Flying Officer Navigator - Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves - 78 Squadron - Service No. 153006
Kenneth Charles Morris Hayman was born on 31st July 1921 in Gravesend, Kent. His father was Frederick Edward Hayman, a Tug Engineer, and his mother was Ada Nellie (née Morris). The first school that he attended was Cecil Road School in Gravesend.
In 1932 Kenneth Hayman 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 Kenneth’s address as 35 Pelham Road, Gravesend. Whilst at the School, Kenneth was in Town House. Older brother Edgar Frederick George (born 1908) also attended the School, he died in 1925 age 17, and was buried in Gravesend Cemetery.
In 1937 Kenneth left the School and started work at the General Assurance Company, but in the 1939 Census he is listed as unemployed, living at 368 Rochester Road, Gravesend. Kenneth’s father died on 2nd November 1940, aged 62, when he was on the Port of London Authority steam tug ‘Lea’ at Tilbury Docks, Essex. The Lea was tied up at Tilbury alongside another P.L.A. tug the ‘Deanbrook’. Both vessels were sunk during an enemy air raid on the London Docks, with the loss of both tugs’ crews. They had been moored at the entrance to the docks when a magnetic mine exploded beneath them. Serious damage was done to the lockside, quay and pumping equipment. Another older brother of Kenneth’s, Harold (born 1912), was an Engineer Officer in the Merchant Navy. He was killed on the SS Oronsay on 9th October 1942, when the ship was torpedoed off Freetown, South Africa.
Kenneth enlisted in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves as a Flying Officer Navigator, Service Number 153006, joining 78 Squadron. He married Edna Muriel Gray of Great Sutton, Cheshire early in 1944.
Kenneth Hayman flew with 78 Squadron as Navigator in Halifax III bombers. On the night of 13th June 1944 his plane took off from Breighton to bomb the communications and rail facilities at Amiens. 671 aircraft took part in raids that night, however 30 aircraft were lost and 140 aircrew, including Hayman, were killed. 78 Squadron lost 3 aircraft during this raid. Kenneth Hayman was 22 years old. He is remembered at Poix de Picardie Churchyard, Somme, France – Row D. Grave 32.
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: