Hello Maureen - An unusual request and a bit of a challenge, but quite engrossing.
The information provided by the Italian librarian is obviously taken from the CWGC website
which also states he was awarded the DFC. But his parents’ address of Bickington is
misleading. It is not the village near Newton Abbot but the Bickington area of
Thanks, Angela & Elizabeth - I don't have subscription access to the FMP/BNA so
could only view the free snippets.
I have, however, dredged other info from Ancestry, FreeBMD and Google, including relatives
but no proven link to living blood relatives, the closest of which would be the
John Ellis Walton --> Ancestry --> Travel & Immigration --> 3 items
* 15 July 1941 - age 19 years 9 months, resident of Barnstaple, England, occupation airman
RAF, landed Halifax NS from HMS Ran????, border crossing Canada to US at Detroit, visiting
relative or friend in Florida,
* 13 Dec & 20 Dec 1941- Twice re-enters USA at La Guadia airport New York, visiting
friends in New York, for 3 days, then for 10 days (over Christmas).
* Born Hornsea, Yorks. U/T pilot RAF, returning to RCAF Trenton, Ont. Height 6 ft, fair
complexion, brown hair, brown eyes, slight scar on left temple, excellent health. Not
insane, polygamist or anarchist, nor advocating overthrow of US government (like who's
going to say yes?). Has previously visited NYC and Florida often (so did he come from a
wealthy widely travelled family?).
Google search --> U/T pilot = under training. Trenton, ONT, was a flying school for
conversion of trainee pilots from Tiger Moths to warplanes.
1944 – killed in action as CWGC website.
241 Squadron was deployed to North Africa in April 1942 with Hawker Hurricanes where it
flew reconnaissance and ground attack during the Tunisian campaign. The Hurricanes were
replaced with Spitfires in December 1943. The squadron operated various reconnaissance and
ground attack duties in Italy until the end of the war.
Ancestry --> Andrews Newspaper Index Cards (probably from the North Devon Journal)
Walton Missing, believed killed, in air operations, FLYING OFFICER JOHN ELLIS WALTON,
RAFVR, aged 22 years, very much beloved elder son of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Walton, of
'Fairfield', Barnstaple, Devon, and Brother of Flt. Sgt. John A Walton.
* no mention of any other sibling
Birth Q3 1897 Burtt Walton Skirlaugh -- Burtt = Herbert ???
* The Skirlaugh ED in the East Riding of Yorkshire includes the town of Hornsea, on the
North Sea coast.
Marriage Q1 1921 Herbert Walton & Phyllis M Ellis, Barnstaple RD
* Barnstaple RD includes Ilfracombe
Birth Q4 1921 John E Walton mother = Ellis Skirlaugh, Yorks
Birth Q1 1923 Peter A Walton mother = Ellis Skirlaugh - brother
Marriage Q3 1947 Peter A Walton & Maria E Heinz, Barnstaple RD
Birth Q2 1950 Caroline A Walton mother = Heinz, Barnstaple Rd = niece of John Ellis
* have not found any other children of Peter & Maria
Marriage Q4 1963 Reginald S Martin & Caroline A Walton, Harrow RD
Births Q1 1964 Sally A Martin mother = Walton, Harrow RD = great niece of John Ellis
FreeBMD has several Walton BMDs in Skirlaugh between 1839 and 1934 (so John was obviously
a Yorkshireman - wonder what Barnstaple made of his accent) and a much larger grouping in
the nearby RD of Sculcoates.
I cannot definitively find Herbert in the 1901 and 1911 censuses but he may have been the
son of James William Walton of Sculcoates, employed as a journeyman cooper in the oil
industry (no, not North Sea oil!, in which case Herbert was a student at Hull Technical
College in 1911.
In the 1911 census Phyllis M Ellis is the daughter of an Ilfracombe timber merchant.
It seems Herbert was born in Skiraugh RD, married Phyllis in Barnstaple RD, moved back to
Yorkshire, before eventually settling in the Bickington area of Barnstaple.
Getting too distant, looking for any residual family in Barnstaple
Google --> iAnnounce -->>
Published in the North Devon Gazette on 19th June 2013
Death - WALTON JOAN MARY Sadly left us on Sunday 9th June 2013, aged 79 years. Devoted
Mother, Grandmother and Great Grandmother to all her family. Much loved in Barnstaple for
her beautiful garden, charity work and her stall in the Pannier Market. Funeral Service at
Christ Church, Bear Street, Barnstaple tomorrow Thursday 20th June at 12.45 followed by
family committal. Family flowers only please. Donations, if you wish, for the Devon Air
Ambulance Trust and Barnstaple Cats Protection at the Service or c/o W.S.Gayton and Son,
Lauderdale, Bickington Barnstaple, EX31 2LB
Evidently a larger-than-life character:
and widow of Frank (died Feb 2010)
As nobody else seems to have "claimed" this person, do you wish to follow up on
behalf of the DFHS? The best option to contact Walton family of Barnstaple is probably
via funeral diector, W S Gayton and Son Ltd, 01271 342196, enquiries(a)wsgayton.co.uk
On a couple of personal notes, my father volunteed to be an RAF pilot but failed the
medical because he could not run fast enough as a result of childhood polio, and so spent
his time in the RAFVR "flying" barrage ballons over naval dockyards. Makes one
think what might have been, or how I might not not have been.
And a couple of years ago, on an archaeology tour to the Western Desert of Egypt (really
no other reason for going there), during a sobering visit to the El Alamein cemetry we saw
the tangled remains of a Spitfire in the adjacent museum. Later, on a long drive in the
middle of nowhere between oases we went off-road to inspect the remains of a German
helicopter. It so happened that one of our party was a retired helicopter crash
investigator and the consensus was that it had probably been shot down. I wonder if 241
Squadron had anything to do with that.
Kind regards - Martin Beavis