Hugh Grenville Knowles

Royal Navy Pilot Lieutenant Hugh Grenville Knowles died on 22nd April 1944 while flying Grumman Hellcat FN394 in a training exercise over Co. Antrim.


Hugh Grenville Knowles

Lieutenant Hugh Grenville Knowles was the 4th and final member of Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm 1847 Squadron to die in Northern Ireland.

Lieutenant Hugh Grenville Knowles served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War. He flew with Fleet Air Arm No. 1847 Squadron based at RNAS Eglinton, Co. Londonderry.

He was the son of Robert Millington Knowles and Olive M Knowles, and husband of Pamela June Knowles of Claygate, Surrey.

Hugh died on 22nd April 1944 while flying Grumman Hellcat FN394 on a low flying training exercise over Co. Antrim. The plane came down in low cloud on high ground at Skerry West, north-west of Newtowncrommelin, Co. Antrim. Rescuers brought the pilot to Waveney Hospital, Ballymena, Co. Antrim where medics pronounced him dead on arrival.

The 22 year old pilot was one of 12 who formed the squadron at the Co. Londonderry base in January 1944. Within 4 months, a third of the British and Dutch pilots had died in tragic training accidents. After Lieutenant Knowles’ death, the Royal Navy decided to absorb the squadron into No. 1840 Squadron on 20th May 1944.

Hugh Grenville Knowles’ grave is in Grave 14 of St. Canice’s Church of Ireland, Faughanvale, Co. Londonderry. His headstone bears the inscription:

Those who come back only in our hearts, those do we hail.