NORMAN Franks and I are two aviation historians and authors who are currently researching an extraordinary family from the Ealing area by the name of Raw.
They would like to make contact with existing family members or friends in order to increase their knowledge and use photographs for an intended book about the family during the Second World War.
The father, Frederick Edward Raw, was a naval commander during the First World War, and served at the Battle of Jutland. He was decorated in 1917 with the Distinguished Service Cross for his service with the Dover Patrol against German submarines. Post-war, he trained and practised as a barrister until his death in 1936 due to a heart attack.
He was married to Irene Beatrice, who was well-known in Ealing for her interest in opera and the theatre. The family lived in Creffield Road in 1928, moving to Mount Park Crescent in 1931 and finally to Delamere Road in 1947.
They had six children - boys John, Peter, Anthony and Robert and girls, Patricia (Pat) and Beatrice (Trixie).
The boys attended Hillsborough Prep School in Creffield Road, before going to Wellington Boarding School in Somerset. They all joined the RAF and became pilots.
John was a flying instructor, who was sadly killed in the UK during April 1941 in a flying accident with a pupil.
Peter became a fighter pilot with 609 and 183 Squadrons, flying Typhoons over Europe and being decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was killed in action over Holland in March 1944.
Anthony was a bomber pilot flying Lancasters with 156 Squadron, part of the Pathfinder Force. He was decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Force Cross before he too was killed in action over Germany in September 1944.
Robert was too young to take part in the war, but became a jet fighter pilot and test pilot post war. He was decorated with the Air Force Cross, and later flew Spitfires and Hurricanes while attached to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight at RAF Coningsby.
It will be seen that Mrs Raw had the unique distinction of attending Buckingham Palace on four separate occasions to either watch or collect the decorations being awarded to her
family. The names of John, Peter and Anthony Raw are all recorded on Ealing War Memorial.
Any help would be most appreciated and noted in the book.
We can be contacted through email at email@example.com, or by calling 07989 541 009.
SIMON MUGGLETON Via email