|WW2 Memorial Profiles for Salcott and Wigborough
CHARLES HERBERT ALBERT WARNER
Sergeant (Flight Engineer) Service No. 1801861
101 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 3 September 1943 age 20.
Buried Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Grave 15 G.12.
Commemorated on WW2 Memorial in Chancel at St. Mary's Church, Salcott.
Charles was born 12 January 1923. In the 1939 Register, he is living with his parents at 2 Hill Cottage, Salcott and is described as 'Salesman in Co-op stores. Coal Dept. Roundman.' His father Ernest J. Warner was born 1 July 1888 and is a Cowman. His mother Kate L. Warner was born 10 June 1893 'unpaid domestic duties'. He has a brother Leslie J. Warner born 1932 who worked at Sherwins Farm when younger and is now settled living on Mersea. Also at least two other siblings.
Hill Cottage is Virley, between the Kings Head Wigborough and Salcott, on the north side of the road before you get to Paynes Farm.
However, the Commonwealth War Graves Commision record his parents as Great Wigborough, not Salcott.
Avro Lancaster Mark III. Image Copyright IWM (CH 12350)
101 squadron were flying the Lancaster bombers and Charles was Flight Engineer in ED410, at the time of his loss. ED410 was a Mk. 111 and was delivered to No.101 Squadron 23rd April 1943. ED410 wore the ID's SR-X bar/X2
In January 1943 101 Squadron aircraft returned to Berlin for the first time in 14 months and as Bomber Command strength increased the scene was set for the main phase of the strategic bombing campaign. 101 Squadron took part in the Battle of the Ruhr from March to July, losing 25 Lancasters and over 130 aircrew Killed In Action. During this period 101 Squadron moved to a new base at RAF Ludford Magna in Lincolnshire, where it would remain for the rest of the war. The devastating Battle of Hamburg at the end of July marked the introduction of "Window" by Bomber Command that paralysed the German night fighter control system. 101 Squadron lost only one Lancaster in 118 sorties launched against the city over 9 days.
101 Squadron sent 20 Lancasters on the Penemunde raid without loss on the 17th August, 1943 but heavy losses among the rest of the force proved that the Luftwaffe had fully recovered from the "Window" setback. If the coming Battle of Berlin was to be a success, new countermeasures were required. In September 1943 101 Squadron began trials with the top secret "Airborne Cigar" ECM system, designed to jam the Luftwaffe's night fighter control frequencies. The "ABC" equipment required an additional crewmember, the W/OpSD, but allowed the Lancaster to carry a full bomb load. The equipment proved successful and by November most of 101 Squadron's Lancasters were equipped with "ABC". Using "ABC" the squadron dispatched 68 sorties against Berlin in 6 days for just one loss. However, the Battle of Berlin was not going well. Poor weather limited the effectiveness of the bombing and the resilient Luftwaffe developed new tactics as fast as Bomber Command introduced new countermeasures and losses mounted alarmingly. The "ABC" Lancasters of 101 Squadron were required for every raid and the squadron had to fly more missions than other units, exposing its crews to increased risk. 101 Squadron flew 363 sorties to Berlin during the battle and lost 25 Lancasters and 133 aircrew KIA. Worse was to come in the last raid of the winter battle, Nuremberg. 101 Squadron lost 7 out of 26 Lancasters dispatched with 56 men failing to return to Ludford Magna.
ED410 took part in the following key Operations:
As SR-X bar, Dortmund 23/24 May 1943; Dusseldorf 25/26 May 1943; Dusseldorf 11/12 Jun 1943; Bochum 12/13 Jun 1943.
As SR-X2, Cologne ¾ Jul 1943; Turin 12/13 Jul 1943; Hamburg 24/25 Jul 1943; Hamburg 27/28 Jul 1943; Hamburg 2/3 Aug 1943; Berlin.
3-4 Sep 1943 - Lost. When lost this aircraft had a total of 220 hours. ED410 was one of three 101 Squadron Lancasters lost on this operation. The others were ED659 and JB149.
ED410 was airborne at 1945 hours on the 3 September 1943 from Ludford Magna. Cause of loss not established. Crashed at Suttrup, 14 km SE of Lingen (ems), where those killed were buried in the Neuer Friedhof. They have been subsequently re-interred in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Killed in action were F/O D.J. Carpenter; Sgt C.H.A. Warner; P/O J.F. Waterman; Sgt J. Billington; Sgt D.R. Browne; Sgt H. Mcquade.
Sgt J.D.M. Flett was interned in Camps L6/357, PoW No.573.
1939-1945 Star; Air Crew Europe: 1939-1945 Defence Medal; 1939-1945 War Medal
Reichswald Forest War Cemetery
Reichswald Forest War Cemetery is in the west of Germany, about 25km from the town of Nijmegan. It was created after the Second World War when burials were brought in from all over western Germany and is the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the country. There are now 7,594 Commonwealth servicemen of the Second World War buried or commemorated in the cemetery.
Ludford Magna, Lincolnshire
Memorial to 101 Squadron alongside the main road through the village
The inscription on the memorial reads:
TO SERVE WAS THEIR HIGHEST AIM
THIS MEMORIAL IS DEDICATED TO THE AIRCREWS OF 101
SQUADRON BOMBER COMMAND WHO FAILED TO RETURN
FROM OPERATIONAL SORTIES IN THE FIRST AND SECOND
WORLD WARS. FROM 1943-1945 THE SQUADRON WAS BASED AT
LUDFORD MAGNA WHERE THEY MADE MANY FRIENDS.
A ROLE OF HONOUR IS KEPT IN THE VILLAGE CHURCH
There is a Memorial Profile for Charles Warner in Great Wigborough Parish Church, similar to the above. The information on Charles' Salcott background is from research by Carol Wyatt and has been added in 2020.