near Campbelltown on the Kintyre Peninsula.