Sergeant Stanley Allen Fenemore (745110) served with Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve during the Second World War. Born in 1920, he was the son of William Allen Fenemore and Gertrude Fenemore (née Turnbull) of Whitewell, Co. Antrim.
In February 1939, Fenemore joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve as an airman training to become a Pilot. He trained at R.A.F. Sydenham, Belfast with No. 24 Elementary and Reserve Flying Training School until the end of August 1939.
Stanley received his call-up on 1st September 1939, completing training at No. 2 Flying Training School, R.A.F. Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, England. There, he took part in No. 44 Course between 11th December 1939 and 18th May 1940. Upon completing training, he joined R.A.F. No. 5 Operational Training Unit at R.A.F. Aston Down, Gloucestershire, England on 19th May 1940. There, he converted to the Hawker Hurricanes. On 10th June, he moved to R.A.F. 263 Squadron at R.A.F. Drem, East Lothian, Scotland. They had recently returned from Norway and reformed after the sinking of H.M.S. Glorious.
July saw Fenemore on the move again with a posting to R.A.F. 219 Squadron at Catterick, Yorkshire, England on 9th July 1940. Between 13th and 17th July 1940, he moved back to Northern Ireland, flying with R.A.F. 245 Squadron from R.A.F. Aldergrove, Co. Antrim. His first operational sortie with R.A.F. 245 Squadron came on 21st July 1940. His last was on 26th September 1940.
Fenemore’s final posting to R.A.F. 501 Squadron took place on 30th September 1940 and he made his way to the R.A.F. Kenley, Surrey, England. His first sortie with R.A.F. 501 Squadron came on 7th October 1940. A little over a week later, the 20-year-old pilot died in action.
While serving with R.A.F. 501 Squadron, Sergeant Fenemore took part in the Battle of Britain campaign. Fenemore the Pilot of Hawker Hurricane Mk I V6722 SD-V shot down at 0815hrs on 15th October 1940.
The Hurricane took off from Kenley early in the morning of 15th October 1940. Over Redhill, Surrey, England, he engaged the enemy at 0815hrs. In combat with Messerschmitt ME109s, Fenemore’s Hurricane went down under fire. The plane crashed at Posterngate Farm, Godstone, Tandridge, Surrey, England. Sergeant Fenemore died at the scene.
Long after the incident, the London Air Museum excavated the wreckage. The Royal Air Force declared the craft a write-off in 1940. Tangmere Military Aviation Museum saved some items but they no longer make up part of the collection.
Remembering Stanley Allen Fenemore
On 1st January 1944, a 12-foot silver cedar tree was planted at the crash site to remember the Pilot from Northern Ireland. On it is a plaque:
Pilot Stanley Allen Fenemore ‘One Of The Few’. Killed in action above this crash site in Hurricane number V6722 at 08:15am on 15th October 1940 during the Battle of Britain. Just 20 years old.
A nearby stone pillar also bears an inscription:
Battle of Britain. This silver cedar tree was planted in memory of Sgt/Pilot S.A. Fenemore R.A.F. Killed here 15 October 1940 aged 20.
For those who prefer a quiet place to reflect on the sacrifices made by the Battle of Britain pilots, there is also a wooden seat marked with the following words:
Battle of Britain. Sergeant Stanley Allen Fenemore R.A.F. died here October 15th 1940.
Work from Leslie Head of the local British Legion and Connick Tree Care saw the memorial site repaired in recent years. Brambles had overgrown the site and unsafe conditions made it difficult for visitors. With dangerous branches removed and undergrowth cleared, the memorial is once again a quiet place to visit.
The local council of Godstone Parish will maintain the site in future. Nearby, the Fenemore Road on what was once the old airfield is another reminder, named in honour of the young pilot.
Stanley Allen Fenemore’s grave is in a family plot in Section 2D, Grave 218 of Allerton Church of England Cemetery, Liverpool, Lancashire, England.