Sergeant Observer - Royal Air Force - 148 Squadron - Service No. 581200
Harry Alfred Bliss was born on 6th August 1920 in Elham, Kent. His father was Abraham Bliss, a Newsagent, and his mother was Annie Elizabeth (née Springett). Harry’s father died in 1934.
In 1933 Harry 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. In 1938 the School moved to brand new premises in Church Walk, Milton, Gravesend opposite to Milton Church.
The School’s Admission Register lists Harry’s home address as 7 Zion Place, Gravesend. Whilst at the School, Harry was in Hill House, he played for the 2nd XV Rugby team, was awarded Half Colours for swimming and won a Form Prize in 1937.
In 1937 Harry left the School and went to work as a Laboratory Assistant at the Northfleet Paper Mills. In the 1939 Census he is listed as living with his mother, a widow, at 59 Raphael Road, Gravesend.
Harry enlisted in the Royal Air Force as a Sergeant Observer, flying with 148 Squadron, Service Number 581200. The Squadron was an active bomber squadron carrying out attacks on Axis bases in Italy and Libya, first from Malta and later on from Kabrit in Egypt, to support the 8th Army in the North African Desert. Harry and his fellow crew members flew Vickers Wellington IC bombers.
On 5th June 1941, Harry’s aircraft failed to return from an operational flight, Harry Bliss was listed as Killed in Action, he was 20 years of age. He is remembered on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt, Column 242
There are links below to Newspaper Clippings and Photographs from the Gravesend Grammar School Archives.
Also links to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website and a few other websites that might be of interest: