Flying Officer - Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves - 101 Squadron - Service No. 152717
Reginald John Newens was born on 13th February 1923 in Denbighshire. His father was William Reginald Newens, his mother was Alice (née Tipton). Prior to coming to the School, Reginald was a boarder at The Home for Little Boys in South Darenth, under the Guardianship of J A Bell.
In 1934 Reginald Newens 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 Reginald’s address as The Home for Little Boys in South Darenth. Whilst at the School, Reginald was in Downs House.
In 1936 Reginald left the School and started work at The Home for Little Boys. During World War Two, he enlisted in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves, Service Number 152717, joining 101 Squadron as a Flying Officer.
101 Squadron was based at Ludford Magna and was part of Bomber Command. From May 1943 the Squadron used the ABC (or Airborne Cigar) jamming equipment. This system meant that 101 Squadron carried an 8th crew member who could speak German, they would listen in to the running commentary on German radio transmissions and then would jam their radio frequencies. However, German night fighters could detect the jamming transmissions and 101 Squadron lost 145 Lancasters on operations. Only 3 other Squadrons lost more aircraft.
On 28 May 1944, Reginald’s aircraft took off to bomb Leopoldsburg in Germany. His Lancaster exploded on impact when it came down in Sommelsdijk in the Netherlands. He was 21 years old. He is remembered at the Sommelsdijk General Cemetery, Netherlands.
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: