At just 19 years old, Aircraftmen 1st Class (AC1) Clifford Granville Shaw should have had his whole life before him, instead he was killed when his RAF Bristol Blenheim bomber was shot down over France in 1940. Today, the MOD’s Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC) is appealing for his family to get in touch after his grave site was finally identified over 70 years after he was killed in action.
Royal Air Force (RAF) member Clifford, who lived in Wraxall, was the son of Percy Merryweather Shaw and Ellen Grace Caroline Shaw, again of Wraxall, Bristol. He had a brother, Ernest, who also died during the Second World War.
AC1 Shaw was the wireless operator/machine gunner on board Blenheim P6926 of 59 Squadron when it was lost without trace on a sortie in the Sedan area of France on 14 May 1940. Over 70 years later, a member of the French public submitted a French Red Cross report about a crash in Vrigne-aux-Bois on that date. An independent expert has been able to confirm that the aircraft described in the report was a Bristol Blenheim and detailed research into the fate of all Blenheims lost on 14 May 1940 has proved that it was Blenheim P6926 that crashed at Vrigne-aux-Bois. The 3 crew members were buried as unknown airmen in Choloy War Cemetery.
Now an appeal has been launched by the MOD to trace Clifford’s family so that they can be invited to attend a service of rededication of his grave in France in October.
Louise Dorr, from the JCCC, said:
We have been able to find family for both of the other crew members, but despite our best efforts, we’ve not been able to trace any of Clifford’s relatives. I hope that there may still be family in the Bristol area as I would love to be able to find them and give them the opportunity to attend the rededication service.
If you can help with tracing Clifford’s family, please call Louise on 01452 712612 extension 5465 or email her at: DBS-JCCCCommem4SO3@mod.uk.