World War 2 (1939 - 1945)


Image reproduced by permission of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Gordon Boyd Walker

Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Unit: 9 Squadron
Rank: Sergeant - Air Bombardier*
Service number: 1551590

Gordon Boyd Walker was born on 19 May 1923 and was the younger son of Ernest and Margaret Walker of "Dunolly", Kilmarnock Road, Newton Mearns and later, of Amulree, Elmwood Avenue, Newton Mearns. Together with his brother Ian, he joined the High School of Glasgow in 1935. As he was fond of animals, he went on to the Royal Veterinary College in Glasgow, before leaving in 1940. In September 1941 he joined the Royal Air Force and underwent training in both Canada and the United States.

He was posted for operational training to Squadron 9 at RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk. On the evening of 6 - 7 April 1943, he was on board Lancaster ED662, which was taking part in a Bullseye, a training flight over towns in England, to learn evasion techniques for search lights and night fighters. The Lancaster crashed at 03.30 hrs near the village of Kennyhill, one mile North of Mildenhall. The cause of the accident is described as total engine failure.

Gordon was aged 19 when he was killed. He is buried in Mearns Cemetery with his brother Ian (see next) and is also commemorated on the war memorials in the High School of Glasgow, Giffnock South Parish Church, 28th Glasgow (Giffnock) Scout Group and Giffnock Civic Memorial.

Extract from the tribute printed in the Church magazine of Giffnock South Parish Kirk:


Gordon was 19 years of age, and he was a fine young man, upright and honourable, full of the joy of life, possessed of a spirit of happiness and brightness, a tonic to all whom he met and moved among, and like his brother in the home was also most dearly beloved and loving.

Had he been spared he would have been to his parents and sister a source of great strength and comfort in their painful bereavement. Gordon was a sergeant in the Royal Air Force and was typical of those young men in that branch of the Forces who are so courageous and so self-sacrificing and to whom we owe a debt which can never be paid.

The following was found written in Gordon's Diary, and gives an indication of the great spirit of which he was possessed: "Give me leave always to live and die in this mind—He is not worthy to live at all that, for fear of danger or death, shunneth [sic] his country's service and his own honour—seeing that Death is inevitable and Fame of Virtue immortal".

 *Until 1942, each RAF Bomber Command aircraft had two pilots and dual role aircrew: an observer (or navigator) who also acted as bomb-aimer and a wireless operator who was also the air gunner. When the heavy bombers were introduced, a flight engineer replaced the second pilot and the other crew members were given single, specialised roles.

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