Bowes, James Weston

Personal Information

Rank LAC
Forename(s) James Weston
Surname Bowes
Gender M
Date of Death 16-06-1940
Next of Kin

Aircraft Information

Serial Number

Memorial Information

Burial/Memorial Country United Kingdom
Burial/Memorial Place Castleford New Cemetery
Grave Reference Sec. U. Grave 359.

IBCC Memorial Information

Phase 1
Panel Number 11

Enlistment Information

Service Number 568528
Service Royal Air Force
Group 5
Squadron 50
Trade Ground crew
Country of Origin United Kingdom

Miscellaneous Information

Lincolnshire Echo of 20 June 1940: An inquest is being held at the County Hospital, Lincoln, to-night on Leading Aircraftman James Weston Bowes (21), of Ida-street, Norton, Stockton-on-Tees, who died on the way to hospital on Monday (16 June). Taken from the same paper the following day: Inquest On Airman, Killed By Fall Of 4ft. 6ins. Dr G.C. Wells-Cole, the Lincoln Coroner, stated at an inquest last night that the head injury which caused the death of a young aircraftman was a “bug-bear” of surgery. He returned a verdict of “Death by misadventure” on James Weston Bowes, of Norton, Stock-on-Tees, who fell four feet six inches from a platform to a concrete floor while at work on an aircraft last Sunday. Evidence was given that Bowes, after his fall, was dazed, but seemed to recover and continued with his work. The next night he collapsed and died in an ambulance on the way to the county Hospital. Dr W.Y. Cornack, senior house surgeon, said a post mortem examination showed a fracture of the temple bone on the right side of the skull. Death was due to depression of the brain caused by hemorrhage from an artery. There would not necessarily be any signs of the serious injury when it occurred and in such cases a man could carry on with his work for a time. The bleeding would be of the nature of a slow leak. An R.A.F. medical officer said Bowes reported sick at mid-day on Sunday and complained of headache. He seemed to have recovered the following day. It was stated that Bowes need not have been on duty at the time of the accident but for his keenness to finish work on an engine. The Coroner said the injury did not give “signs and symptoms.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Last Operation Information

Start Date 30-11--0001
End Date 30-11--0001
Takeoff Station Waddington
Day/Night Raid
Reason for Loss Fell onto a comcrete surface and sustained a fracture of the temple bone on the right side of his skull. Although he carried on working, he collapsed and died in an ambulance the following day.

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Casualty Pack

IBCC is delighted to introduce a unique facility to link the Losses Database to the relevant RAF Casualty Pack on the National Archives website. This project is the result of on-going collaboration between IBCC, the MOD Records Office and National Archives, Kew. This document describes what Casualty Packs are, when they were created, the process of making them available to the public and then goes on to describe the process by which you can view the contents of the packs. Casualty Packs (CPs) were created by the RAF whenever there was serious injury or loss of life associated with operational activity within the RAF. This includes operational flying losses, enemy action due to air raids, road accidents either on station or even off-station if they involved RAF vehicles. Deaths due to natural causes in service or accidents that did not involve RAF vehicles did not generally give rise to a CP.

CPs were originally given a unique reference number by the RAF. Each begins with the letter ‘P’ and is followed by six digits, then an oblique (forward slash) and the finally the year in which the incident took place- for example P396154/42.

The CPs are in the process of being made available to the general public as they are passed from the MOD Records Office, Portsmouth to National Archives, Kew. This process requires some rework to the files which is very time consuming, so the process of making them all available to National Archives will take several years. They are being made available in increasing date order.

Once CPs arrive at National Archives they are assigned a unique AIR81 number, so each CP has both a P-number and an AIR81 number. Both are searchable on the National Archives website under ‘Search the catalogue’ and both are included on the IBCC website.

The AIR81 reference on the IBCC website is a link to the file on the National Archives website. When you click on it, the relevant page will open in a new tab on your browser.

There is currently no plan to digitise AIR81 files, partly because they are fragile and partly because the information they contain can at times be sensitive, even harrowing, since they may contain exhumation reports and even photographs of corpses. Family members wishing to read the AIR81 files relating to their ancestors are advised to exercise caution and be guided by National Archives warnings where appropriate.

There are two means for accessing AIR81 files- to attend in person or to order a copy by post.

To attend in person, the attendee should first create a Reader’s Ticket. This can be done online by following this link: Then click on the AIR81 reference on the IBCC website and click Order in Advance. Enter your Reader’s Ticket number and state the date on which you intend to visit. National Archives will have the file ready for you when you arrive, saving you time. When you visit Kew, you must quote the Reader’s Ticket number and take along two forms of ID- one bearing your signature and one bearing your address. When you view the files, you are permitted to take photographs of each page, should you wish.

Alternatively, if you wish to order a copy by post, please be aware that there is a charge for this service based on the number of pages in the file. Click on the AIR81 reference on the IBCC website and then click Request a Copy. There is an £8.40 charge for National Archives staff to access the file and give you a quotation for the copying service. The process takes around 24 days to complete and can be expensive.

IBCC wishes to thank the staff at the MOD Records Office and National Archives for their engagement and assistance in making this facility available to our website users.