Thompson, Louis Richard de Melville

He was the only son of Lieutenant-Colonel Richard James Campbell Thompson CMG, DSO, MD, RAMC, of St. Thomas’ Hospital and Earl’s Court, London. His mother, Hélène Henriette Josephe Cottin de Melville Thompson, was the daughter of Commandant Cottin de Melville.

He was prominent in work and also a good athlete, distinguishing himself in running and swimming, rowing in Challenge IVs in 1937 and 1938, and playing in Commoner XV. He was a Commoner Prefect and Senior Prefect of his house, won the French Prize in 1936 and the French Speech Prize in 1938, and was Company Sergeant Major of the OTC in 1938. He went up to Magdalen College, Oxford, in the same year.

On the outbreak of war Thompson joined the RAFVR as a Pilot Officer and was posted to 502 (Ulster) Squadron of Coastal Command.    Thompson had been promoted to Flying Officer when he took off at the controls of Whitley V T4219 YG-P from Aldergrove at 0253 on November 30th 1940. The aircraft never returned, and Thompson and his crew of four were reported as “missing, believed killed” off the coast of Ireland. He was twenty years old, and is commemorated in panel 6 of the Runnymede Memorial.


War: World War 2

  • Surname: Thompson
  • Forenames or initials: Louis Richard de Melville
  • House: H
  • Years in School: 1933-1938
  • Rank: Flying Officer
  • Regiment: RAF Volunteer Reserve
  • Date of Birth: 19th February 1920
  • Date of Death: 30th November 1940
  • How Died: Killed in Action
  • Location in War Cloister: Inner A2
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: Commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 6