Sidney Albert Cooke

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6TH APRIL 1920 – 23RD DECEMBER 2010

I am writing this memorial to my father Sid. I am basing the RAF entries on his Air Gunners Flying Log Book.

He was just 19 and in a reserved occupation at the start of WWII. He worked in the engineering industry in Coventry and was engaged at Morris Motors in the production of munitions. Coventry’s importance to the war effort led to the Blitz of November 1940 along with many other raids on the City. Sid and his family would often talk of the destruction and hardship of this time but never failed to recall the indomitable spirit of the people. Sid told of the time the factory roof was blown off but production continued in a factory minus the roof! He had many tales to tell of narrow squeaks whilst seeking shelter during the raids and the shortages in essential items.

Civilian life frustrated him and he wanted desperately to do his bit in the “forces”. He volunteered for air crew early in 1943 and after completing his training as a “Tail end Charlie” joined 102 Squadron at Pocklington in Yorkshire. He completed 10 sorties over Germany in November and December 1943 in Halifax Bombers. On 18th November 1943 they were forced to land at RAF Brize Norton after returning on 3 engines (Log book entry P/inner u/s).

Sid was transferred to RAF Melbourne in January 1944 and completed a further 24 sorties in Halifax Bombers to France, Germany and Belgium.

Sid’s flying log book shows two entries for “D” Day:-

6.6.44 02.35 Monte Fleurery (France) Coastal Gun Battery

6.6.44 22.28 ST LO (France) Marshalling Yards Troop Formations

The final sortie is entered on:-

17th July 1944 at 1900hrs Monte Candon (France) P.Plane Launching Site.

Sid ended his wartime service in the RAF as an Air Gunnery Instructor having completed his training at the Air Gunnery School RAF Manby in Lincolnshire.

Following his de-mobilisation Sid returned to engineering in the car industry in Coventry before taking up a post at Courtaulds Limited as a Manager in Solvent Recovery from which he retired in 1981.

Sid was married to Joan in 1943 and had two children a son, John followed by a daughter Lesley(me). They had a happy and prosperous family life together particularly enjoying the freedom of motoring. Sadly Joan passed away in 1980 just as they were about to enjoy their retirement. However, in 1983 Sid met his second wife Brenda and enjoyed 27 years of happy marriage with her.

Sadly, Sid passed away on 23rd December 2010. He was immensely proud of his service in the Royal Air Force and had many memories of his comrades. Like the majority of servicemen from that time his wartime service was never that far from his thoughts and was tinged with both sadness and happiness but they shaped their future lives and those of those closest to them.

We salute the bravery of the men and women of the Royal Air Force both past and present. The courage they show is beyond imagination and we are forever indebted to them for the freedom we enjoy.

Added by: Lesley Norman on 5th April 2011.


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Picture of Sidney Albert Cooke
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Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund
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