Wardel Knight, Eric Cecil

Personal Information

Rank Sgt
Forename(s) Eric Cecil
Surname Wardel Knight
Gender M
Age 20
Date of Death 21-09-1940
Next of Kin Son of Cecil John and Dorothy Anne Wardel Knight, of Littleover, Derby.

Aircraft Information

Serial Number

Memorial Information

Burial/Memorial Country United Kingdom
Burial/Memorial Place Littleover (St. Peter) Churchyard
Grave Reference

IBCC Memorial Information

Phase 2
Panel Number 260

Enlistment Information

Service Number 742468
Service Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Group AASF
Squadron 142
Trade Pilot
Country of Origin United Kingdom

Miscellaneous Information

Derby Daily Telegraph Monday 23rd September 1940: FATAL CRASH IN STREET. LITTLEOYER PILOT'S DEATH. The inquest was opened at Cleethorpes today on Sergeant- Pilot Eric Cecil Wardel Knight (20), the only son of Mr. and Mrs. G. J. W. Knight, of 25, Crich-avenue, Littleover, who was reported in the ''Telegraph" on Saturday, was fatally injured in a motor-cycle crash at Cleethorpes on Friday night. Sergeant-Observer Alan James Baker (23), of 299, Sandycomb-road, Richmond, Yorkshire, who was riding pillion, was seriously injured. HIT THE KERB. Evidence was given by Feldel Starling, 3. North-street, Cleethorpes, who said that he was walking along Alexandra-road about 10 p.m. on Friday when he heard a motor-cycle overtaking him. "I turned round because of its speed," he said. “It was all out." Mr. Starling said that the motorcycle appeared to be going to the right of the road, and then came back on its proper side. He heard a man shout “Look out" then the machine hit the kerb and a “Keep Left" sign in the road. "Did you see anything which caused him to do this?" —"No. I cannot understand why he crossed." Private Harold Everett said he was standing in Alexandra-road, at its junction with when the machine crashed into the traffic bollard. The motor-cycle skidded for a considerable distance after the impact. MODERATE SPEED. He considered that the driver's speed was moderate. Police-constable Ward said that he found a skid mark 40 feet in length near the scene of the accident. Dr. J. D. Cronin stated that Sergeant- Pilot Wardel Knight was dead on arrival at, Cleethorpes Hospital. Death was due to concussion. The inquest was adjourned for three weeks to enable the pillion passenger to give evidence. Joining the R.A.F. Volunteer Reserve before the war, Sergeant-Pilot Knight received his wings three months ago, and had taken part in bombing expeditions over German-occupied France. Before joining the R.A.F he was employed at the furnishing department of Messrs. Ranbv's, Ltd., Derby, where his father is assistant manager and buyer. He was a member of Markeaton Golf Club, and was educated at Bemrose School, Derby. The funeral has been provisionally arranged to take place at Littleover Churchyard on Wednesday afternoon.
Derby Daily Telepgraph, Friday 29th March 1940: DERBY PILOT IN FILM. NEWS "SHORT" SHOWING MR. E. C. W. KNIGHT. Mr. Eric Cecil Wardel Knight (20), son of Mr. and Mrs. C. J. W. Wardel Knight, of "Anwylyd," Crich-avenue, Littleover, at present training with the Royal Air Force, was one of the young men filmed in the Paramount News "short" now being shown at the Forum Cinema, Derby. Mr. Knight, who celebrated his 20th birthday on March 9, is training as a fighter-pilot in the South of England. He first began his training at Burnaston Airport, Derby, in 1938, when he joined an R.A.F. Volunteer Reserve Corps. Before joining his present unit he was stationed in Scotland while taking an initial training course. He was educated Bemrose School, Derby, which he left in 1937 begin work at Messrs. Ranbys, Ltd., Victoria-street, Derby, with his father, who is the assistant manager. He returned home Saturday, March 23, for 36 hours' leave. The news "flash," which lasts barely five minutes, shows young fighter-pilots at a bombing science school being instructed in the use of bombs. A closeup shows Mr. Knight sitting with a pencil in his mouth, thoughtfully considering a problem. He is next seen running to his 'plane in full flying-kit. The remainer of the film deals with bombing practice and the methods used to record each pilot's successes. Mr. Knight, senr., who attended the cinema with his wife, told a "Telegraph" reporter that he thought the film "very good indeed”.
Attended Derby Municipal secondary school 1928-1930 and Bemrose school 1930-1936.

Last Operation Information

Start Date 30-11--0001
End Date 30-11--0001
Takeoff Station
Day/Night Raid
Reason for Loss Killed in a motor cycle accident in Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire

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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.

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