Cooper-Key, Aston Maurice (1918-1940)
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: Aston Maurice Cooper-Key (1918-1940), born 19 August 1918, son of Major Astleigh Langrishe Cooper-Key (Middlesex Regiment) and Kathleen Juliette Cooper-Key, of Hythe, Kent.
Attended Seabrook Lodge School, Hythe, Kent.
Attended Sherborne School (School House) May 1932-December 1933. Appeared as ‘Pitti-Sing’ in a school production of The Mikado on 23-24 June 1933 in the School Gymnasium.
WW2, Joined the RAF on a short service commission in April 1938 as Acting Pilot Officer on probation, before being graded Pilot Officer on 4 April 1939. After completing his training he was posted to 23 Squadron at Wittering on 14 January 1939 where he served until being posted to 46 Squadron at RAF Digby, Lincolnshire in July 1940. On 22 February 1940, the Blenheim L1450 aircraft Pilot Officer Cooper-Key was flying sustained damage after combat with enemy aircraft and the pilot made a forced-landing on Redcar Racecourse at 23.45hrs, with the two men on board escaping injury. The aircraft was reportedly undamaged in the landing but was severely damaged with bullet holes. www.yorkshire-aircraft.co.uk/aircraft/yorkshire/york40/l1...
Died during a wartime anti-aircraft training exercise on 24 July 1940, when the engine of the Hurricane P2685 fighter plane he was flying failed. It is believed he tried to land in a park at Normanton, Derby, but when he spotted a group of young children playing there he changed course and crashed attempting a forced-landing on a railway embankment west of Peartree Station, Normanton near Derby.
Scopwick Church Burial Ground, Lincolnshire, Row 2. Grave 32 www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2358924/COOPER-KEY,%2...
Inscription on headstone: 'DULCE ET DECORUM EST PRO PATRIA MORI'.
Battle of Britain London Monument www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Cooper-Key.htm
Normanton, Derby (on 24 July 2008 a memorial was erected close to the site which occurred on a railway embankment)
Sherborne School: War Memorial Staircase; Book of Remembrance.