|Pilot Officer Peter Hilary Pomeroy SIMONDS|
207 (Bomber) Squadron, Royal Air Force
Date of birth: 8th January 1910
Date of death: 25th August 1934
Killed on active service aged 24
|Peter Hilary Pomeroy Simonds was born in Berkshire on the 8th of January 1910 the youngest son of Gerald Pomeroy Simonds, a partner of Barclays Bank in Reading, and Marianne (nee Cornish) Simonds of West Wood Farm, Finchampstead.
He was educated at Lancing College where he was in Seconds House from September 1923 to July 1928. He was a member of the Football XI in 1926 and 1927 and of the Rugby XV in 1928. He was Drum Major of the Officer Training Corps and achieved Certificate A in 1927. He was appointed as a House Captain and was appointed as Head of House in 1927. He was appointed as a Prefect in January 1928.
On leaving school he became a preparatory schoolmaster at Gerard's Cross.
He was granted a short service commission as an Acting Pilot Officer in the Royal Air Force on the 5th of September 1932 and was confirmed in his rank on the 2nd of September 1933. On the 28th of August 1933 he was posted to 207 (Bomber) Squadron, based at Bircham Newton, King's Lynn in Norfolk.
In August 1934 Peter Simonds travelled to Blakeney to celebrate his friend, Nicholas Cooke's 21st birthday and checked in to the Anchor Inn at Morston. On the 25th of August 1934 Miles M2 Hawk G-ACKI owned and flown by George Joseph Armstrong-Evans, landed at Blakeney Golf Links. With a number of children playing in the area, permission was sought to move the aircraft to Ellis Turner's field at Morston and Peter Simonds offered to direct the pilot on the journey. Shortly after taking off, the aircraft crashed on the approach to Morston airfield near Blakeney in Norfolk killing Peter Simonds. George Armstrong-Evans was critically injured and, after receiving first aid at the scene from a Dr. Kay, was taken to Cromer Hospital where he eventually recovered from his injuries.
Eyewitness, Marcus Wainwright who was playing with his older brother nearby, recalled the event some years later: - "We saw a very bright blue plane fly across the marshes and land on the Point sands between the Pit and Point. Some time a little later it took off and flew towards us over the marshes, losing height and then crashing in a field about a hundred yards from our caravan. Both my parents were nearby and rushed over to help. My mother was a nurse and immediately went into professional mode and rendered first aid. There were two occupants. Both were very seriously hurt. My father went to get further help while my mother did what she could for one of the injured and then attended the other who shortly after died in her arms."
An inquest into the accident was held at the Anchor Hotel.
His funeral was held at Finchampstead at 3pm on the 29th of August.