Monday, 27 April 2015

Holden, John - Sergeant

(No soldier photo available)
49 Sqdn.
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 10 June 1944
Age 18

Sergeant John (Jack) Holders was the wireless operator/Air Gunner on a Lancasterr bomber which took off at 21.36 hours from Fiskerton, Lincolnshire, to take part in a bombing raid on the railway junction at Etampes, east of Rouen, France. Six aircraft, including Jack's, were shot down by German night-fighters. The Lancaster crashed two kilometres north of Rosay-sur-Lieure, which itself is nine kilometres north of Ecouis. Six of the seven crew, including Jack, were killed.

Jack was the son of Thomas Edward and Mary Holders. He was aged 18. He first attended St.John's, Stonefold, School, and then went to Haslingden Grammar School. He was a choirboy at St.John's Church.

Jack is buried, with four of his comrades, in Bayeaux War Cemetery, France. One man lies in a French municipal cemetery in Beauvais. Flying Officer P.D. Hemmens became a prisoner of war and died on 18 October 1944 whilst incarcerated in the notorious Buchenwald Concentration Camp. Jack lies in Plot 16, Row C, Grave 10.