Sergeant - Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves - 600 Squadron - Service No. 754004
Thomas Norman Wilson was born on 27th February 1920 in Gravesend, Kent. His father was Thomas Wilson, a General Manager in Shipping and Packing, and his mother was Dorothy E (née Trice). The first school that he attended was Bronte Villa School in Gravesend.
In 1928 Thomas Wilson 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 Thomas’ address as 109 Sun Lane, Gravesend. Whilst at the School, Thomas was in Downs House.
In 1937 Thomas left the School and started work at BVPM (British Vegetable Parchment Mills) in their Offices. By 1939 he had joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves, Service Number 754004 – the 1939 Census lists his occupation as a Sergeant.
In 1940, Thomas flew with 600 Squadron, based at Catterick in Yorkshire. On 20th December 1940 the weather was very poor over the Pennines. A new ‘Masquerade’ coding system was in use by the crew from 600 Squadron, to decipher the height at which they were flying. Thomas Wilson’s aircraft crashed on Skelton Moor. Thomas was killed immediately and his fellow crew member, Pilot Officer Holmes, died later of his injuries. Thomas Wilson was 20 years old. He was buried at Catterick Cemetery, Yorkshire.
As a result of this crash, the new coding system was changed.
Thomas Wilson was in the same Form as two other fellow students who were killed in action in World War Two – Reginald Pascoe and Basil Wills-Sinclair.
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: