Desmond Edwin Sproule Sidney-Smith

Sergeant Desmond Edwin Sproule Sidney-Smith of Belfast, Co. Down died on 28th March 1942 when his Mark I Short Stirling bomber came down in the North Sea.


Desmond Edwin Sproule Sidney-Smith


Sergeant Desmond Edwin Sproule Sidney-Smith died alongside his fellow countryman Flight Sergeant John Thompson Graham when their Stirling Bomber came down on a raid on Lübeck.

Sergeant Desmond Edwin Sproule Sidney-Smith (1056817) served in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve during World War Two. He was the son of Tredgar Sidney-Smith and Irene Sarah Hillen Margaret Sidney-Smith (née Sproule) of Laurel Lodge, Sydenham, Belfast, Co. Down.

Desmond attended Royal Belfast Academical Institution Belfast, Co. Antrim. He then graduated from Queen’s University, Belfast, Co. Antrim and intended to enter the Diplomatic Service. He was a keen sportsman and played Rugby Union for both establishments.

Sergeant Sidney-Smith died on 28th March 1942 aged 20 years old while serving in RAF 7 Squadron. He was a member of the crew of Short Stirling W7501 MG-Z when it took off at 1938hrs from RAF Oakington, Cambridgeshire.

During the raid on Lübeck, Germany, the bomber came under attack from a Luftwaffe fighter piloted by Oberleutnant Ludwig Becker of 6/NJG 2. The bomber came down at around 2205hrs in the North Sea to the north of Terschelling, Netherlands. All 7 of the crew died as a result of the incident.

Remembering the crew of Stirling W7501

Last NameFirst Name(s)RankRoleInformation
EdwardsJeffrey HughFlight LieutenantRAF 42052.
CaleRonald PhilipSergeantRAFVR 1381147.
EagleLeonard ReilSergeantRAFVR 570100.
NorrisLouis Robert MartinSergeantRAFVR 926585.
BanksJohn Charles LyonSergeantRAFVR 917462.
GrahamJohn ThompsonFlight SergeantRAFVR 968335.
Sidney-SmithDesmond Edwin SprouleSergeantRAFVR 1056817.

Desmond Edwin Sproule Sidney-Smith has no known grave. His name is on Panel 93 of the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, England.