Category Archives: People

Pilot Officer Alfred Robert William Milne

Pilot Officer Alfred Robert William Milne, of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
618 Squadron, died on 11th October 1944, aged 22, in a training flight over the North York Moors. He died along with Warrant Officer Eric Stubbs, who came from Guildford, Surrey.

Their remains were discovered on a farm near Chop Gate, North Yorkshire, in March 2020. A police investigation was launched to identify the remains, which were returned to their families. In August 2021 they were given a military funeral. This was reported in the national press and covered by ITV.

The Commonwealth War Grave Commission website states that a memorial to Pilot Officer Milne is in the London Road Cemetery, Mitcham, in plot 14, grave 8633.

Alfred Milne’s parents, Alfred Charles and Daisy Milne, lived at no. 96 Lammas Avenue according to the 1939 electoral register. The details of his will show that he and his wife were at the same address. They had married in July 1943.

MILNE, Alfred Robert William, of 96 Lammas-avenue, Mitcham, Surrey, died 11 October 1944, on war service.

Administration Llandudno
5 April 1945

to Gwendolen Margaret Milne widow.

Effects £86 19s. 1d.

From the UK, World War II Index to Allied Airmen Roll of Honour, 1939-1945 on Ancestry:

Flew into a hill near Bransdale, Yorks in low cloud during a transit flight from Warboys to Turnberry while carrying a highball bomb.

His death was reported on the front page of the 3rd November 1944 issue of the Mitcham News & Mercury, although they gave his rank as Warrant Officer.

KILLED IN A PLANE CRASH

After Completing Tour of “ Ops ”

ANOTHER old boy of Western-road School is this week reported to have been killed on service. He was Warrant Officer Alfred R. W. Milne (aged 22), eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. A. T. C. Milne, Lammas-avenue, Mitcham, who was killed in a plane crash in Yorkshire.

W.O. Milne, who married Miss Gwendoline Oliver, Lavender-avenue, Mitcham, a year ago last July, had just completed his tour of “ops.” Among his friends was Ken Pile, also an old boy of Western-road, who, as reported recently in the “News and Mercury” has just been awarded the D.F.M.

Before volunteering at the outbreak of war, W.O. Milne was a postman at the South-West London District Office. He spent eighteen months training in Canada, and returned to this country to serve with Coastal Command.

He was a member of the First Mitcham Group of Boy Scouts.

Ken Pile was also killed in a flying accident, in March 1945.

1890 Shocking Murder At Mitcham

From the Illustrated Police News – Saturday 07 June 1890

MURDER AT MITCHAM.

[SUBJECT OF ILLUSTRATION.]

ON the 30th ult., at the Croydon County Bench, before Dr. Alfred Carpenter (in the chair) and other magistrates, George Bowling, fifty-one, a labourer, of Miles’s-cottagee, Mitcham, was charged, on remand, with the wilful murder of Elizabeth Nightingale, a widow, with whom he lived, by smashing in her skull with a hammer, at Mitcham, on the 17th. ult. Sophia Collins, sister of the deceased, had her previous evidence read over, and in reply to further questions said it was a four-roomed house. The prisoner and the deceased occupied the two front rooms, one up and one down. Witness and her brother occupied the other rooms. The deceased and Bowling had the exclusive use of the front door, of which they had the key, and they generally shut the door when they went out. Bowling and deceased lived together for ten or eleven years. Witness and her brother always used the back-door, which was bolted inside at night time. Of late the prisoner had been drinking very much, and quarrels between the pair were frequent. The deceased was of sober habits generally. Witness was on good terms with her. Had never seen her the worse for liquor. Witness usually saw her sister every day, if she did not the prisoner. The deceased worked at a marketgarden, and used to get there at eight o’clock. She would get up between five and six to do her housework. At this point Police-constable Butler, 488 W, produced a plan he had made of the premIses, the bedroom being drawn to scale. The witness Collins went on to say that she last saw her sister alive on the 16th ult The prisoner came in about eight o’clock. Witness did not see hlm, but she knew his step. She was surprised at his coming home so early. The deceased came in at half-past nine, and remarked to wltness as she was going upstairs, “Aint it cold? Dlrectly she got in her room witness heard deceased and Bowling quarrelling. She heard the prisoner threaten her a good deal. He said, “I will be the death of you.’ She did not hear any blows, nor did she hear any scuffling. Soon after that prisoner came downstairs and seemed to go in his front room, and remained in there about five minutes. Witness heard him go up again. There was more swearing, but she heard no blows. This lasted five or six minutes, and all was quiet after- wards. Witness then went into the washhouse to get water and chop some wood, being absent about a quarter of an hour. Witness heard nothing more during the night. Witness’s brother came in about eleven o’clock, and stayed up about half an hour, and then went to bed. No one else went in or out of the house that night. Next morning, between five and six o’clock, she heard the prisoner come downstairs. Between five and six the same evening she went Into her sister’s bedroom and found her lying on the bed dead, with her skull battered in. Witness had seen a coal hammer in Bowling’s coal- cellar, but not during the past six months. Witness had used It for nailing pictures up. The hammer (produced, stained with blood) was not the one in question, in fact, she had never seen it before. She had several times heard the prisoner threaten to settle her sister. Cross-examined by Mr. Dennis: The last sound she heard was at ten minutes past ten o’clock. She did not know that Bowling went out at ten o’clock, and was drinking at the Buck’s Head public-house shortly before eleven. Witness was not surprised to hear them quarrelling, as it so frequently occurred. Her sister was rather a warm-tempered woman. Dr. Henry Love repeated the evidence he gave before the coroner as to the death of the woman being caused by repeated and violent blows on the head by a heavy instrument such as the hammer produced. The fact of there having been no struggle showed that the woman was stunned by the first blow. Inspector Butters, who arrested the prisoner, stated that on the way to the station Bowvling said, “I suppose they fetched you ?” Witness replied in the affirmative. Police-constable Banfield, 277 W, deposed that the prisoner said to him, “It was in my temper I done it in.” Other evidence having been called, Mr. Dennis, in reply to the Bench, said he had nothing to say. In answer to the usual caution, the prisoner, speaking with some emotion, said, “Not guilty, and I reserve my defence,” The prisoner was fully committed for trial at the next assizes on the capital charge. He was removed to Holloway Gaol to await his trial, his departure being witnessed by a large crowd.