Douglas Patrick Bannister was born and brought up in Chelmsford where he attended the Trinity Road and Moulsham schools. After he left school he worked for the Chelmsford electrical engineers Crompton Parkinson. He subsequently joined the Air Training Corps and R.A.F. and was killed on his sixth operational mission on Germany. His home was in West Avenue.
Douglas Patrick BANNISTER, Sergeant, 576 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Killed in bombing raid on Germany. Aged 20
Douglas failed to return from an overnight bombing mission on 14th February 1945 on a target in Germany whilst serving as Sergeant (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner) 1866838 on board a Lancaster aircraft of 576 Squadron. It was his sixth operational flight.
At the time of Douglas’ death his parents were living at 132 West Avenue, Chelmsford.
Confirmation of Douglas’ death came during November 1945. Today he lies at Durnbach War Cemetery, located in a small village 45 kilometres south of Munich, Germany (grave: 1. J. 7.).
His mother died in 1966; father died in 1973.
Douglas was born on 27th January 1925, the only son of Bertie Bannister and Gladys Maria Bannister (nee Shorter). He was baptised at St. John’s Church, Moulsham on 1st March 1925 at which point his parents were living at 51 Maldon Road in Great Baddow.
Douglas’ parents had married at St. John’s Church, Moulsham on 19th April 1924. His father had been born in Chelmsford on 5th September 1893; his mother in Lambeth, London in 1903.
Early in 1927 Douglas gained first prize in the baby show (aged 1 to 2 years( at the annual party for the children of the firm's athletic club. Second prize went to Brian Victor Watling.
Douglas had a sister, born in 1930.
He was educated at Trinity Road and Moulsham Schools, Chelmsford, and was a member of Chelmsford's Air Training Corps and the Boys' Brigade Band.
After leaving school he worked at Crompton Parkinson’s engineering works in Chelmsford, before joining the Air Training Corps and then the Royal Air Force (Volunteer Reserve).
He was fond of all sports and a member of the Crompton Tennis and Cricket Clubs and the A.T.C. football team. He was said to be ‘of a happy and genial disposition’.