Ronald Rosenthall

Aircraftman 2nd Class, RAF Little Rissington
Service number 1479439
Died 21 Oct 1941
Buried Hull Delhi Street (Jewish) Cemetery
Age 20

Ronald was born in 1921 in Sculcoates, Hull to Polish born parents Isadore and Nina nee Schultz and was the youngest of eight children. Ronald’s brother Cyril served as a gunner in the Royal Artillery and died of illness aged 27. The brothers are buried together in a joint grave.

On 21 October 1941, a RAF bus was in collision with a stationary lorry on the London Road, Charlton Kings, near Cheltenham. The bus caught fire and 9 airmen died and 13 others being injured. The men has been in Cheltenham for a night out and were on the way back to Little Rissington when the crowded bus hit a broken down lorry at shortly after 2300. Although the lorry did have a red lamp on the back as a warning it was a dark night and wartime blackout conditions meant that the road was unlit. At the inquest held on Monday 3rd November a verdict of accidental death found by the jury in a unanimous decision. They said that they would like to exonerate the driver of the coach from all blame but thought the authorities should have had a older and experienced man driving the bus, especially at night, than the young man carrying out the duty. The coroner intimated that he agreed with the verdict of accidental death, but entirely disagreed that no blame attached the driver.

Those who died were:
L.A.C. Harold Thomas Stokes, aged 60, 2, Hales Road, Cheltenham.
A.C.2 Kenneth John Fuller, aged 20, of Mosterton, Somerset.
Corporal Sidney Francis Andrews, aged 25, of Swincombe Avenue, Ealing.
A.C.2 John Vaseley, aged 32, of 14, Swanscombe Road, Notting Hill
A.C.2 Robert Leslie Coppin, aged 27, of Peldon, near Colchester.
A.C.2 Ronald Rosenthall, aged 20, Carlton Lodge, Cliff Road, Hornsea.
A.C.2 Fred Poulton, aged 26, of 22, Carnley Street, West Melton, near Rotherham.
L.A.C. Sydney George Medwin, aged 19, of Cookham Dean, Berks.
L.A.C. Michael Brady de Maynard, aged 18, of North Devon.

Courtesy David Bate
Ronald and Cyril’s Joint Grave. Courtesy David Bate