Sergeant Pilot - Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves - 118 Squadron - Service No. 1264156
Geoffrey Arthur Painting was born on 3rd October 1923 in Gravesend, Kent. His father was Albert Arthur Painting, a Schoolmaster, and his mother was Eva Florence (née Kings). He first attended Whitehill School in Gravesend.
In 1934 Geoffrey Painting 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 Geoffrey’s address as 23 Central Avenue, Gravesend. Whilst at the School, Geoffrey was in Town House.
In 1939 Geoffrey left the School and started work as an Optician’s apprentice, at Savage’s. In World War Two he enlisted in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves, becoming a Sergeant Pilot, Service Number 1264156. After training he joined 118 Squadron.
Geoffrey was on an anti-shipping attack on 30th September 1941, flying in a Spitfire Vb W3849. He was hit by flak from ships heading for Cherbourg, east of Alderney, Channel Islands. He was killed age 17.
Geoffrey Painting had lied about his age when he enlisted, he was one of the youngest members of the Royal Air Force to be killed on active service. He is remembered at the Runnymede Memorial Panel 50.
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: