David Alastair Sparrow

Flying Officer - Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves - 151 Squadron - Service No. 126770

Background Information


24th February 1922


London University


Flying Officer - Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves - 151 Squadron - Service No. 126770



20th April 1943 age 21

David Alastair Sparrow was born on 24th February 1922 in Gravesend, Kent. His father was Joseph Albert Sparrow, a Channel Pilot, and his mother was Janet Marian (née Thomson). The first school that he attended was Bronte Villa School in Gravesend.
In 1930 David Sparrow 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 David’s address as 28 Old Road East, Gravesend. Whilst at the School, David was in Downs House, he was a Prefect in 1938-39, won Prizes in Modern Languages and Music, and played for the 2nd XV Rugby Team. His older brother John (born 1918) also attended the School.
David was a Chorister and Organist at St George’s Church, Gravesend and he also played the organ for Luddesdown Parish Church.
In 1939 David left the School, he went to London University to study Law and was articled to the Town Clerk as a solicitor. He enlisted in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves, Service Number 126770, in August 1940, gaining his commission in 1942.
By 1943, David was a Flying Officer with 151 Squadron. On 20th April 1943, he was on a Night Ranger Mission in a Mosquito Mark II, flying South to South West of Bremen to the Dutch Border. The Group successfully hit 8 trains, but David Sparrow was shot down by flak. His plane crashed near Onstwedde in the province of Groningen; he was killed age 21. He is remembered at Onstwedde Cemetery, in the Netherlands.
At St George’s Church, Gravesend, David Sparrow is commemorated on a Clergy Stall.
David Sparrow shares the Roll of Honour with three other students from his Form – Varley Bousfield, Stewart Davis and Peter Thomas.

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:

Onstwedde Cemetery, Netherlands