Tag Archives: Grove Road

Pilot Officer Kenneth Laurence Pile D.F.M.

P.O. Ken Pile, from Mitcham News & Mercury, 6th October, 1944.

Kenneth Laurence PILE, was born in the last three months of 1922. His father was School Keeper at Western Road School and lived in the School House up to his death in 1939. Ken Pile’s mother then moved to Eldertree Place.

Ken Pile served with the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (R.A.F.V.R.) and, as Flight Engineer, having flown 23 sorties with 166 Squadron, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal on 15th September 1944.

He died on 11th March 1945 on a training flight with 156 Squadron, when his Lancaster III crashed about one mile from Molesworth airfield in Northamptonshire. All onboard were killed. His remains are buried at the London Road Cemetery, Mitcham.

Source : www.156squadron.com.

From the Mitcham News & Mercury, 6th October, 1944:

Two Mitcham pilot officer brothers of the R.A.F. are in the news this week through the award to one of them of the Distinguished Flying Medal.

He is Pilot Officer Kenneth Laurence Pile, aged 22, eldest son of Mrs E.C. Pile, Eldertree-place, Grove-road, Mitcham, who has completed his full number of “ops”, most of them over Germany.

His brother Eric, who is two years his junior, trained in Southern Rhodesia, and is now in Italy.

Both were educated at Western-road Central School, where their father, the W.A. Pile was school keeper from the opening day until his death. Mr Pile served through the last war.

P.O. Ken Pile continued his education at Wimbledon Technical Institute. He was a Flight Engineer with the R.A.F.V.R., with a rank of Flight Sergeant, when his gallantry was officially recognised by the award. it is not yet known why he was decorated.

Both brothers are keen sportsmen.

The DFM award is described in the Britain, Campaign, Gallantry & Long Service Medals & Awards from FindMyPast.com

PILE, Kenneth Laurence.
1456141 Sergeant, No. 166 Sqn.

L.G. 19/9/1944. Sorties 23, Flying hours 150. Flight Engineer. Air2/9276.

This N.C.O. as Flight Engineer has completed 23 sorties against the enemy including the most heavily defended targets in Germany and occupied territory. He has displayed skill of a high degree at his work and has been undeterred by any opposition the enemy has offered. He has proved himself to be a worthy member of a gallant crew and has, when flying with a different
crew, inspired them to the same spirit and devotion to duty and crew discipline as he possesses himself. To the experienced crews with whom he has flown, his mature knowledge has been of the greatest assistance. For his coolness under Fire and high sense of duty, he is recommended for
the award of the Distinguished Flying Medal.

From the Commonwealth War Grave Commission

Flying Officer (Flight Engineer)

Service Number 183091

Died 11/03/1945

Aged 22

156 Sqdn.
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve


Son of William Alfred and Ellen Charlotte Pile, of Mitcham.

1929 : Lonesome School teachers in car crash


Mitcham Teachers in Fall Over Embankment.

Two young members of the teaching staff at Lonesome School, Mitcham, had an extraordinary adventure after leaving the school on Tuesday afternoon.

Shortly before five p.m. a Baby Austin saloon car in which they were riding crashed through the stout wooden fence on the eastern corner of the Bee Hive railway bridge and plunged down the very steep embankment on to the small plot of waste ground at the rear of the new houses in Spencer-road.

The car reached the bottom of the embankment, estimated to be seventeen feet in depth, right side up, fortunately.

The teachers were Miss Ivy Green, aged twenty-three, of 61, Elsted-street, Walworth, who was driving, and Miss Mary Runnacuss, aged twenty-one, of Defoe-road, Tooting. The car belonged to Miss Smythe, of 21, Tunney-road, East Dulwich, the well known and popular head mistress of Lonesome School, who was severely injured herself in a motor accident some time ago at Eastfields level crossing. She had lent her car to her two assistants for an hour while Miss Green was learning to drive. Miss Runnacuss was her instructress.
Neither of the girls was hurt in the least and scarcely suffered from shock. The only damage to the car was a smashed wind-screen.

Mr. George Mountain, of Smith’s Buildings, Commonside East, road foreman in the employ of the Urban Council, told the “Advertiser” that he saw the car crossing the bridge as a motor lorry was ascending from Grove-road. “The motorists,” he said, “evidently caught sight of the lorry as they turned into Grove-road, made a big swerve to avoid it and crashed through the fence doing so. If their car had struck the lamp-post inside the fence it must have turned turtle. I rushed to help the girls and thought they must certainly be seriously injured, but to my great astonishment both were calmly sitting in the car, and actually smiling! They displayed great nerve and coolness all through.”

Another witness said Miss Green remarked : ” I am glad the old ‘bus did not turn over at any rate.”

Half a dozen men, with Mr. Mountain, assisted the girls to get the car out of the “rough” into the narrow passage between the end house occupied-by Mr. and Mrs. Hayne, No. 1. Spencer-road, and the bottom of the embankment. The girls then drove it away. Miss Green gaily waving her hand to her helpers as she left!

A larger car could not have been got out of the well formed by the embankment and the houses, except with the aid of a crane.

Both teachers returned to duty at Lonesome School next morning, but the head mistress had to drive a motor cycle instead of her Austin seven.

Mitcham Advertiser, 17th October, 1929, page 6