Tuesday 8 March 2011

John Duncan Broadley - WW2 grave in England

This weekend I was contacted by a TV documentary maker who is proposing to produce a documentary on the 1944 Amiens Prison raid by RAF Mosquito's led by Group Captain P.C. 'Pick' Pickard, DSO, DFC, CzMC  
His navigator "Bill" Broadley accompanied "Pick" on the raid, and as it was a few months since I had looked at the article I though I would check and see if I could find any addirional information.

Sadly I did not, but did come across the following letter from the  OTAGO DAILY TIMES that concerned a Sgt. John Duncan Broadley who was from New Zealand
WW2 grave in England
Thursday, 30 Jul 2009 - OTAGO DAILY TIMES
Hello, I am writing from a small village in rural Suffolk, England.
In our churchyard we have a number of WW2 Commonwealth graves. One is of a Sgt.
John Duncan Broadley. He served with the New Zealand Air Force and was killed on 29/09/1941 aged 23.
I believe he came from the Dunedin area. I am wondering if there are any relatives or
friends that would like me to send them some photos of the grave, I would be more than
happy to do so.
I often put flowers on his grave, as I feel sorry that he is so far from home and has
no-one to look after him.
Regards, Sally Higgins
On a very rainy summers day in Ringshall, Suffolk, England.
I can be contacted on my e- mail address - dsln.higgins4@tesco.net

A few details related to the above newspaper story.
28-29th September 1941
99 Squadron - Wellington IC Z8869 LN- Op: Frankfurt
Took off 1911 hrs from RAF Waterbeach. Collided with a line of trees and exploded and
crashed 0055 hrs at Stone Farm Great Finborough, 2 miles south west of Stowmarket,

Sgt. J S F. Watt +
Sgt. J D. Broadley RNZAF +
Sgt. J W. Humphrey RCAF +
Sgt. H. Martin +
Sgt. J K. Whitfield +
Sgt. D. Richardson +
BCL Vol.2 - W R. Chorley.
Frankfurt 28-29 September 1941
30 Hampdens and 14 Wellingtons. 1 Hampden and 1 Wellington lost. 5 aircraft crashed
in England.
Source: Bomber Command War Diaries - Middlebrook / Everitt

Cemetery: Ringshall (St. Catherine) Churchyard, Suffolk, England
Rank: Sergeant (Pilot)
Official Number: 403937
Unit: 99 (RAF) Squadron Royal New Zealand Air Force
Nationality: New Zealand
Details: 29th September 1941 Age 23 Son of George and Alice Manwell Broadley; husband of Agnes J Broadley of Port Chalmers Otago New Zealand Row?B

And so after some 70 years people still care, and honour those who lost their lives in the war against nazism.

There is a photo of John's grave in St. Catherine's Churchyard on-line but the people who host the photo have decided to watermark it with a copyright logo, and charge people a excessive fee for a non-watermarked copy. 

I will leave my comments on their actions unrecorded, but they are in a marked contrast to my admiration for Sally Higgins 


  1. Sadly Sally Higgins (my sister) died in January 2012, but to the end she thought about 'her boys' as she called them... she was a remarkable lady and will be sorely missed.

  2. I very often sit beside those very graves as I tend and place flowers on the opposite row of fallen airmen, however 'my boys' are of post war and cold war era's.