John Hampden Grammar School

Bernard Harris

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Bernard Harris was training to be an architect when he joined the RAF in July 1940. On May 19th 1942 he was an air gunner in a Wellington sent to bomb the U-boat base at St. Nazaire (the base had been the site of the famous St. Nazaire raid which had destroyed the dry dock.)

 

The Wellington left Elsham Wolds, Lincolnshire at 22.48. It was shot down by anti-aircraft fire over St. Nazaire, exploding into flames while in the air. All the airmen on-board were killed and are buried Escoublac-la-Baule War Cemetery.

 

His grave, along with others in the cemetery, will have been looked after by Louise Jaouen, a resident of La Baule, who dedicated all her time and energy to maintaining the graves. With money collected secretly from the generous local people she provided a cross for every grave and a small monument, had hedges planted, and employed a permanent gardener to tend the cemetery. Her devotion to this work was later honoured by the award of the King's Medal for Service in the Cause of Freedom.

 

Bernard's listing with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission can be found here.