Sergeant Observer - Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves - 104 Squadron - Service No. 1058535
Richard Alfred Coward was born on 25th May 1912 in Whitby. His father was George Coward, a Superintendent, and his mother was Edith (née Jarvis). The first school that he attended was Holy Trinity School in Gravesend.
In 1924 Richard Coward 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 Richard’s home address as 52 Wrotham Road, Gravesend.
In 1929 Richard left the School and went to work as a Junior Clerk at the Gravesend Water Works. He married Mabel Irene Hitches in 1935 at St George’s Church, Gravesend. Their daughter, Mary, was born in 1937. The 1939 Census lists the family living in Caernarvonshire, Wales, Richard’s occupation was Chief Assistant Borough Treasurer.
In World War Two Richard enlisted in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves, as a Sergeant Observer, flying with 104 Squadron, Service Number 1058535. The Squadron flew Vickers Wellington II bombers from Kabrit, Egypt in May 1942.
On the 13th May 1942 Richard Coward was killed during a raid on Benghazi, he was 30 years old. He is remembered on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt Column 261.
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: