Gornall, Edward Ernest Richard

Personal Information

Rank AC1
Forename(s) Edward Ernest Richard
Surname Gornall
Gender M
Age 18
Date of Death 10-12-1941
Next of Kin Adopted Son of Harold Kenyon Gornall and Margaret Gornall, of Tunbridge Wells.

Aircraft Information

Serial Number

Memorial Information

Burial/Memorial Country United Kingdom
Burial/Memorial Place Tunbridge Wells Cemetery
Grave Reference R.C. Sec. 6C. Grave 591.

IBCC Memorial Information

Phase 1
Panel Number 41

Enlistment Information

Service Number 578081
Service Royal Air Force
Group 6
Squadron 18 OTU
Trade Ground Staff
Country of Origin United Kingdom

Last Operation Information

Start Date 30-11--0001
End Date 30-11--0001
Takeoff Station
Day/Night Raid
Reason for Loss Rugby Advertiser December 16th 1941: "AIRCRAFTMAN KILLED. Jury Consider Victim Was To Blame. "We have come to the conclusion that he had himself to blame," said the Coroner (Mr. E. F. Hadow), at the inquest at Rugby on Friday on Aircraftman Edward Ernest Richard Gornall, aged 19, who died in the Hospital of St. Cross early on Wednesday last week, The jury returned a verdict that Gornall died from severe shock and internal injuries sustained when the lorry in which he was a passenger came into collision with a private lorry, and that he was sitting on the side of the lorry, contrary to regulations. Corporal Charles John Lee, said that at 5.50 p.m. on december 9th he was travelling in a lorry along the Lutterworth Road, near Willey. He was in front, with the driver. They met a private lorry travelling in the direction of Nuneaton, and then there was a bang. He found Gornall lying in the back of the lorry. It was against the regulations for anyone to sit on the side of a vehicle, and he was particularly strict about giving instructions to that effect. In answer to Mr. Gough, witness said no seats were provided in the back of the lorry, and the men could either stand or sit on the floor. James Sweetin said he was standing in the rear of the lorry, supporting himself by a bar behind the cabin, Gornall was sitting beside him, but he did not notice whether he was sitting on the floor or on the side. Dr. J. P. Adlam, resident medical officer at the Hospital of St. Cross, said Gornall was admitted to the hospital in a shocked condition and semi-conscious, and he died at 2.45 a.m. Questioned by Dr. Gough, Dr. Adlam agreed that in his view Gornall could not have been sitting on the floor of the lorry.

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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: https://secure.nationalarchives.gov.uk/login/yourdetails. 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.