Royal Air Force

Volunteer Reserve

166 Squadron

Died 13th June 1944

Aged 21

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

In Memory of

1273637, 166 Sqdn.,
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
who died age 21 on 13 June 1944

Son of Elister and Winnifred Ross;
husband of Marjorie Ross, of McAdam,
New Brunswick, Canada.

Remembered with honour


Initial research by
Mr Brian and Mrs Maxine Crossland


Ian Murray Ross was the son of Elister and Winnifred Ross.( Commonwealth war Graves Information ). As all their names are very Scottish it was assumed that Ian had come south to work. But farther searches found a marriage between an Allister M. Ross and a Winifred L. Sedgwick in South Stoneham, Hampshire in the July to September quarter of 1922.

There is also a birth, registered in the January to March quarter of 1923, for an Ian M. Ross, also in South Stoneham, Hampshire.

Also a daughter, Sheila, in Andover in 1925. These records are not proven but do fit datewise and agree with local memories of the family. During the war Elister is remembered locally as being a policeman at Brize Norton


Ian enlisted in the 166 Squadron Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. As was usual, he was sent to one of the three purpose built training camps on the eastern seaboard of Canada but travelled there and back by sea. During those months he met Marjorie James. They were married on the 4th of September 1943, in the Macadam Parish of York County, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Canada. Although Ian returned to England he did not tell his parents of his marriage.

He died on his first flying mission.

His wife was informed of his death and then had to tell his parents, not only of his marriage but also of the loss of their son.

166 Squadron.


No. 166 Squadron went through two incarnations during the Second World War. It had reformed around A Flight of No.97 Squadron in 1936, but by the start of the war had become a training unit. It continued to carry out this role until it merged with No.97 Squadron on 6 April 1940 to form No.10 OTU.

(Operational Training Unit at Abingdon)


No.166 was reformed for the second time on 27th January 1943 from detachments of No.142 and No.150 squadrons, this time as an operational night bomber squadron. The squadron flew the Vickers Wellington until the spring of 1943 and then converted to the Avro Lancaster, which it flew until the end of the war.


The standard crew of a Lancaster was seven strong, consisting of a pilot, navigator, flight engineer, wireless operation, two gunners and the bomb aimer, who also operated the front turret.


Avro Lancaster : The Lancaster could carry a heavy bomb load, but more importantly its 33 foot bomb bay was a single undivided unit, and could carry the increasingly large bombs used by Bomber Command during the war – the standard Lancaster Mk I was eventually able to carry the 12,000lb Tallboy bomb within the bay. The only real change required to carry the larger bombs was the use of bulged bomb bays.



Improvements in technology did result in some changes to the appearance of the Lancaster. 1943 saw the introduction of downward looking H2S radar, a navigational aid that could identify built-up areas. The aerials connected to H2S were contained in a pear-shaped radome below the rear fuselage. A more short lived addition was backwards pointing radar, codenamed Monica, designed to help detect incoming night fighters. This had to be abandoned after it was discovered that the Germans were homing in on the radar signals.



EPE GENERAL CEMETERY Gelderlands, Netherlands. Epe is a small town about 14 kilometres north of Apeldoorn on the main road to Zwolle. The cemetery is on the western outskirts of the town, on the southern side of the road to Nunspeet.

The 21 war graves are in the south-western corner.


ROSS, Peter Murray Head Married M 46 1865 Merchant Textile Sutherlandshire Resident ROSS, Edith Kate Wife Married

14 years F 44 1867 France Dornoch Resident ROSS, Allister Murray Son M 13 1898 School London Putney

ROSS, Vera Edith Daughter F 11 1900 School London Putney

ROSS, George William Norman Son M 7 1904 School London Putney

ROSS, Muriel Jessie Daughter F 4 1907 Surrey Woking

SANSON, Elizabeth Mother-In-Law Widow F 70 1841 Derbyshire Chesterfields

GEARING, Ellen Rosina Servant Single F 24 1887 Cook Domestic Kent Dartford

JOHNSTON, Jeannie Simpson Servant Single F 27 1884 Housemaid Domestic Edinburgh



Marriages Sep 1922

ROSS Allister M Sedgwick S.Stoneham 2c 304 SEDGWICK Winifred L Ross S.Stoneham 2c 304


Births Mar 1923

ROSS Ian M Sedgwick S.Stoneham 2c 134


Births Mar 1925

Ross Sheila C M Sedgwick Andover 2c 397


These sites cover the ox18 area of Oxfordshire England, including  the following villages, OX18, Alvescot, Bampton, Black Bourton, Burford, Broadwell, Carterton, Clanfield, Kelmscott, Kencot, Langford, Lechlade, RAF Broadwell, Shilton, Parish Pump, Oxfordshire Events,