Montgomery, Robert Eckford

Personal Information

Rank AC2
Forename(s) Robert Eckford
Surname Montgomery
Gender M
Age 31
Date of Death 13-10-1939
Next of Kin Husband of W. E. Pearce, of Caterham, Surrey.

Aircraft Information

Serial Number

Memorial Information

Burial/Memorial Country United Kingdom
Burial/Memorial Place Streatham Park Cemetery
Grave Reference Square 26. Grave 37615.

IBCC Memorial Information

Phase 1
Panel Number 75

Enlistment Information

Service Number 753619
Service Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Group 6
Squadron Bicester
Trade (Uncertain)
Country of Origin United Kingdom

Miscellaneous Information

Leighton Buzzard Observer 17th October 1939: "WARNING SHOUT SAVES MANY LIVES. Bletchley Station was the scene on Friday night of a terrible railway accident. The second portion of the Scotch express from Euston crashed into the first portion, which was standing on the “down” fast line, and four men—three of them Bletchley residents—were killed and forty injured. Six of the injured people are in hospital, and 34 others were treated for injuries.  The dead men are Mr. Ernest (’‘Jack”) Clements, a porter, of 26, Albert Street, Bletchley, Mr. Irvin Butler (50), engine driver, of 4, Manor Road, Mr. Percy Cyril Geary, temporary postman, Western Road, and an R.A.F. aircraftsman, Robert Eckford Montgomery, stationed at Bicester. Mr. Haines’ engine and the light engine met head-on, and the light engine was hurled back and piled on the vans behind it. The engine and tender and some of the van's metal work swung round, churned through the platform stonework and crashed into the refreshment room and the adjoining waiting room on Platforms 2 and 3. There were travellers in both rooms, the engine tender coming to a standstill two-thirds of the way in the rooms. The injured .taken to Northampton Hospital included Miss Marjorie Negus, of Tyrrells End, Eversholt, refreshment buffet attendant, who was burned on the legs and back. Mr. Clements died in Northampton Hospital after being taken from the wreckage. He received a serious injury while working on the railway some time ago. Mr. Butler died on the footplate of his engine and his body was not recovered from the debris for 19 hours. Part of the steelwork had to be cut away with oxy-acetylene jets before it could be got out. Mr. Geary is thought to have been loading mail bags into the van when the crash happened. His body was found underneath the end of the engine tender close to a smashed G.P.O. trolley and mail bags. The body of the R.A.F. man, terribly mutilated, could not be removed for nearly 24 hours. Miss Negus, of Eversholt, one of the hospital cases, was working with Miss Sally Bower in the station buffet when the engine and tender crashed into the building. Luckily for them the counter was on the far side of the room. Her injuries were caused boiling water from an overturned tea urn. The impact lipped open the engine's steel boiler casing in front and jammed it tight against the leading express engine, the two engines rising into the air and forming a rough triangle with the track as its base. The front of the second engine was imbedded in the back of the first. The light engine tender was wedged under part of the platform roof and twisted metalwork and smashed woodwork reared up in the inky darkness. The platform was strewn with debris."
The Scotsman 17th October 1939: "BLETCHLEY TRAIN DISASTER R . A . F . Victim a Glasgow Man The inquests on the four victims of the Bletchley train disaster on Friday night was adjourned yesterday until October 30 after evidence of identification had been given . The body of the R . A . F . man killed was identified from a pay book and a pass form . He was Aircraftman Robert Eckford Montgomery ( 31 ) , a native of Glasgow . He was married and his home -was in London . The other victims were Irvin Butler ( 50 ) , an engine driver , of Manor Road Bletchley , and Ernest Joseph Clements , railway porter ( 52 ) , of Albert Street , Bletchley."

Last Operation Information

Start Date 30-11--0001
End Date 30-11--0001
Takeoff Station Bicester
Day/Night Raid Day
Reason for Loss Accidentally killed as a result of a train crash.

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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.

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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.

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