Sergeant Gunner - Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves - 148 Squadron - Service No. 755840
Leonard William Walter Firmin was born on 19th October 1920 in Stratford, Essex. His father was Walter James Firman, a Clerk, and his mother was Lavinia May (née Cowan). His previous school was Ashton Grammar School.
In 1935 Leonard Firmin 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 Leonard’s address as 228 Old Road West, Gravesend. Whilst at the School, Leonard was in Hill House and he was awarded a Progress Prize.
In 1937 Leonard left the School and started work as a Junior Clerk at Holmwood Buck Mason, Underwriters and Insurance Brokers. He then enlisted in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves as a Sergeant Gunner with 148 Squadron, Service Number 755840. At the time the squadron was an active bomber squadron, carrying out attacks on Axis bases in Italy and Libya, first from Malta and later from Egypt, flying. Vickers Wellington IC from Kabrit.
On the 13th July 1942 Leonard Firmin’s aircraft crashed near Ismailia, Egypt, on return from an operational sortie over the Sinai Desert. Flying Officer F C D Winser, Sergeant M Dobson, Sergeant F Purnell, Sergeant L W Firman, Sergeant J D Beer were killed; Sergeant J K Callister escaped injured. Leonard Firmin was 22 years old. He is remembered at the Fayid War Cemetery, Egypt 1. B. 6
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: