Gilbert Noel Duke

Sergeant Gilbert Noel Duke died on 14th February 1942 while training with the Royal Air Force. Known as Bertie, his grave is in Knocknamuckley, Co. Armagh.


Gilbert Noel Duke


Sergeant Gilbert Noel Duke died on 14th February 1942 when Vickers Wellington R1027 crashed shortly after taking off from RAF Chipping Warden, Northamptonshire.

Sergeant Gilbert Noel Duke (1063676) served in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve during World War Two. He was the son of John James Duke and Sarah M Duke of Knocknamuckley, Portadown, Co. Armagh.

Known as “Bertie”, he died on 14th February 1942 aged 25 years old when Vickers Wellington R1027 of RAF No. 12 OTU crashed at RAF Chipping Warden, Northamptonshire.

The Mark 1C bomber was taking off on a training exercise to practice night bombing, photography, and navigation. On returning to the airfield, the Pilot approached at 2335hrs and opened the throttle to circle again. The starboard engine lost power and the tip of the wing struck a tree. This impact put the Wellington out of control and it caught fire on impact with the ground at 2336hrs.

World War Two Memorial in Gilford

WartimeNI Photo: The names, regiments and townlands of the men of Gilford and other nearby villages who gave their lives during World War Two. Photo taken on 10th September 2016. Copyright Scott Edgar - WartimeNI.

Remembering the crew of Wellington R1027

Last NameFirst Name(s)RankRoleInformation
DukeGilbert NoelSergeantObserverRAFVR 1063676. Killed aged 25 years old.
ReenbergJohn ReginaldPilot OfficerPilotRNZAF 404944. Killed aged 26 years old.
RichardsonFrederick BurnsPilot Officer2nd PilotRNZAF 41997. Killed aged 21 years old.
SinclairWilbert LomeFlight SergeantWireless OperatorRCAF R/78077. Killed aged 27 years old.
WalshWilfredSergeantWireless OperatorRAFVR 1360278. Killed aged 31 years old.

Gilbert Noel Duke’s grave is in St. Matthias Church of Ireland, Knocknamuckley, Portadown, Co. Armagh. His name is on the Gilford War Memorial, Gilford, Co. Down. His headstone at Knocknamuckley bears the inscription:

He asked life of Thee and Thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever.