William Beresford Weir

Pilot Officer - Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves - 274 Squadron - Service No. 191523

Background Information


1st January 1922



Pilot Officer - Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves - 274 Squadron - Service No. 191523



9th April 1945 age 23

William Beresford Weir was born on 1st January 1922 in Gravesend, Kent. His father was William Weir, a River Pilot, and his mother was Emma (née McDowell). The first school that he attended was Bronte Villa School in Gravesend.
In 1930 William Weir 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 William’s address as 95 Whitehill Road, Gravesend. Whilst at the School, William was in Hill House, he played for the 1st XV Rugby team and was awarded Full Colours. Younger brother Brian (born 1923) also attended the School, but he died in 1939 age 16.
In 1938 William left the School and started work as an Articled Clerk at a Chartered Accountants. In 1940, he enlisted in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves, Service Number 191523, and went to Florida, USA for training.
By 1945 William was a Pilot Officer, flying with 274 Squadron. There is film footage in the Imperial War Museum of Pilot Officer W B Weir flying a Hawker Tempest, on 3rd April 1945. Just days later, on 9th April, William Weir was killed when his aircraft was hit by flak, while he attacked a train at Emden, Germany. He was 23 years old. He is remembered at Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany.

William Weir was in the same Form as Frank Ellis, who was also killed in action in World War Two.

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:

Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany