new icn messageflickr-free-ic3d pan white
Wilson, Kenneth Gordon Wycliffe (1922-1949) | by sherborneschoolarchives
Back to album

Wilson, Kenneth Gordon Wycliffe (1922-1949)

Sherborne School, UK, Book of Remembrance for former pupils who have lost their lives in the service of their country, 1919-1939 and 1946 to date.


If you have any additional information about this individual, or if you use one of our images, we would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below or email us via the Sherborne School Archives website:


Credit: Sherborne School Archives, Abbey Road, Sherborne, Dorset, UK, DT9 3AP.


Details: Kenneth Gordon Wycliffe Wilson (1922-1949), born 23 July 1922 son of Dr Kenneth John Talbot Wilson, GP, Brentry, White Cliff, Mill Street, Blandford, Dorset.


Attended Charlton Marshall House School, Blandford, Dorset.


Attended Sherborne School (Lyon House), September 1936-December 1940; 6th form (Army Class); School Prefect; Head of House; 1st XV (1939-1940); Trebles (1939-1940); CSM in OTC; PT Instructor with Badge; member of the Duffers.


Captain, Royal Artillery (service no. 229636). Served as a pilot with 1903 AOP Flight was based at Kai Tak, and later at Sha Tin. His role was to direct artillery in the event of invasion of Hong Kong by the Chinese. Served as Temporary Captain from March 1949, and promoted to Captain in July 1949.


Died in a flying accident when his Auster AOP 6 VW989 collided with the US Navy PBM-5 84079 Mariner flying boat on approach to Kai Tak Aiport, Hong Kong.


Buried at Hong Kong Cemetery, Happy Valley, Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong, Plot: Sec 17 Row 10 Plot 3. His headstone reads: ‘Loyalty, love and happiness, he gave in full measure.’


Commemorated at:

Sherborne School Book of Remembrance.

Middle Wallop memorial panel

National Memorial Arboretum, Column 22 Middle Panel


The Shirburnian, Winter 1949:

'CAPTAIN KENNETH GORDON WILSON, R.A. (g 1936-40), was killed in a flying accident near Hong Kong in August last. He was an Officer of outstanding personality and promise. At school, where he was Head of his House and in the First Fifteen, he at once made his mark by the vigour and frankness of his character, as a small boy playing football and later as a Prefect and as an indomitable member of the Fifteen and in many other directions. His anger when the Germans bombed Sherborne is on record, for he regarded it almost as the violation of a sanctuary. As an Officer, gay, resolute and efficient, he was bound to go far. As a man and a friend he will be sorely missed.'


HIs OC wrote:

‘The Squadron sends its deepest sympathy to the flight on the death of Captain Ken Wilson. He was well liked and respected by the whole Squadron and we are deeply sorry to hear of the tragic accident.’


K.G.W. Wilson’s account of the bombing of Sherborne on 30 September 1940:

‘I walked out of the Carrington Buildings absolutely fed up. The warning had gone for the umpteenth time, and the thought of hanging round the cloisters for an hour or too, amidst the most appalling din of chattering of a thousand different tongues, appalled me. “I hope to goodness they bomb this one horse town” said my neighbour as I walked into the cloisters, “there is nothing that this place wants more!” “Hear! Hear” I agreed, “it won’t do it any harm to be shaken up a trifle.” How little did we know what was to come. The cloisters looked bleaker than ever and the noise was incredible. However, the Lower Library had the snug, comfortable air about it which is usually associated with its form master. I walked in and threw my books, in a tired way, onto a table. “Life is a hell of a bore” I thought, as with pen in hand I failed miserably to do a sum. Suddenly there were heard distant thuds. “Get under the tables”, said the master, hastily pulling a cushion off his chair. We slid underneath, laughing rather self-consciously, when the heavens opened. There was the most devastating noise and the world outside was one mass of flying masonry and dust. “The Abbey’s been hit” said someone in an awed whisper then the crashing ceased. In defiance the Abbey cheerfully chimed the quarter. We emerged, some visibly shaken, others saying, “At last we’ve been in an air raid. Not too bad is it?” I’m afraid I was among the latter faction and in a mischievous impulse I yelled “Here they come again.” Everyone went under the tables. I roared with laughter, a little unsteadily perhaps. This is exactly what is needed, I said to myself, “Good old ‘Jerry’!” A few minutes later I walked into the Courts and I changed my tune. The Big Schoolroom looked a complete shambles. It left me moderately unmoved, for it should be demolished anyway. I walked round a crater outside the Carrington Building, still rather dulled, not realizing how near had our escape been. It was not till a wreck, which had been a thatched cottage in Acreman Street, caught my eye that the full horror of the thing struck me. “God damn Hitler, and all Huns who commit such crimes” I murmured. I was livid with impotent rage.’

0 faves
Uploaded on June 14, 2016