Cobbe, Alexander William Locke

Alexander William Locke Cobbe was born on 2nd April 1919, only son of General Sir Arthur Alexander Cobbe VC, DSO and Lady Cobbe (Winifred Ada Cobbe, daughter of Sir Albert Edward Bowen, 1st Baronet).   He came to Toye’s from Sandroyd School with an exhibition in September 1932.   He was school prefect in his last year.   He played Winchester Football and was on Dress for OTH XV in 1935 and in XV in 1936.   He was a keen member of Boat Club, in the winning Hewitt Cup team of 1934, and in 1935 was in the winning Burne Cup team and won Finch Cup the same year with David Hanson, who was killed in the RAF in early September 1940, within days of Cobbe’s death.  He was stroke for the School IV in the Public School event at Marlow and was President of Boat Club during his last year.

In October 1937 he went up to Magdalen College, Oxford to read History, but owing to the war did not sit the examination.  He continued to row and was Secretary of the Magdalen Boat Club. On going to Oxford he joined the Oxford University Air Squadron and was commissioned as Pilot Officer RAFVR whilst still an undergratuate.  On the outbreak of war he left Oxford.   In March 1940 he was promoted to Flying Officer joining 82 (United Provinces) Squadron flying Blenheims from RAF Watton in Norfolk.

He was killed in action whilst on a reconnaissance mission over the Belgian and Dutch coasts on 8th September 1940, aged 21.   Flying Blenheim IV R3915, he and his crew took off at 1200 from Watton, and vanished without trace; it is believed that they were shot down and crashed into the North Sea. A second 82 Squadron Blenheim (R3750) on the same mission was also lost.

He is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, Panel 5.


War: World War 2

  • Surname: Cobbe
  • Forenames or initials: Alexander William Locke
  • House: B
  • Years in School: 1932-1937
  • Rank: Flying Officer
  • Regiment: RAF Volunteer Reserve
  • Date of Birth: 2nd April 1919
  • Date of Death: 8th September 1940
  • How Died: Killed in Action
  • Location in War Cloister: Inner G2
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: Unknown but commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 5