Pilot Officer - Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves - 138 Squadron - Service No. 155207
Clifford John Ennis was born on 31st July 1923 in Gravesend, Kent. His father was George F Ennis, a Transport Worker, and his mother was Dorothy (née Fothergill). The first school that he attended was Whitehill Senior in Gravesend.
In 1935 Clifford Ennis joined The County School for Boys – now known as Gravesend Grammar School. The Head Master at that time was the Reverend Samuel Lister. The County School for Boys was located in Darnley Road, Gravesend close to the Railway Station (now the Victoria Centre for Education). In 1938 the School moved to brand new premises in Church Walk, Milton, Gravesend opposite to Milton Church.
The School’s Admission Register lists Clifford’s address as 60 Kitchener Avenue, Gravesend. Whilst at the School, Clifford was in Downs House and in September 1939 he was evacuated with the School to Shipmeadow, between Beccles and Bungay on the Suffolk/Norfolk border. He had an older brother, George, who served in the Royal Engineers in World War Two and was one of the last to be rescued from Cherbourg in 1940.
In 1940 Clifford left the School and in December 1941 he enlisted in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves, Service Number 155207. As a Pilot Officer he joined 78 Squadron, and in 1943 he was awarded the DFC after 28 raids on Germany, Italy and German occupied territories. He subsequently joined 138 Squadron. 138 Squadron was a special duties unit from Tempsford Airbase, Bedfordshire. The Squadron flew in underground agents and supplies to France.
On the 8th June 1944, Clifford took part in Special Operations Executive – Operation Donald 26, to France. His Halifax crashed and caught fire on the outbound leg near Doudeville, Seine-Maritime, North East of Yerville, France. Clifford Ennis died age 20. He is remembered at St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen Block “S”. Plot 4. Row P. Grave 7.
There are links below to Newspaper Clippings and Photographs from the Gravesend Grammar School Archives.
Below are links to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website and a few other websites that might be of interest: