To honour those who served their country

“In this their finest hour”



Flight Sergeant

Reginald John Louis Larwood


Royal Air Force



By Wendy Wallace

I was first able to trace Reg at Seletar, one of the five airfields that were situated on the Island of Singapore.

If you look at a map of the island, you will see, that, it is shaped roughly like a lozenge. Changi airfield, which later achieved notoriety as a Japanese Prisoner of War Camp, was on the Eastern-most tip of the Island. Kallang was on the southern tip, almost in the city itself, and situated across the top of the island, nearest to mainland were, from West to East, Tengah, Sembawang, and Seletar.

It was at this last station that Ron was based, in May 1941, this was 7 months before the Japanese War broke out in December of that year.

The Squadron had just changed its aptly named Short Singapore Flying Boats, for the American Consolidated Catalina aircraft, which were amphibious, being able to take off and land from the sea, or airfield runways. It carried a crew of up to 10 men, of whom five could man the machine gun positions.

Reg was a Sergeant Wireless Operator/ Air Gunner, but I have been unable to ascertain where he carried out his training.

He had arrived at Singapore sometime prior to May 1941, and during that month (on 26th) embarked on a sllip taking a Squadron detachment to Ceylon. After spending sometime there he went on to the Seychelles, still with the Squadron, to be based at Fort Victoria.

At this tune it was believed there were several German Navy ships and U-boats, operating in the Indian Ocean, and that a small island called Chagos, some 900 miles to the East of the Seychelles, was being used as a fuelling depot by the German Navy.

At 2205 hours on July 23rd 1941, Catalina FV-U, took off, from Fort Victoria, to carry out a night flying operation to Cllagos.

On board were :-



Flight Lieutenant

Young - Captain and Pilot


Flying Officer

Grieve - Navigator



Lyon - Radio Operator



Bishop - Radio Operator


Flight Sergeant

Williamson - Engineer



Larwood - Wireless Operator / Air Gunner








Leading Aircraftman



Aircraftman 2nd Class


At about 2220 hours, the aircraft, which was going to carry out a low level search, hit the water, bursting into flames.

Extensive searches were made by both Royal Navy boats and Fleet Air Arm units, but, in the Service language, "No survivors were verified."

Thus, 10 young men made the "Supreme Sacrifice" for their country and all having a resting place known only "Unto God", are commemorated on the Runnymede RAF Memorial, with all their comrades who have no known grave.



Age 21

23rd July 1941


Loved Ones

Son of Louis George and Harriett Sophie Larwood, of Cromer, Norfolk



Singapore Memorial-4

Column 409



''Our Thanks are for being a Chapter in Life.''




Keeping The Candle Burning


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