Collection relating to 415222 Ralph Trenham Bilsby RAAF

Accession Number AWM2020.626.3.4
Collection type Photograph
Object type Print
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain


Group portrait of 43 RAAF trainees with 24 signatures on the back of the print. Ralph Trenham Bilsby is identified, front row, left. Bilsby, of Collie, WA, and a garage mechanic and coal miner before his enlistment in August 1941, trained as a pilot as part of the Empire Air Training Scheme. He was posted to No. 142 Squadron RAF, flying Wellington bombers in Tunisia. He was with the squadron for less than a month before he was killed during an operational sortie over Italy on 22 July 1943, aged 21. The positions of the men who signed the print are unknown. Following are the transcriptions of the signatures and their probable identifications in brackets: J Campbell (415227 John Samuel McClelland Campbell, accidently killed 6 August 1944, Adelaide River NT, No 2 Squadron); J Delany (415238 John Desmond Delany); W A Cooper (415230 Warren Arthur Cooper); S Goddard (415246 Sydney James Goddard); W Bateman (415232 William Edward Maxell 'Jerry' Bateman); R G Godfrey (415247 Richard Gerard Godfrey, killed on operations 8 June 1944, France, No. 622 Sqn RAF); R A Douglas (415239 Ronald Albert Neale Douglas); A E Daley (415236 Arthur Eric Daley); J Coram (415231 Jack Robert Coram); A K Crooks (415234 Arthur Keith Crooks); F Burbidge (415226 Frank Burbidge); E A Brown (415225 Eric Andrew Brown); T L Awcock (406988 Terence Lansdowne Awcock, killed during flying battle, 12 Sep 1944, NW Europe, No. 44 Sqn RAF); A Gibbons (415245 Arthur Leonard Gibbons, killed during flying battle, 28 Jul 1943, Netherlands, No. 467 Sqn); R T Boultbee (415223 Richard Townshend Boultbee); J A Bradley (415224 James Bradley, accidently killed, 27 April 1943, east coast Australia, No. 32 Sqn); W F Cordingly (415233 William Frank Cordingly); P Bateman (415221 Peter Hammond Lindsey Bateman); J W Fisher (415244 John William Fisher, Killed on operations over Germany, 15 February 1944, No. 424 Sqn RCAF); A S Dunnill (415240 Alan Scott Dunnill); ? Greenham (415248 Laurence Henry Greenham); H R Dunstan (415241 Henry Robert Dunstan); G Croot (415235 Gilbert Croot) and R J Dawson.