Arthur Giles Blake was born in the North-East, educated at Slough Grammar School and was a graduate of the Royal Navy College. He served in the Fleet Air Arm and gained his 'wings' in January 1940. Five months later he was loaned to Royal Air Force. He shot down at least five German aircraft during the Battle of Britain. He was killed in October 1940 when his aircraft was shot down, crashing in New London Road, Chelmsford.

Arthur Giles BLAKE, Sub-Lieutenant (Pilot), Royal Navy attached to 19 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Killed when his aircraft was shot down at New London Road, Chelmsford. Aged 23

He was credited with shooting down at least five German aircraft, including an He111 on 9th September 1940, a Bf109 and a share of an He111 on 15th September 1940 and two Bf109s on 17th September 1940.

Arthur was killed on 29th October 1940 while still serving with 19 Squadron when his Spitfire, number P7423 QV-Y, was attacked by a stray German Bf 109 aircraft while on routine patrol over south London. His crippled aircraft travelled some twenty miles northwards before crashing in flames in Chelmsford. The aircraft came down in New London Road at 5.12 p.m., partially demolishing Oak Lodge (today no. 216), before ending up in the roadway.

The 23 year-old was one of 58 naval pilots on loan from to R.A.F. New London Road was blocked by the wreckage for a couple of hours but was re-opened at 7.35 p.m. His remains were taken to St. John's Hospital, Chelmsford and he was subsequently buried at St. Mary's Church in Langley near Slough, Berkshire (row 13, grave 3).  

Arthur's father died in 1942; his mother in 1968.


Arthur was born in Northumberland in 1917, one of eight known children of John Henry Laws Blake and Mary Jane Blake (nee Carson). The couple had married in 1892. Arthur's siblings included: Edith Jane Blake (born in 1893), Nora Garson Blake (1894-1983), Lydia May Blake (1897-1976), Doris Elizabeth Blake (1904-2005), John Henry Laws Blake (1907-1979) and Margaret Olga Blake (1909-1979).

Arthur’s father was at one time a commercial traveller for an asbestos company.

Arthur was educated at Slough Grammar School  and went to the Royal Navy College. He joined the Fleet Air Arms and qualified as a pilot in January 1940.

Arthur served as a Sub Lieutenant (Pilot) with the Fleet Air Arm, Royal Navy.

In June 1940 Arthur was serving at H.M.S. Daedalus in Hampshire when he was transferred from the Royal Navy to the Royal Air Force, one of 58 naval pilots loaned to the R.A.F. during the Batte of Britain.

He was initially posted to 7 Operational Training Unit to learn how to fly the Spitfire and subsequently was drafted to 19 Squadron, first at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, where he was given the nickname ‘Admiral’. Later he served from Duxford’s satellite airfield at Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire.