Smith, Ivor James Travers

Personal Information

Rank LAC
Forename(s) Ivor James Travers
Surname Smith
Gender M
Age 28
Date of Death 16-12-1939
Next of Kin

Aircraft Information

Serial Number

Memorial Information

Burial/Memorial Country United Kingdom
Burial/Memorial Place West Row Baptist Chapelyard
Grave Reference Row 5. Grave 4.

IBCC Memorial Information

Phase 2
Panel Number 243

Enlistment Information

Service Number 520179
Service Royal Air Force
Group 3
Squadron 149 (East India)
Trade (Uncertain)
Country of Origin United Kingdom

Miscellaneous Information

Cambridge Daily News 20 December 1939: “DIED AFTER NIGHT CRASH – Airman’s Fate at Newmarket – Second Airman Involved. How an airman cyclist was run into at night by a car containing two airmen was told at an inquest held at the White Lodge, Newmarket, on Tuesday afternoon. The accident occurred on the Norwich-Newmarket road on Friday night, and the airman died in the early hours of the following morning. Deceased was LAC Ivor James Travers Smith (28) The inquest was conducted by Mr. H. R. Walrond, Deputy Coroner for the Liberty of Bury St Edmund’s Mr E.R. Ennion represented the relatives of deceased, Mr Eades (Norwich) the driver of the car, and Supt. L. Cross, DCC was present for the Cambs. Police. Mrs Hilda Smith, of Red Lodge Estate, Freckenham, wife of deceased, said she last saw her husband alive at 6.15 pm on Friday. He said he was going to see some pals at Newmarket. He had front and rear lights for his cycle, and one switch regulated both lights. CAREFUL CYCLIST – William Thornton Smith, of The Firs, Sutton Common-road, Sutton, Surrey, father of deceased, gave evidence of identification. His son had been a cyclist practically all his life and was a motorist as well. He was a careful cyclist. Det.Constable Dean, Cambs. Constabulary, gave evidence that about 1.20 a.m. on Saturday two members of the Air Force called at the Newmarket (Cambs) Police Station and reported an accident. Both made and signed statements. In his statement Flying Officer Lewis said that at 10.45 pm, he was driving from Newmarket along the Norwich road. He was about half a mile from the Bury toll bar, travelling at 35 to 38 mph and driving just inside the white line. Without any warning a cycle suddenly loomed up ahead. He had not seen any lights. He hit the rear of the cycle almost immediately, and after stopping found the cyclist lying unconscious. The cyclist must have been nearly in the middle of the road. Flying Officer Lewis handed witness a lamp from which the battery was missing. There were two batteries taped together and fixed to the crossbar of the cycle. It seemed that a wire had been soldered to the bulb of the rear lamp. The off-side front headlamp and wing of the car were damaged. P.C.Mann (Chippenham) spoke of visiting the scene of the accident, which was in the parish of Snailwell. There was a mark commencing one foot from the near-side grass verge and continuing 9½ ft. on the road, and then travelling 24½ yards on the grass verge. All four wheels of the car were on the grass verge. It seemed that the cycle was struck on the left side. The road was 21ft 3ins. wide and straight for 1½ miles. There was nothing to indicate the point of impact. ELECTRICIAN’S EVIDENCE – Joseph Cartwright, electrician, of Rousroad, Newmarket, stated that he had examined the cycle. The front light was in working order when he charged the bulb. The rear lamp was missing, and the wire was not connected. The battery was in good condition. Replying to Mr. Ennion, witness said an impact from behind would affect the soldering and the wiring. Dr John Preston Maxwell, of The Grove, Brinkley, said he was sent for when deceased arrived at White Lodge, and examined him at 2.15 am on Saturday. He was completely unconscious, and the injuries were entirely to the head and neck. The main point of impact had been the back of the head and there was a fracture of the base of the skull. There was a second injury on the right of the forehead but less in extent. He gradually failed and died at 6.20 am Death was due to fractured base of the skull. Returning a verdict of “Accidental Death” the Deputy Coroner stated that it was hard to decide exactly what happened. Having regard to the nature of the lighting set on the cycle, there was the possibility that the rear light was not working at the time of the accident. It was tragic to die in such circumstances, and he expressed his sincere sympathy with the wife and father of the deceased. Mr Eades on behalf of the driver of the car, and Supt. Cross for the police, associated themselves with the expressions of sympathy, and Mr Ennion returned thanks.

Last Operation Information

Start Date 30-11--0001
End Date 30-11--0001
Takeoff Station
Day/Night Raid
Reason for Loss LAC John Travers Smith died in hospital in the early hours of 16th December after being knocked off his bicycle by a car on the Norwich to Newmarket Road the previous evening. The car was driven by F/O Oliver Lewis, who was himself killed on operations on 18th December. By the time of the inquest, he was already dead. The inquest revealed that the rear light on the bicycle had been modified and may have been defective at the time of the accident. A virdict of accidental death was recorded.

Please Wait

Suggest An Edit

Submit a Photo

Once submitted, your photo will be submitted for verification and will be shown on the database record shortly.

Disclaimer I acknowledge that I remain the copyright holder of the original document(s). I hereby grant copyright in the digital version to the International Bomber Command Centre (IBCC) and I consent to IBCC making digital copies freely available online under a Creative Commons non-commercial licence. IBCC may also use, reproduce or incorporate it into other works in any media, or licence its use for purposes of ensuring the sustainability of its Digital Archive and Losses Database. I understand that digital copies will be owned and controlled by IBCC, and I irrevocably agree to IBCC using and publishing digital copies however it sees fit, but always in line with its responsibilities to preserve and protect such ephemera.

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.