SAXBY, HERBERT EDWARD
Date of Death:23/12/1940
Regiment/Service:Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 139 Sqdn.
Grave Reference: Square 115. C. of E. Plot. Grave 13.
Chichester Observer - Saturday 04 January 1941
DEATH OF SERGT. H. E. SAXBY. INTERMENT AT CHICHESTER.
Many people in Chichester knew and respected Sergeant Hubert (sic) Edward Saxby, R.A.F., only son of Mr. and Mrs. H. E. Saxby, of 10, St. Martin's Square, the announcement of whose death appeared in our obituary column last week. Born in Chichester, he was 25 years of age, and, previous to the outbreak of war, was a popular member of the staff of Messrs. Byerley & Co. He joined the Volunteer Reserve of the R.A.F. in the Spring of 1939, and was called up for active service on September 1st of that year, since when his record was one of steady advancement.
He was last serving with a squadron stationed in Norfolkshire, and had had considerable experience of night attacks over enemy occupied territory. He was a member of the crew of a Blenheim which got damaged during night flying in the early hours of Christmas Eve. They succeeded in reaching England and looked all like getting back to their base, but an accident occurred which resulted in Sergt. Saxby and two others being killed.
He had been married just over twelve months, his wife having formerly been Miss K. Kewell, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kewell, 14, Clay Lane, Fishbourne. She was on a visit to him, staying at Norwich, at the time of his death, and they were expected at Chichester last Saturday, the Sergeant having obtained a spell of leave.
Instead of the happy family reunion to which they had been looking forward, the young wife got the sad news of her husband's death. From his Wing Commander she received a very sympathetic letter, in the course of which he wrote: "During the three months your husband was in my Squadron he proved himself a most capable and enthusiastic airman. He was an extremely popular member of the Sergeant's Mess, and was respected and liked by his men." To everybody who knew Sergt. Saxby in Chichester these words of his Wing Commander are just what they would have expected to hear of him. Both in civil life and in the Service he had made good.
The R.A.F. at Debden made arrangements for the conveyance of the deceased Sergeant's remains to Chichester, where they were interred at the cemetery on Monday afternoon, with all possible honours. The Rev. D. J. C. Hearn, R.A.F. Chaplain of Tangmere, officiated at the service, and an N.C.O. and six R.A.F. bearers were in attendance, as well as the escort who had accompanied the remains from Debden. Several service wreaths paid further tribute to the esteem in which deceased was held by his comrades.
(Long list of mourners, tributes etc skipped)
The late Sergeant's father is in hospital, and was therefore unable to attend the funeral.