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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

William Robert Merrall

In memory of:

Flying Officer William Robert Merrall

May 16, 1944

The North Sea

Military Service


Service Number:

J/23905

Age:

22

Force:

Air Force

Unit:

Royal Canadian Air Force

Division:

625 Sqdn.

Additional Information


Son of Frederick Thomas Merrall and Olive Ellen Merrall, of Leaside, Ontario.

Commemorated on Page 393 of the Second World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page.

Burial Information


Cemetery:

RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL
Surrey, United Kingdom

Grave Reference:

Panel 247.

Location:

During the Second World War more than 116,000 men and women of the Air Forces of the British Commonwealth gave their lives in service. More than 17,000 of these were members of the Royal Canadian Air Force, or Canadians serving with the Royal Air Force. Approximately one-third of all who died have no known grave. Of these, 20,450 are commemorated by name on the Runnymede Memorial, which is situated at Englefield Green, near Egham, 32 kilometres by road west of London. The design of the Runnymede Memorial is original and striking. On the crest of Cooper's Hill, overlooking the Thames, a square tower dominates a cloister, in the centre of which rests the Stone of Remembrance. The cloistered walks terminate in two lookouts, one facing towards Windsor, and the other towards London Airport at Heathrow. The names of the dead are inscribed on the stone reveals of the narrow windows in the cloisters and the lookouts. They include those of 3,050 Canadian airmen. Above the three-arched entrance to the cloister is a great stone eagle with the Royal Air Force motto, Per Ardua ad Astra". On each side is the inscription:
IN THIS CLOISTER ARE RECORDED THE NAMES OF TWENTY THOUSAND AIRMEN WHO HAVE NO KNOWN GRAVE. THEY DIED FOR FREEDOM IN RAID AND SORTIE OVER THE BRITISH ISLES AND THE LANDS AND SEAS OF NORTHERN AND WESTERN EUROPE In the tower a vaulted shrine, which provides a quiet place for contemplation, contains illuminated verses by Paul H. Scott."

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

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  • Inscription– Inscription - Runnymede Memorial - September 2010 … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Stone of Remembrance– Stone of Remembrance - Runnymede Memorial - September 2010 … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Runnymede Memorial– Runnymede Memorial - September 2010 … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Panels– Panels - Runnymede Memorial - September 2010 … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Entrance to Memorial– Entrance - Runnymede Memorial - September 2010 … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Memorial– Flying Officer William Robert Merrall is also commemorated on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Memorial– Flying Officer William Robert Merrall is also commemorated on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Memorial– Father J P Lardie's comments as inscribed on the Bomber Command Memorial Wall in Nanton, AB … photo courtesy of Marg Liessens
  • Group Photo– Photo and story courtesy of Air War Over Denmark www.flensted.eu.com

Photo of crew members:
Rear L to R: F/S (AG) F. N. McDonough RAAF, F/S (BA) H. R. Lawson RCAF, Sgt. (W/Op) E. Wilkinson, Sgt.(FE) Albert Dix
Front Row L to R: F/O (N) Merrall RCAF, P/O (P) Robert Beadle, Sgt. (AG) James Potter.

 Lancaster I LL894 of 625 (RAF) Sqn took off 22:02 from Kelstern on Gardening (Mining) operation to Kiel Bay. The aircraft is believed to have been shot down by a night fighter at 01:53 hours and crashed into the North Sea 60 kilometres WNW of Westerland/Sylt killing the crew.

The body of Sgt Dix was found washed ashore on the island of Fanø on 14/6.
He was laid to rest in Fovrfelt cemetery in Esbjerg on 19/6-44.
The bodies of the remainder of the crew were unrecovered and their names are on the Runnymede War Memorial.

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