Ronald Leigh

Flight Engineer, 1651 HCU
Service number 1804526
Died 3 March 1945
Buried Willesden Jewish Cemetery, United Kingdom
Age 21

Ronald was born in 1924 in Holborn to John (Jacob) and Russian born Sarah Smith and had an older brother Peter and a younger sister Esther. The family name was changed from Levy to Leigh. In 1939, the family were living in Chepping Wycombe, Buckinghamshire where Ronald’s father John was a managing director of a furrier company. Ronald worked as an articled clerk and is commemorated on the Roll of Honour in the Members’ Room at Chartered Accountants Hall in London.

Ronald’s brother Peter served under the surname of Levy as a Lance Corporal in the Royal Armoured Corps and was killed in 1943. He is commemorated at Medjez-El-Bab Memorial in Beja, Tunisia. He is also commemorated on Ronald’s headstone.

Ronald was the flight engineer on Lancaster ME781 which departed RAF Woolfox Lodge along with sixty nine other aircraft on a night diversionary raid over Germany and mine laying off the Norwegian coast. The aircraft on its return journey to RAF Woolfox Lodge was flying on only three engines. It approached too slowly and lost height as a result. Sensing the problem, the crew applied power but then lost control and crashed near the airfield killing all the crew.

Pilot, Donald Forbes Law, 150650

A/B, Walter John Trice, 164331

W/Op, Harold Vaudrey, 1132434

A/G, Sidney James Webb, 2235330

Nav, Peter Newman Young, 164438