Evill, William Alan Strathern

He was the elder son of Air Chief Marshal Sir Douglas Claude Strathern Evill GBE, KCB, DSC, AFC, of Dorchester House, Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire.  His mother was Lady Evill (née Henrietta Hortense Kleinwort, daughter of Sir Alexander Kleinwort, Bart.), and he was the brother of Henry Claude Strathern Evill (I 1944-1949); his cousin, Flying Officer Arthur Guy Evill (H 1928-1933) was killed whilst flying a Sunderland flying-boat off Norway three days after him, on August 21st 1941 (see individual entry).

First educated at his uncle’s school at Ashdown House, Forest Row, Eastbourne, he came to Culver’s Close (Mr. Robinson’s House) in 1936. Here he distinguished  himself as a long distance runner, gaining sixth place in Steeplechase, and he shot at Bisley as a cadet in 1938 and in 1939 as a member of the VIII.   He chose to follow his father into the RAF in July 1940. He was quickly promoted to Pilot Officer in June 1941 and made many flights over Germany from 10 Squadron’s base at RAF Leeming in Yorkshire.

On August 18th 1941 his aircraft – Whitley Z6564 – got airborne from Leeming at 2223 for an attack on Cologne, but was destroyed over Belgium, coming down near Rekem (Limburg), ten miles east of Genk. The cause of the loss was never established. Evill was only eighteen years old.

He and his crew are buried in collective grave 1-3, Rekem Communal Cemetery.


War: World War 2

  • Surname: Evill
  • Forenames or initials: William Alan Strathern
  • House: H
  • Years in School: 1936-1940
  • Rank: Pilot Officer
  • Regiment: RAF Volunteer Reserve
  • Date of Birth: 23rd December 1922
  • Date of Death: 18th August 1941
  • How Died: Killed in Action
  • Location in War Cloister: Inner B1
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: Rekem Communal Cemetery, Limbourg: Collective Grave 1-3