Burials in the UK

The overriding principle behind the British programme for the military dead was that all the dead were equal. A total ban on the repatriation of the bodies of dead service people had been instituted in the First World War and the same rule was followed in the Second World War.

The only circumstances in which the next-of-kin could claim the body of a serviceman or servicewoman for private burial was if he or she had died in his home country.

The RAF was for the most part stationed in Britain during the war, and British airmen who died in accidents, a very significant cause of UK-based mortality, were often buried in their home graveyards whilst Dominion airmen were buried in RAF plots such as that at Cambridge City Cemetery.

In the Dominions, the position was reversed. To give an example, a British-born airman who died whilst training in Canada would be buried there.

Clifford John Evans – Bridgend Cemetery

Many RAF accidents in the UK were caused by the capricious British weather, and one of those who lost his life was Clifford John Evans, who is buried at Bridgend, Glamorganshire, close to where his family lived. He left a wife and two small children. Clifford had been flying on a training exercise in Yorkshire when he was killed, along with all of his crew, on 18 October 1944.

To read more of what happened to Clifford, see our sister site, RAF PATHFINDERS ARCHIVEDangers of the Weather – Icing

clifford john evans