Flight Sergeant Eric John Coe1939-1945 War: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died: 24 Sep 1944 Age: 23
Tower: Reigate Society: Surrey Association
CWGC Grave/Memorial: Calais Southern Cemetery -- Plot S. Grave 10.
- Casualty Number: 2214602
- Casualty Details: (Link by permission of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission)
Initials written in Memorial Book as "F".
After leaving Reigate he was later a member of the band at Wanstead and the Essex Association.
Born 2nd quarter 1921. Son of Eric George Clifford Coe and Frances Ellen Coe (nee Spencer), of 53 Redbridge Lane, Ilford, Essex. John, as he was known, learnt to ring, along with his younger brother, Frank, while they were both choral scholars at Reigate Grammar school, Surrey. They were taught by Reigate ringer, George F. Hoad during 1935 and John's diaries, which were featured in an article in the Ringing World, 29/08/1997 by Frank Warboys, give great detail of his ringing career including the failures along with the successes. He rang his first peal, ringing the third to Plain Bob Major at Redhill, Surrey on 26/02/1938 conducted by Walter Claydon, the band included well known ringers Charles Kippin, Jesse Kippin, Daniel Cooper along with Leonard Lobb who also rang his first peal that day. This was soon followed by a peal at Beddington, Plain Bob Royal, on 09/04/1938, again conducted by Walter Claydon. His next peal was in Essex, ringing Kent TB Royal at Prittlewell on 05/11/1938 and a number of Essex Association peals followed, including a further peal at Prittlewell and other peals at Great Holland, Hatfield Broad Oak, Harlow Common, Havering atte Bower, Leyton, Romford, Wanstead, Woodford (2 peals) and Writtle. The peal at Great Holland, on 01/07/1939, was his last peal, ringing the third to Yorkshire Surprise Major conducted by John H. Crampion. He was elected a member of the Essex Association in 1938 and also became a member of the Ancient Society of College Youths in that year. He is recorded as having being ringing at St. Ives, Huntingdonshire, on both 16/06/1944 and 21/06/1944 while serving with the RAF. He was aboard Avro Lancaster NF914 which took off from RAF Skellingthorpe at 1722 hours on 24/09/1944, it was hit by flak and crashed into the sea off Calais, all those aboard were killed, but it appears that Eric John Coe's body was washed ashore and buried locally. He is remembered on the Essex Association WWII War memorial in Chelmsford Cathedral and on the Reigate Grammar school WWII War memorial.