Edward John 'Ted' Walton born and brought up in Chelmsford. During the war he served with Bomber Command as a wireless operator. He was killed in August 1944 when his aircraft failed to return from an air raid on Königsberg. His parents lived in The Green on the Boarded Barns Housing Estate
Edward John WALTON, Sergeant, 630 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Killed in Europe when his aircraft failed to return from a bombing mission. Aged 21
Ted was born in Chelmsford in 1923, the son of Richard Mark Walton and Alberta Edith Walton (nee Murkin) (1900-1982).
Ted’s parents married at Chelmsford Cathedral on 24th June 1922. At that time Ted’s 24 year-old father was a ticket collector living at the Fire Station House, Market Road in Chelmsford; while his mother was aged 22 and living at the same address. Her father, Albert Edward Murkin was a Superintendent in the Fire Brigade.
Ted had a younger brother, Clifford George Walton (1929-2012). Ted’s father worked on the railways for fifty years. His mother also worked, delivering milk, on a horse drawn cart in churns to various places in Chelmsford, including the prison.
During the Second World War Ted served as a Sergeant 1631566 in 630 Squadron, a Bomber Command unit. He is believed to be the man third from the left in the second row from the bottom in the picture below of men from 630 Squadron. Also pictured right is the last letter Ted wrote to his mother, dated 28th August 1944. At 8:15 p.m. on 29th August 1944 Ted was the Wireless Operator on
on board a Lancaster III aircraft ND982 (markings LE-Y) when it took off from R.A.F. East Kirkby in Lincolnshire, one of 189 briefed to bomb Königsberg in East Prussia, Germany (modern day Kaliningrad in Russia). The target was at the extreme range of the Lancaster III so a reduced arsenal totaling only 480 tons of bombs and incendiaries was carried by the bombers.
The other men on board were Flying Officer 42819 Douglas George Twidle (Royal New Zealand Air Force) (aged 24), Sergeant 1295076 Charles William Garner (aged 31), Sergeant 1397504 John Arthur Akers, Sergeant 1580213 Samuel Stanton (aged 21), Flight Sergeant 1334363 Leonard Prior, and Sergeant 892800 Harold Walter Wickenden (aged 19).
The raid caused severe damage around the four separate aiming points selected. This success was achieved despite a 20 minute delay in opening the attack because of the presence of low cloud; the bombing force waited patiently, using up precious fuel, until the marker aircraft found a break in the clouds and the Master Bomber allowed the attack to commence. Bomber Command estimated that 41 per cent of all the housing and 20 per cent of all the industry in Königsberg were destroyed. There was heavy fighter opposition over the target and 15 Lancasters, 7.9 per cent of the force, were lost including Ted’s aircraft which failed to return to base from the mission and was lost without a trace. All on board were subsequently presumed to have been killed.
Today the seven crew members are commemorated on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede. The memorial commemorates by name over 20,000 airmen who were lost in the Second World War during operations from bases in the United Kingdom and North and Western Europe, and who have no known graves. Ted was 21 years old when he died.
Ted was entitled to the The Defence Medal, 1939-45 Star, France and Germany Star and War Medal 1939-45.
At the time of his death Ted's parents were living at 45 The Green in Chelmsford. They later lived at 26 The Green.