Flight Sergeant Alan Reid Beveridge and Flight Lieutenant Robert Graham Webster Beveridge

Flight Sergeant Alan Reid Beveridge RAFVR (748353), served with RAF 10 Squadron. On 13 March 1941, he was the second pilot of an Armstrong Whitley type V, serial Z6496 bomber.  The aircraft took off from RAF Disforth at 2035 hours to bomb Hamburg, Germany. The aircraft was struck by flak and considerably damaged but managed to return safely to RAF Leeming at 0335 hours. The squadron records described the damage to the aircraft as considerable.

On the night of 27/28 May 1941,  Beveridge was the pilot of Armstrong Whitley P5055 tasked with bombing Köln (Cologne). Take off was from RAF Leeming at 2217 hours. They bombed the target from a height of 15,000 feet at 0239 hours. They sustained minor damage and safely returned at 0609 hours.

On 1 July 1941, whilst returning from a mission to bomb Duisburg, Germany, the aircraft that Beveridge was piloting, Armstrong Whitley type V, serial Z6584 was shot down by a Luftwaffe intruder aircraft of I./NJG near Thetford, Norfolk.  

Records of the crash of Z6584 suggest only two crew members were killed:

Sergeant Alan Reid Beveridge RAFVR (748353) pilot, age 21

Sergeant Graham Aeron Alcock RAFVR (978333) wireless operator/air gunner, age 20

Beveridge was a former pupil of Dundee High School and Perth Academy. He was 21 years old and the second son of  John Graham and Grace Webster Beveridge, Rowanbank, 44 Camphill Road, Broughty Ferry. They ran the Panmure Hotel, Monifieth, after having been in business in Perth. Flight Sergeant Beveridge is buried in the family grave at Dunbarney Cemetery, Bridge of Earn. 

His brother, Flight Lieutenant Robert Graham Webster Beveridge RAFVR (86337) was also killed in action on 14 April 1942 whilst serving with RAF 39 squadron in Malta.  

Robert Beveridge also attended Perth Academy and Dundee High School and stayed at 44 Camphill Road, Broughty Ferry. He was an apprentice chartered accountant with Messrs Henderson & Loggie, Dundee.

Robert Beveridge flying his Bristol Beaufort N1169 twin engine torpedo bomber was shot down at 1745 hours by enemy aircraft after attacking an Italian convoy: 

Flight Lieutenant Robert Graham Webster Beveridge RAFVR (86337) pilot, killed, age 25 

Lieutenant Peter Laverick Royal Navy observer, missing believed killed, age 22 

Sergeant George Stanley Fox RAFVR (1152586) wireless operator/air gunner, missing believed killed, age 22 

Sergeant Norman Austin Payne RCAF (R/56073) air gunner, missing believed killed, age 31 

The crew of N1169 was lost, it was just one of six Bristol Beauforts that were lost on that mission. 

Alan Beveridge is interred at the Malta Capuccini (Kalkara) Naval Cemetery, plot E, grave 20. The other crew members are believed to have gone down into the sea with the aircraft about two miles off the island of Malta. It was reported that four bodies were seen in the water, but by the time a high-speed boat got there only  Beveridge’s body was found. 

Laverick served at HMS Grebe, a Fleet Air Arm shore base in Alexandria used for aircraft flown ashore from aircraft carriers. HMS Grebe was the pre-war Alexandria airport, known as Dekhelia. 

Whitely Z6496 was built to contract 106962/40 by Armstong Whitworth Ltd at Baginton and was ready on 27 January 1941 for collection to be delivered to RAF 10 Squadron. It was damaged on 9 May 1941 when engine issues forced it to return. During landing at 0105 hours, the right undercarriage gave way and it skidded to a halt with no casualties. It was repaired once more on 10 July 1942 due to a forced landing and written off on 1 September 1942 following an engine failure, crashing on undershooting the runway and catching fire.

Whitely P5055 was built to contract 75147/38 at Babington and was ready on 18 June 1940. It was slightly damaged on the night of 20/21 September 1940 and quickly repaired. Again it was damaged again by flak on 25 September 1940 and on 28 May 1941. On 28 June 1941, it was lost on an operation to bomb Bremen and its crew of five where killed.

Research by Ken Bruce

Flight Lieutenant Robert Graham Webster Beveridge, Dundee Courier 23 April 1942

ROYAL AIR FORCE 1939-1945: COASTAL COMMAND (CH 7048) On board a Whitley VII of No 502 Squadron during an anti-submarine patrol, August 1942. In the cramped cockpit the skipper consults with his navigator while the second pilot flies the aircraft. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205218952

AIRCRAFT OF THE ROYAL AIR FORCE 1939-1945: ARMSTRONG WHITWORTH WHITLEY. (CH 4450) Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mark V, Z9266 ‘ZA-K’ of No. 10 Squadron RAF based at Leeming, Yorkshire, in flight. Z9266 was soon to be transferred to No. 77 Squadron RAF, with whom it went missing while on a raid to Dusseldorf on 28 December 1941. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205126917

AIRCRAFT OF THE ROYAL AIR FORCE 1939-1945: ARMSTRONG WHITWORTH AW.38 WHITLEY. (CH 2052) Whitley Mark V, T4162 ?DY-S? ?Ceylon?, of No. 102 Squadron RAF, on the ground at Topcliffe, Yorkshire. It failed to return from a bombing raid on Cologne on the night of 1/2 March 1941. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205126874

THE ROYAL AIR FORCE IN MALTA, JUNE 1943. (TR 1072) Resting in blast-wall protected Dispersal Point 125 at Luqa, a Bristol Beaufort Mark II of No 39 Squadron, Royal Air Force is attended to by ground crew. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205188647

ROYAL AIR FORCE OPERATIONS IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA, 1939-1943 (CM 2972) Aircrews of No. 39 Squadron RAF gather round Flying Officer A O S Jepson in front of his Bristol Beaufort Mark II as he recounts his part in the Squadron’s attack on the Italian Battle Fleet on 15 June 1942, for the benefit of the press cameras at Fayid, Egypt. A force of 12 Beauforts set out from LG 05 near Sidi Barrani to attack the Fleet, but was soon reduced to five following an attack off Der… Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205208935

ROYAL AIR FORCE OPERATIONS IN MALTA, GIBRALTAR AND THE MEDITERRANEAN, 1940-1945. (C 3112) Bristol Beaufort Mark II ‘E’ of No. 39 Squadron RAF based at Luqa, Malta, running in at low-level to attack an axis tanker in the Ionian Sea. The aircraft still bears the unit codes of No. 86 Squadron RAF (‘BX’) with whom it operated previously. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205023114

THE BRITISH ARMY ON MALTA 1942 (GM 1044) A Matilda tank being used to tow a Beaufort torpedo bomber which made a belly-landing at Luqa airfield after being damaged during an attack on the Italian Fleet, 16 July 1942. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205206563

ROYAL AIR FORCE OPERATIONS IN MALTA, GIBRALTAR AND THE MEDITERRANEAN, 1940-1945. (GM 1024) Airmen ground crew, assisted by soldiers and sailors, load a Mark XII aerial torpedo into the bomb bay of a Bristol Beaufort Mark I at Luqa, Malta, in preparation for a sortie against the Italian naval force threatening the ‘HARPOON’ Convoy. Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205207875

THE BRISTOL BEAUFORT (CH 153) Original wartime caption: The Bristol Beaufort, a mild-wing cantilever monoplane is an entirely new design of high performance all metal aircraft. It is capable of fulfilling many duties, being in general category and type a combined bomber, general reconnaissance, torpedo-bomber and general purpose landplane. Fitted with two Bristol ‘Taurus? sleeve-valve engines the Beaufort is the fastest medium… Copyright: © IWM. Original Source: http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205442020