Sergeant Pilot - Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves - 199 Squadron - Service No. 1332298
Dennis John Clifford was born on 20th September 1923 in South Tidworth, Hampshire. His father was John Joseph Clifford, a Mill Watchman at the Papermills, and his mother was Daisy Norah (née Purver). The first school that he attended was St John’s Roman Catholic School in Gravesend.
In 1934 Dennis Clifford 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 Dennis’ home address as 29 Kitchener Avenue, Gravesend. Whilst at the School, Dennis was in Downs House. His younger brother Gerald (born in 1926) joined him at the School in 1937. At the outbreak of World War Two on 3rd September 1939, Gerald went with the School when it was evacuated to Shipmeadow, near Beccles and Bungay, on the Suffolk/Norfolk border. Brother Gerald later served as a Craftsman in the Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers.
In 1939 Dennis left the School and went to work in the Costing Dept at W T Henley’s Telegraph and Cable Works, in Crete Hall Road. In February 1941 he enlisted in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves as a Sergeant Pilot, joining 199 Squadron, Service Number 1332298. The Squadron was part of Bomber Command, flying Vickers Wellingtons from Ingham.
On the 13th March 1943 Dennis Clifford was killed when the plane he was flying in crashed on the Frisian Islands off the Dutch/German coast. He was 20 years old. He is remembered at the Runnymede Memorial Panel 145.
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: