Monday, April 20, 2015


Welcome to the Laws Family Register. 


One man’s War - A bit about the RAF
John Robert Laws 1921- 2008
Part 4

It was now mid-September and the crew and I went to Marston Moor in Yorkshire to convert on to Handley Page Halifax which were to be our operational aircraft. The Halifax was a good strong business like aircraft with four radial engines each giving 1600hp. It weighed some thirty tons when loaded. We spent just a month there doing some forty hours flying, including just eight hours night flying.

A fortnight later we were at Lissett and stated local flying from there on 5th November and our operational flying began 16th November with a daylight trip of less than five hours to Julich. By the end of November we had done five ops,, the second of which we were diverted to Carnaby on FIDO (Fog Intensive Dispersal Of) due to fog. Carnaby was an emergency landing strip about three miles long, equipped with pipes down either side with a series of jets from which fuel could be sprayed and ignited. The effect was rather like descending into Hell, as we came down between two or three miles lines of raging fire.

December was quiet for us, just one trip to Cologne on the 30th. Training of various sorts went on all the time, gunnery, navigation and practice bombing.
I recall one occasion when one of our little practice bombs failed to release in the air but fell off with a mighty bang when we had taxied back to our dispersal and filled the aircraft with smoke. We got out in record time but there was no damage. 

Far dodgier was an occasion when a 500lb bomb failed to come off its hook over the target in the wing bomb bay but fell out through the bomb bay doors when we landed. It was of course dark we only knew that a shower of sparks was following us down the runway. Fortunately it could not explode as the safety pin was still in (it comes out on the way down) It got pretty hot with the friction however and the bods sent out to wee what had happened didn’t stay long to examine it.

January 1945 saw us busy again with a couple of night trips and a daylight trip in fine weather, over a snow covered Saar valley. It was all night trips in February, including a couple of over 8 hours duration. These ops do not separate themselves clearly in my memory, sometimes an isolated incident sticks in the mind like the flak nakedness of being lit up by searchlights and a quick corkscrew to get away, or the sight of a thick curtain of flak over the target ahead of us. Generally one was too busy to worry much about either what was going on around us or our own safety.

'Window' might have to be dropped out, at particular points to confuse the radar and often we would turn in on to the target at the last moment having feinted a passing movement. Their might be changes of height and then it was bomb doors open and a final straight run in at a steady speed with the bomb aimer giving corrections till the final “bombs away”, when I put the nose down a bit and the speed up with another course change. In the midst of a lot of aircraft about and no lights showing a good lookout was essential.

It was usual for the target to be lit up with flares and incendiaries, but if the ‘pathfinder’. force was a minute late and very embarrassing if then the main force had to circle over the target with considerable danger of collision. Inaccurate timings were fortunately rare.  

In daylight the squadron flew as a ‘gaggle’ led by a Vic formation of three crews with some experience. 
In the air squadrons were led by flight lieutenants and on the ground by squadron leaders. 
The leading Vic formed an aiming point for the flak of course and it was while leading the squadron in daylight we suffered our only hit from flak.  This put one engine out of action and forced us hand over to number two and to creep back at a lower level on the remaining tree engines which brought us safely home a little behind the rest. When you land on three engines everyone turns out to see the fun and we were greeted with ‘we didn’t expect to see you back’.

Our operational flying continued through February, March and April, the last trip being to Wangarooge on 25th April, and the last op the squadron did just before the German surrender. After that it was a quick change, we did trips bomb dumping and some navigational practice including a trip over Hamburg and Kiel with one or two ground based colleagues from the squadron as passengers to see that it was all for real. Then we started taking aircraft over to Ireland for storage or disposal, so my last trip in a ‘Halifax’ was one hour to High Ercall on 22 June 1945.

To be continued tomorrow

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Family Events from our database for today April 13

Family Events
1659 - Christen: Barbara LAWES-51453, Newcastle upon Tyne NBL UK

                                                   Newcastle upon Tyne Northumberland

1734 - Will Proved: Joseph LAWS-29802, East Greenwich KEN UK
1737 - Miscellaneous: Congreve LAWS-29551,
1739 - Birth: George LAWS-117075, Wolsingham DUR UK
1760 - Baptism: Abigail LAWS-27434, Stannington NBL UK
1764 - Marriage: James LAWS-6984 and Orderley MONTON-6985, Bebbington London
1776 - Marriage: Robert JOHNSON-2922 and Ann LAWES-2923, Newcastle upon Tyne NBL UK
1776 - Baptism: Matthew LAWS-34194, Feltwell NFK UK

                                                                  Feltwell Norfolk

1778 - Marriage: John LAWS-37844 and Sarah CROPLEY-37845, Littleport CAM UK

                                                           Littleport Cambridgeshire

1816 - Marriage: Thomas LAWS-51529 and Elizabeth PARAMORE-51528, Newchurch KEN
1823 - Marriage: William LAWS (Ag Lab) -35859 and Frances DUFFELL-35860, Tuddenham                    NFK UK
1828 - Baptism: Edwin LAWS-119930, Hemmingstone SFK
1832 - Birth: Mary Ann LAWS-124768, Boston MA USA
1836 - Marriage: Joshua STANNARD-2868 and Martha LAWES-2844, Felthorpe NFK

                                                        Felthorpe St Margarets Norfolk

1844 - Marriage: William LAWS (Chief Manager at Distillery) -28682 and Anne HALL-4608,
           St Marylebone MDX UK
1852 - Burial: John LAWS (Master Mariner) -51080, Southwold SFK UK

                                                                Southwold Suffolk

1871 - Burial: Maria LAWS-51826,
1872 - Admon: William Arundel LAWES (Mechanic) -2401,
1874 - Birth: Myra Lucinda LAWS-40978, Kansas USA
1874 - Birth: Wightman LAWES (Scholar) -29973, Felthorpe NFK
1883 - Miscellaneous: Thomas LAWES (Wholesale Cabinet Maker (British Citizen) -1208, Olivers              Yard, City Road (Destoyed by fire)
1885 - Marriage: Robert LAWES (Gunner RA) -24310 and Emily MUNCKTON-57753,
           Plumstead KEN UK
1890 - Marriage: William Charles NIXON (Carpenter & Joiner) -118407 and Amelia LAWS-54957,            Lambeth SRY UK
1891 - Military: Henry Samuel LAWES (Tram Driver) -29987, Aldershot HAM UK
1891 - Will  Proved: Thomas Atkinson LAWS (Master Nurseryman) -3629,
1892 - Death: George LAWES (Ag Lab) -798, Coombe Bissett WIL (St Michaels)

                                                             Coombe Bissett Wiltshire

1904 - Birth: Winifred Mary LAWS-118776,
1905 - Death: Ann Maria LAWS-41041,
1907 - Baptism: Charles Sidney LAWS-55948, Southwark SRY UK
1908 - Marriage: Thomas (Carpenter) SETTATREE-51509 and Alice Edith LAWS-51508,
           Westwell KEN UK
1908 - Birth: Ivy May LAWES-118588,
1909 - Birth: Clifford Wellington LAWS (Reverend) -34468,
1910 - Birth: Edward George LAWS-58347,
1912 - Birth: Frederick Arthur LAWS-50995, Flixton Road, Bungay SFK

                                                                 Bungay Suffolk

1913 - Birth: Alsie LAWS-48734, Madison Co KY United States
1914 - Birth: Martha Beatrice LAWS-123838, Statesville, Iredell County NC USA
1915 - Birth: Muriel Grace LAWES-2956,
1916 - Admon: Sidney Bush LAWS (Auctioneer & Estate Agent) (ARMY Private PS/1375) -6541,
1916 - Death: Solomon LAWES (Ag Lab) -803, Coombe Bissett WIL (St Michaels)

                                                         Coombe Bissett Wiltshire

1919 - Marriage: William LAWS (Dock Policeman) -36233 and Catherine Emily REMONT                          (Barmaid) -124111, Canning Town ESS UK
1922 - Miscellaneous: David Hugh LAWS (Chief Officer Ship "Otarama") -45811,
1922 - Residence: Charles LAWS (Married & Retired) -45785, The Orchard, Parmiston Park,
           Dublin IRE
1922 - Miscellaneous: Doreen Edna LAWS (Servant) -45784,
1922 - Miscellaneous: Charles Frederick LAWS (Master Mariner 13605) -8012,
1926 - Death: John LAWS-8614, Tantobie DUR UK
1929 - Marriage: Lionel J HYLAND-115219 and Hazel LAWS-115220, Victoria AUSTRALIA
1934 - Birth: Richard Francis LAWS-38518, 8 Cullingham Road, Ipswich SFK UK

                                          Old houses in St Nicholas Street, Ipswich Suffolk

1937 - Death: William LAWS-117357, Woodland House, Woodland Place, Penarth GLA
1938 - Marriage: David Albert HUXLEY-119145 and Emily Mary LAWS-54705, Punchbowl NSW
1938 - Birth: Harry LAWS-121276,
1939 - Death: John Henry LAWS (Tailor Foreman Cutter) -46125, Tooting SRY
1941 - Enlistment: Glenn E LAWS (PVT 8) -124295,
1943 - Death: Jack LAWS (RAAF Flying Officer 412979) -32336, Millingimbi, NT AUSTRALIA
1950 - Birth: Terry LAWS-43891,
1951 - Miscellaneous: Samuel Henry LAWES (Company Manager) -123027,
1951 - Will  Proved: Fanny Ellen LAWES (Widow) -123026,
1951 - Birth: Stephen Desmond LAWES-56102, Wisbech CAM UK

                                            Wisbech on the River Nene in Cambridgeshire

1951 - Death: Emily Jane LAWES-33920,
1952 - Birth: Dennis Micheal LAWS-124461,
1961 - Birth: Jonathan Dwayne LAWS-123943, Statesville, Iredell County NC USA
1963 - Marriage: Charles Richard Thurlow LAWS (Stockbroker / Company Director) -103807 and                Grania Joan MURRAY-124488,
1968 - Birth: Le-Mon L LAWS (PV2 US Army) -38024,
1984 - Death: Harold Vivian LAWS-116915, Sonoma, California
1994 - Death: Robert John LAWS (Beneficary) -49578,
1994 - Birth: Nicole Susan LAWS-40863, TX USA
2007 - Death: Dorthy Lillian LAWS-121964,
2009 - Death: George LAWS-57143, Eastmoor

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