Letter from RAF Museum, Hendon, London – 20th May 1986
Reply to my Father’s letter in 1986. This was our first piece of official information about Flying Officer Malcolm Ravenhill.
Letter from Halstead War Museum – 3rd June 1986
Reply from Mr Ken Anscombe at the Halstead War Museum, following our original enquiry in 1986.
Letter from 229 (OCU) Squadron – 9th July 1991
Reply to my letter of 16th June 1991, enquiring whether the Squadron had any additional information on Malcolm Ravenhill.
Correspondence From Former 229 Squadron Personnel
Letter from Mr H.V. Hand – 28th October 1991
Letter in response to ‘Air Mail’ advertisement. Mr Hand served as groundcrew with 229 Squadron from 1939-1941.
Letter from Mr F.W. Edge – 5th November 1991
Letter in response to ‘Air Mail’ advertisement. Mr Edge served with 229 Squadron during the war, and met Malcolm on various occasions.
Letter from Mr J.L. Withy – 6th November 1991
Reply to my letter of 3rd November 1991, contact provided by Mr Hand (see above). Mr Withy was the only groundcrew member of 229 Squadron to serve throughout the war.
Letter from Mr J.L. Withy – 21st November 1991
Reply to my letter of 16th November 1991. Mr Withy thinks that he may have been the last person to see Malcolm alive on 30th September 1940.
Letter from Mr F.W. Edge – 7th January 1992
Reply to my letter of 1st January 1992. Mr Edge recalls the area and road in which Malcolm’s family home was situated (he was also from Sheffield).
Letter from Wing Commander R.R. Mitchell – 24th January 1992
Reply to my letter of 21st November 1991, contact provided by Mr Withy (see above). Wing Commander Mitchell was Malcolm Ravenhill’s Sergeant in 1940.
Letter from Mr J.P. Hughes – 19th August 1992
Letter in response to ‘Air Mail’ advertisement. Mr Hughes served with 229 Squadron as an armourer during the war.
Sheffield “Star” Newspaper Publicity 1980
Article from “The Battle of Britain Then and Now” (W.G. Ramsey)
Reprint from the book “The Battle of Britain Then And Now” (W.G. Ramsey) which resulted in local Sheffield “Star” newspaper publicity. F/O Malcolm Ravenhill was one of the only Battle of Britain pilots to have an unmarked grave. As a result of the article, three local men kindly clubbed together and paid for a grave marker and for the family grave to be cleaned. Kind permission received in writing from the publishers, “Battle of Britain Prints International Limited”.
Letter from Flight Lieutenant P. Bentley-Platts – 4th January 1995
Letter in response to ‘Air Mail’ advertisement. Mr Bentley-Platts kindly included various photocopies of the original article that appeared in the Sheffield “Star” newspaper in September 1980.
Letter to Sheffield “Star” Newspaper – 5th September 1980
Copy of letter sent to Mr Andrew Darling, then editor of the Sheffield “Star” newspaper – kindly sent to be by Mr Edge in November 1991 (see above).
Sevenoaks Chronicle Article for “Magpie” TV Show Dig 1971
Sevenoaks Chronicle Article (June 1971) from Adam Sampson – March 2019
I was kindly contacted recently by Adam Sampson, grandson of the late Ken Anscombe who ran the Halstead War Museum in Kent. Ken provided us with key eyewitness information in 1986 about Malcolm’s crash in Ightham, together with a pencil rubbing of part of the aircraft recovered in the 1970s. His original letter can be viewed here.
Adam has been sorting through Ken’s paperwork and found an article from the Sevenoaks Chronicle. The article was written at the time of a dig in 1971, televised live for the TV program “Magpie”, to recover the Hurricane of another 229 Squadron aircraft that crashed in a nearby field about 10 minutes before Malcolm’s crash. That aircraft was flown by Canadian Pilot Officer Noel Stansfeld who managed to parachute to safety. There are eyewitness accounts of the crashes of both P/O Stansfeld and F/O Ravenhill’s aircraft on 30th September 1940. The description of Malcolm’s crash adds to the information provided by my friend David Baldwin, whose Mother and Grandfather lived opposite the field and witnessed everything. David’s Grandfather was one of the people that tried to help Malcolm. Ken Anscombe and Noel Stansfeld remained friends until Noel’s death in 1995. Adam found the article folded within a letter Noel had written to Ken.
The article has eyewitness accounts describing how Malcolm prevented his aircraft from crashing into a nearby army camp and managed to circle round to belly-land in a nearby field. Local people tried to help him but sadly the aircraft was on fire and nothing could be done.
Note from Brooklands Museum regarding Hurricane P2815
Response to my enquiry about Malcolm’s Hawker Hurricane, in which he was killed on 30th September 1940. Date not recorded.
Kenley Reunion – Commemorative Album Presentation – 1992
On Sunday August 16th 1992 my parents and I attended an ex-RAF Personnel reunion at Kenley Aerodrome after being kindly invited by Mrs Edna Murray. At the reunion I was presented with a commemorative album in honour of F/O Malcolm Ravenhill by Air Marshal Sir Frederick Sowrey. The day was a huge success and a very proud moment for all of us. I am forever grateful to Mrs Murray and her late Husband (and of course the late F/Lt. John Holloway – MBE) for taking the time to compile the album, and for inviting us to the event itself.