Family History, Fairlawn Park - Anset

The History of Sydenham from Cippenham to present day. Links to photos especially welcome!

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Family History, Fairlawn Park - Anset

Post by KittieRox » 5 Jul 2016 17:24

I have been conducting genealogical research on my family for several years now and was wondering if anyone possibly be able to help point me in the right direction.

I have an indirect ancestor named Douglas Campbell Anset. He was born in 1920 in London to Ernest Anset and Elizabeth (nee Campbell). The family lived at 19 Fairlawn Park. Douglas was reputedly very talented on the piano and had an excellent tenor voice, he eventually left the street to study and Cambridge University. He joined the RAF and was a member of the 156 Squadron until his plane was lost without a trace in 1943.

My main reason for posting is to enquire if anyone would know of anywhere that could possibly have a photograph of him - I have contacted the RAF archives and a copy of an obituary that was published in an Raf magazine - and despite numerous emails to archives I am yet to locate a photo. Im sure there must be one out there somewhere as I have photos of all of his contemporaries.

I also have a newspaper article which states that he was meant to participate in the 1943 Empire Youth Service at St Mary's Church.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated

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Re: Family History, Fairlawn Park - Anset

Post by marymck » 6 Jul 2016 19:51

Hi KittieRox

Good luck in your quest to find a photo of your gallant ancestor. As I'm sure you know (but some other readers may not) 156 was a Pathfinder squadron (Motto: We light the way"). In other words, the bravest of the brave. Not only had Squadron Leader Anset been awarded the DFC, but three other crew members on that final fatal flight were also DFCs (though one was sadly a posthumous award.)

You may have already tried these sources ...

1. The Bomber Command records include a large number of photographs, as does the Imperial War Museum. (Are you London based?) You need Bomber Command No.8 (Pathfinder Force) Group records.

2. I don't know whether he's still with us, but Michael Wadsworth wrote the definitive history of 156 Squadron. He may well have more information/photographs. He was the Chaplain to the Pathfinder Association. I think they are now disbanded but if you contact RAF Wyton's Education Department, I think they now have the Association's records and could put you in touch with Michael Wadsworth. 156 was both formed and disbanded at Wyton so,although 156 was based at Warboys in 43, Wyton may well have their own stock of photos too.

Failing that, you could try the RAF Chaplain's Association for a contact for Rev Wadsworth. I don't think he was RAF himself, but am sure they would know him.

3. Douglas Campbell Anset, as you probably know, was posted in to 156 from 100 Squadron in July 43.100 Squadron (Never stir up a hornet's nest) is still extant and based at RAF Leeming. It's worth talking to them to see what they have of his time there.

I'm probably teaching you to suck eggs, as you've already found out so much. Please forgive me if so.

I've been in a Lancaster. (Sadly not in flight.) It's cramped, uncomfortable and at that time of year, on a night flight to Berlin (as that final mission was), freezing cold (some gunners got frost bite), deafened by those four huge Merlin engines, being shot at ... I can't begin to imagine a tenth of a tenth of what they felt.

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Re: Family History, Fairlawn Park - Anset

Post by marymck » 6 Jul 2016 20:31

Ps Do you have or know the whereabouts of his medal group?

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Re: Family History, Fairlawn Park - Anset

Post by leenewham » 12 Jul 2016 09:48

You may find this interesting:

Here is a picture of his grave: ... id=1082862

There is a picture of Douglas Campbell Anset at the top of this page as a boy who was born in 1920, but you will have to pay to find out more. ... 3+ln.Anset

I hope that helps (I live in the same road). It's worth looking at the Sydenham Facebook pages too as quite a few ex Fairlawn Park residents post there.

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