John B Patrick
JOHN BUSBY PATRICK LAC RAF.VR d.28/1/1943 aged 29 1081463
Curiously, the gravestone in the churchyard gives his name as John Busby Patrick, although the burial records give his name as John Bushby Patrick
It has so far proven very difficult to track down any meaningful information about this serviceman, either in his personal life or during the Second World War. Most servicemen's records are still held by the Ministry of Defence, before their release to the National Archives. Sadly, the CWGC records give no information about his parents, so the following details can only be conjecture.
In the church's burial records, his home address was given as Atherton House, Appley Bridge, near Wigan. Interestingly, on 18 August 1943, a Lillian Patrick, aged 80, was buried in the churchyard. Her abode was also given as Atherton House. According to her will, she died a spinster. In the 1881 census, she was living at Grange Farm, Boothstown, with her family, which included William Johnston Patrick, her brother. He too was buried in the churchyard, on 6 March 1945, aged 69. William married Annie Tait Coulter in 1905 and she too is buried at St.Mark's (2 August 1942). Her abode at that time was Atherton House!! The supposition has to be that Lillian was a great-aunt to John Buckley, and that she was living with her brother and his family at Atherton House. The presumption has to be that William J. and Annie Tait could well have been the parents of John Buckley. And yet, curiously, there is no birth record for him!
There is a death record for a John B. Patrick, who was 29, for the first quarter (Jan - Mar) of 1943. Both the age and date are consistent. Furthermore, the death was registered at Aylesbury, not far from RAF Halton, where the Princess Mary's Hospital was based. The hospital housed a Plastic Surgery and Burns Centre during the war and great demands upon the unit meant a huge increase in the number of beds. By the end of the war, more than 20,000 casualties had been treated there.
John Buckley Patrick's name can be found on the website internationalbombercommandcentre.com as a member of 26 OTU Squadron. His date of death, age, service number and the graveyard at St.Mark's are all given. No. 26 OTU was formed in January 1942 at RAF Wing as part of No. 7 Group RAF Bomber Command to train night bomber crews using the Vickers Wellington. It was disbanded in March 1946. RAF Wing was situated to the west of the village of Wing, near Aylesbury, Bucks.
The marriage certificate confirms that he married Florence Hughes at Leigh register office on 15 April 1933. It also shows that his middle name was Bushby, and that he was a general dealer, aged 19. Florence was 21. John's home address was Rixton Old Hall, Rixton with Glazebrook, and his father was William Johnson Patrick. He was buried here on 1 February 1943, and in the burial register his abode was given as Aylesbury, and then Atherton House, Appley Bridge, near Wigan. The reference to Aylesbury is consistent with the details above.
Researched and written by Paul R Speakman