Monday, January 16, 2012

February 8-14, 1940

Photographs of two more brothers serving in the armed forces appeared in the popular Advertiser feature, sent in by their father Mr W.J. Hancock of 67 Cricklade road, Swindon. Ernest 19, a former GWR employee, had served in both the Wiltshire Yeomanry and the Royal Artillery, while his elder brother Frederick 30 was in the Navy, having joined as a 15 year old.

The death of a well travelled Swindonian was announced this week in 1940. When Robert, Fred and Theodore Affleck celebrated reaching a combined age of 245 years their story, published in the Advertiser in January 1939 led to the discovery of their long lost brother Frank.

Frank left Swindon before the Great War and the family had subsequently lost touch with him. The 1939 news item revealed that Frank was then very much alive and well and living at his home in Boundary Road, Vancouver. A year later the family announced that Frank had since died.

Conscripts stood little chance of getting into the RAF it was announced as Swindon men in the 23 age group were called up to register this weekend in February 1940.

Although new recruits could state their preference between the three fighting services, they were unlikely to be accepted into the oversubscribed air force without special qualifications, it was announced.

A verdict of accidental death was returned at the inquest of Wilfred Raymond Massey who fell into an empty oil tank in Swindon's GWR oil and grease works.

The tank had been cleaned out and left empty for inspection. Although surrounded by empty drums to protect it, it was thought poor lighting in the workshop caused by the recent fire contributed to the fatal accident.

Two witnesses saw Massey remove one of the drums before falling to his death and it was suggested he was taking a short cut across to a vacuum machine.

Massey aged 41, of 13 Alfred Street, had been employed in the department for 22 months.

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