Thame Remembers Pilot Officer Richard Francis Gower
Richard Francis Gower was the son of Herbert Charles Alfred and Ethel Marion Gower (nee Francis). He was born in Market Deeping, near Bourne, Lincolnshire in 1916, where his father was a pharmacist and optician.
By 1926, his father was running a pharmacy practice in 95 High Street, Thame and Richard was admitted to Lord Williams’s Grammar School as a day boy in September that year. He was there for 3 years, leaving in July 1929, before moving to Basingstoke Grammar School.
Commissioned in the Royal Air Force in May 1938, he was serving as a pilot with 49 Squadron in 1940. He took off from RAF Scampton on the night of 11th August, in Handley Page Hampden Mark 1 bomber L4036 with a crew of four for an operation over Dortmund, Germany.
It was reported the plane was brought down by flak and there were no survivors. The crew were all buried in a local cemetery at LOH Waldfriedhof, Near Ludenscheid, before being reburied in 1947 in the CWGC War Cemetery at Reichswald Forest, Kleve, Germany.
P/O Richard Francis Gower was 24 years of age at the time of his death, and is remembered in Thame on the Lord Williams’s Grammar School memorial board.
The Thame Remembers Cross was delivered to Reichswald Forest, Kleve, Germany on 31st October 2015 by Kevin Tobin