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Edmundson, James Brooke (1921-1945) | by sherborneschoolarchives
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Edmundson, James Brooke (1921-1945)

Sherborne School, UK, Book of Remembrance for former pupils who died in the Second World War, 1939-1945.

 

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

 

Details: James Brooke Edmundson (1921-1945), born 14 July 1921, son of Major George Ewbank Edmundson, R.A., and Lilian Doris Edmundson of Marlow Ferry, Marlow, Buckinghamshire, formerly of 57 Warwick Avenue, London.

 

Attended St Wulfran's School, Bournemouth.

 

Attended Sherborne School (Harper House) September 1935-December 1938; Scholar; 6th form (Army Class); House Prefect; PT Instructor; 2nd XI hockey (1938); Corporal in OTC; Trebles (1938).

 

Special Entry, Royal Navy. HMS 'Frobisher'.

 

WW2, Lieutenant-Commander, HMS Victorious, Royal Navy. In January 1945 he was awarded the D.S.C. for gallantry in air operations. Killed in action off the Sakishima Islands on 20 May 1945, aged 23.

 

Commemorated at:

Lee-on-Solent Memorial, Hampshire, Bay 5, Panel 7.F. 2 www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2974220/edmundson,-ja...

 

Sherborne School: War Memorial Staircase; Book of Remembrance; Harper House roll of honour.

 

Obituary, 'The Shirburnian', July 1945: 'James Brooke Edmundson (d, '35-'38). James Brooke Edmundson came to Sherborne as a scholar in 1935. During his three years here he quickly made his mark and in that short time he became a House Prefect. He passed into the R.N. by Special Entry at his first attempt and we felt robbed of a valuable personality. He had endeared himself to everyone and gained their admiration by his strength of character. After some service in the Executive branch of the R.N., he transferred during the war to the F.A.A. While stationed at Henstridge he frequently visited Sherborne and it was clear that he had matured into an outstanding man. No sooner had he qualified as a pilot than he went east in an escort carrier. In January 1945 he was awarded the D.S.C. for gallantry in air operations, but it was typical of his modesty that in his last letter the only mention of his flying activities was that he had crashed his aeroplane. The news of his death came at the end of May. He was leading a fighter patrol over the Sakishima Islands when his aircraft was hit by flak. He attempted to bring his damaged aircraft back, but his engine gave out and he was killed instantly when his aircraft hit the sea. So was cut short a very promising career (he was already a Lieutenant-Commander at the age of 23) and a strong, lovable, and generous man has gone.'

 

Old Shirburian Annual Report, December 1945:

'Edmundson, James Brooke (d 1935-1938), R.M. M.B. writing in The Times says: "The death of Lieutenant-Commander James Brooke Edmundson, DSC, RN, added one more name to the list of those who can ill be spared. Educated at St Wulfran's, Bournemouth, and at Sherborne, he joined the Royal Navy by special entry in December 1938. That he soon made his mark in the service was no surprise to those who knew him at school, for during his three years at Sherborne he became a prefect of remarkable personality, sympathy, and influence. After service in various theatres of war he decided to specialize in flying. No sooner was he qualified as a pilot than he was posted to an escort-carrier in Eastern waters. In January 1945, he was awarded the DSC for gallantry in air operations, and when he was killed in May leading a patrol over the Sakishima Islands he was already lieutenant-commander at the early age of 23. His commanding officer wrote of him: "We have lost an outstanding young officer; he was a first-class fighter pilot with a gift of quiet leadership, which made him a fine squadron commander, who was liked and looked up to. He was a very charming character in every way." There can have been few young officers with less conceit and more charm, uprightness of character, and intense loyalty and personal influence.'

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Taken on August 1, 2013