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Rolls-Richards, Thomas Essery

1939 - 1945 Star
1939 - 1945
Star
1939 - 1945 War Medal
1939 - 1945
War Medal
 
Lieutenant (A) Thomas Essery Rolls-Richards
Died on Monday 7th October 1940, aged 38
 
765 Sqdn. H.M.S. Daedalus, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
 
 
Commemorated:Lee-on-Solent Memorial
Bay 1, Panel 6
 

Thomas "Tim" Essery Rose-Richards was born in Mayals near Swansea, Glamorganshire on 6th June 1902 to ? and ? (née ?).

He became a successful and wealthy stockbroker.

Thomas, known as Tim, was an accomplished motor racing driver. He entered Le Mans five times finishing third place with Sanders-Davis in 1931, third again with the Hon. Brian Lewis in 1932, both times driving a Talbot, and yet another third place in 1933 with Brian Lewis in an Alfa Romeo 8C 2300.

He was second in the 1933 Mannin Moar in a 2.3 Bugatti and third in the RAC Tourist Trophy of that year with an Alfa-Romeo behind Tazio Nuvolari and Hugh Caulfield Hamilton. He drove Bugatti, Talbot and Alfa-Romeo cars in many classic events in 1934, including finishing 4th in the Dieppe GP with a Bugatti T51.

In 1935 he was third at the Eifel Voiturette GP at the Nurburgring with ERA R1A one of the the first major European successes for ERA. He also partnered John Cobb in the Napier-Railton, both when it won the 500 Mile Race at 121.38 m.p.h. and when it took records at Bonneville Flats. Tim won a coveted BRDC Gold Star in 1935, and is remembered in the BRDC Hall of Fame at Brooklands. Motor Sport magazine said of him: "Tim" Rose-Richards raced in a big way for the fun of the thing, and anyone who will do that merits our warm respect. After winning the Brooklands 500-mile race in 1935, he retired from racing.

At the start of the war, Thomas was living in The Old Farm House, Merryhill Green. On 2nd October 1939 Thomas joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and was commisioned as a sub-lieutenant and pilot in the Fleet Air Arm. A few months later he was given a temporary promotion to Lieutenant, on the 23rd March 1940. He served at H.M.S. Daedalus with 765 Squadron, which flew the Supermarine Walrus, a single-engined flying-boat, used as a search & rescue and reconnaissance aeroplane.

On 7 October 1940, during the Battle of Britain, a German Bomber was forced down in the English Channel. Thomas and Lieutenant Michael Covernton Hoskins were sent to rescue the downed crew in their Supermarine Walrus. As they prepared for landing their aircraft was raked by machine-gun fire from a German Heinkel, which sent them spinning into the sea. Thomas and Michael were reported missing 7-8 miles south of Anvil Point lighthouse, Swanage. Neither of their bodies were recovered.

Tim is now commemorated on the Lee-on-Solent Memorial.

 

 

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun, and in morning
We will remember them.
Lawrence Binyon