Frew, Garth Campbell


He was the elder son of Robert Skeoch Frew MD, FRCP, of Wimpole Street, and Marjorie Frew (née James), from Chipping Campden, Gloucesershire, and entered Mr. Goddard’s House from Mr. R.G. Pidcock’s School, Bramcote, Scarborough, in Short Half 1931. He became a useful wing forward in “Chawker Pot”, and a good runner. His last year he was seventh in Steeplechase. On leaving he went to Edinburgh University, but on the outbreak of war was studying agriculture at Faraday House.

He immediately volunteered for the RAFVR as air crew, but was not called up until June 1940. After training in Devon, Yorkshire and Gloucestershire he was gazetted Pilot Officer in March 1941 as an aircrew observer, and posted to 12 Squadron at Binbrook.

He was reported “missing”, at the age of twenty-four, in October 1941 and a little later “missing, believed killed”, on an operational flight over Germany in Wellington bomber W5379. The raid on the night of October 10th/11th was on Cologne: two Wellingtons from 12 Squadron were lost. W5379 got airborne at 0020 on October 11th, but suffered engine failure and crashed at 0325 at Haamstede, Zeeland, in Holland.

He is buried in Bergen-op-Zoom War Cemetery 4.D.8. With him rest three other crew members: Pilot Officer D.W.D. Faint, and Sergeants K.H. Price and A.J. Childs RCAF. There were two survivors of the crash: Sergeant W.G. Morton and Pilot Officer W.A. Wise were taken prisoner.

Wise, who died in August 2002, was injured in the severe crash-landing, and was sent to Stalag Luft III at Sagan, where he played an important role in the ‘Great Escape’. His work on the air-conditioning system enabled seventy-six officers to break out, but he was not allowed to join in himself because he was supplying London with valuable information about the German V2 rocket programme. A fluent German speaker, he had been trained how to convey coded information in letters home, which were intercepted by the Secret Intelligence Service.

 

War: World War 2

  • Surname: Frew
  • Forenames or initials: Garth Campbell
  • House: D
  • Years in School: 1931-1936
  • Rank: Pilot Officer
  • Regiment: RAF
  • Date of Birth: 10th August 1917
  • Date of Death: 11th October 1941
  • How Died: Killed in Action
  • Location in War Cloister: Inner G2
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: Bergen-op-Zoom War Cemetery: Grave 4.D.8