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William Boyes

William Henry (Bill) Boyes was born in the first quarter of 1919 and his birth registered in the Malton area, son of James and Alice M.  (nee Kitching) Boyes who married in the Malton area in the last quarter of 1917.

He was already serving in the RAF by his 21st birthday but came back to Old Malton on leave to celebrate it – an occasion his friend Norman Greenley still remembers well – Norman had to leave early but very much the worse for wear to take his turn at the ARP centre in the Milton Rooms.

Bill was a member of the Pathfinder force as a Flight Engineer on a Lancaster bomber flying out of RAF Snaith.  His plane was shot down over Germany on 9th October 1943.  There were no survivors and the whole crew was buried together in Hillentrup Cemetery. Their bodies were subsequently exhumed and buried together  in Hanover War cemetery.

Bill’s brother Jack (Sgt. John A. Boyes 1621546 R.A.F.V.R.) also served in 51 squadron In Halifax bombers and was shot down over the sea in a raid on Bruswick on 13th August 1944.  He was picked up by a Danish fishing vessel and then taken prisoner by a German patrol boat.  He was imprisoned at Stalag Luft Bankau-Kreulberg. During an attempted escape he broke into the offices and stole the prisoner records and handed them out around the camp before escaping, He was re-captured shortly afterwards.  Jack died in 2011, shortly before this research got under way.