Bernard Torrance

Navigator/Air Bomber, 75 (New Zealand) Squadron
Service number 1319178
Died 23 January 1943
Buried St. Thégonnec Communal Cemetery, France
Age 19

Headstone Inscription

Bernard was the son of Joseph and Pearl (Polly) Tragonsky of Edgeware. In 1939, the family were living at 254 Burdett Road, Stepney. Bernard’s father Joseph worked as a ladies tailor. They were a large family and Bernard had five sisters and three brothers.

Bernard was a navigator/ air bomber on Stirling R9248 which departed RAF Newmarket on a night operation to Lorient. The aircraft was hit by flak shortly after they released their bombs. The pilot attempted a crash landing at St Thégonnec, about 8 miles south east of Morlaix, France. All but one of the crew died in the crash and were laid to rest in St Thegonnec Communal Cemetery.

Pilot, F/S Robert Miln Kidd, RNZAF NZ412700. Evaded. Robert baled out of the burning aircraft and landed unconscious in a ploughed field. Local French people helped him with food, clothing and shelter and eventually arranged his journey through France and over the Pyrenees into Spain returning to the UK on 8 May 1943.

Nav, Sgt. James William Schofield, RAFVR 1088089
W/Op, Sgt. Eric Berry, RAFVR 1380078
F/E, Sgt. Gilbert Frank Mitchell, RAFVR 1479975
A/G, Sgt. James Edward Brewster, RAFVR 1035972
A/G, Sgt. Peter Douglas Fowler, RAFVR 1320278