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EDWARD RASMUSSEN


Pilot Officer 121266 Edward Carl Christian Rasmussen

12 Squadron RAF.

Died 12 January 1943 aged 26.


When work on the Dinham factory started in 1939 two policemen were brought to Caerwent to reinforce the local village bobby, P.C. Moore. Their special job was to 'sort out' the hundreds of Irish workmen who had suddenly arrived and in particular to throw them out of the village pubs at closing time! Once they were past the Vicarage, down the village hill, they were Mrs Crosbie’s problem, and though she was a small woman, she could sort them out too!


One of these two was Edward, about 6 feet 2 inches tall, powerful but good looking with a fine athletic figure. He had a bright outgoing personality and was a considerable help to morale, very supportive of Leonard Lovell and Jim Lewis during their dark nights on Air Raid Protection duty.


He lodged with the Jones family at 'Highfield', the farmhouse now tucked away between Centurion Court and Cwrt Morgan. He was more often seen at the Police Station at the village cross roads, now called 'Maybury'.


We have so far failed to find any relatives but R A F records indicate a wife Bettina living in Leeds.


Eventually Edward volunteered for the R.A.F. His rank was Pilot Officer but he was a bomb aimer in a Lancaster operating from RAF Wickenby. In January 1943 his squadron took part in a raid on Essen, Germany, and Edward’s aircraft 'Z for Zulu' was hit by anti-aircraft fire over the target. It crashed killing Edward and four companions. Two survived becoming prisoners of war.


Edward was buried in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery.





RAF PERSONNEL - GENERAL NOTES


Rank

After 1940 all aircrew were upgraded to at least Sergeant as it was realised that the pay and status of corporal and below did not match the hazards involved in wartime active service. This explains how those killed later in the war could hold a rank such as Pilot Officer although they were not pilots.

Burials

All these RAF fliers have graves somewhere as none of them are listed on the Runnymede Memorial, but I have not traced them yet.

GJ Oct 1995