Sergeant Arthur Cowling Fighter Command

Written by Karen Day
First Published


Sergeant Arthur Cowling

Arthur was the son of Lawrance and Amy Cowling who lived on Stather Road, Burton Stather.

Arthur's photograph has kindly been given to us by his cousin Sue Brennan of Barton upon Humber. Sue is researching her own family history but as she was born after Arthur died she knows very little about him. She does remember however the family talking about him being a Gunner and now having seen the photograph of him we can see he is sporting an Air Gunners Brevet so Sue's memory is correct.

53 Squadron

The 53 Squadron was formed in May 1916 at Catterick as a training squadron but was mobilised the same year and sent to France. Based in Flanders they flew over the Western Front on recognisance, later being equipped with R.E. 8's, until the war was over and they were disbanded on 26th October 1919.

The squadron was reformed at Farnborough on 28th June 1938 flying Hectors, specialising in night reconnaissance. Soon after war was declared they were moved to France having received Blenheims in January 1939. In France they undertook strategic reconnaissance duties. The Squadron returned to the UK in May 1940 to fly reconnaissance missions from south-east England and in July began bombing sorties. Moving down to Cornwall in February 1941 to start anti-submarine and anti-shipping patrols off the coast of France, converting to Hudsons in the July.

Later the Squadron were moved to America where they were to protect the Eastern Seaboard against German U Boat attack. They moved on to Trinidad returning to the UK in November 1942, then to East Anglia and finally Iceland to patrol the North Atlantic. By that time they were flying Whitelys and remained in Iceland for the rest of the war, returning to the UK in June 1945.

In Memoriam

Sergeant Arthur Cowling

Served with the Royal Air Force in France until capitulation. Mentioned in despatches on November 4th, 1940. Was lost while on an operational flight on November 26th, 1940.

Burton upon Stather, Normanby & Thealby and the Parish of Flixborough
Parish Magazine Supplement

Arthur died aged just 21, his name is commemorated on the Air Forces Commonwealth Memorial at Runnymede, near Egham in Surrey.

The Airforces Memorial in Runnymede. 360° Panorama.

Arthur's story is still a work in progress and any further information would be gratefully received please Email FTAO Karen.

Record Details for Arthur Cowling

First Names:Arthur
Resided:Burton Stather
Death Date:
Family Info:Son of Lawrence and Amy Cowling of Stather Road.
Service Number:628158
Command:Fighter Command
Squadron:53 Squadron
Commemorated:Runnymede, Surrey. Panel 13 Map
Bench:Green at Bottom Pub under the Birch Tree Mapphoto


Use the interactive map to view the location of Arthur Cowling's Memorial. Click the Bench link to view the location of his Memorial Bench. You can view all the graves, memorials and benches by downloading our which can be viewed in Google Earth and other mapping software.

Remembered with Honour.

Last updated

© 2017 Burton upon Stather Heritage Group