Battle of Britain London Monument – F/O H J S Beazley

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Privacy Statement The Airmen’s Stories – F/O H J S Beazley


Hugh John Sherard Beazley was born on 18th July 1916, the son of Sir Hugh Beazley, a senior judge. He was educated at Cheltenham College and Pembroke College, Oxford where he read History. He played rugby for Richmond. A member of the University Air Squadron, Beazley transferred to the RAFVR in December 1937 and was called up on 1st September 1939. After completing his training he was posted to 249 Squadron when it reformed at Church Fenton on 16th May 1940.

On 8th July Beazley shared in shooting down Ju88 5J + AT of 9/KG4 which came down at Hornsea, Yorkshire. The squadron moved south in early August and Beazley claimed a Me109 destroyed on 8th August. He was shot down in flames in combat over Rochester on 2nd September by a Me110 of 5/ZG26. He baled out over Gillingham and landed in Boxleywood. His Hurricane, P2988, crashed near Rainham on Eccles Recreation Ground.

On 7th September Beazley shared a Me110 and destroyed a Do17 on the 15th. In combat with Me110’s on 27th September he received a bullet wound in the foot, he was able to return to North Weald but did not fly again during the Battle. He spent five months under treatment.


He had returned to 249 when in May 1941 it sailed for Malta, arriving there on the 21st, having flown off HMS Ark Royal. On 8th June Beazley shared a probable BR20, on 21st December he damaged a Me109 and on 26th December he assumed command of 249 when the CO was wounded. On 19th January 1942 Beazley’s Hurricane, BV174, was hit by ground fire during a strike on Comiso airfield and he made a crash-landing back at Luqa. He was posted away from the squadron on 16th February 1942, having been in continuous action for 10 months, flying 215 operational sorties from Malta.

After serving on Air Marshal Tedder’s staff Beazley returned to operations in December 1942, flying Beaufighters. He was posted to 89 Squadron in North Africa and went with it to SE Asia in October 1943. He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 7th March 1944) and appointed to command the operational airfield at Minneriya in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). In order to continue flying he refused further promotion and moved to Transport Command, flying Dakotas in Europe, the Middle and Far East. Beazley was released from the RAF in 1946 as a Wing Commander.

He joined the Colonial Office and was posted to Nigeria where he served for 10 years, rising to become Senior Resident. He then took articles as a chartered accountant, qualifying in 1960 and holding the position of finance director with the BET group until his retirement in 1981. Beazley was a trustee and treasurer of the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust and played a major role in establishing the memorial at Capel-Le-Ferne.

Beazley died on 13th June 2011, survived by his wife Mary, two sons and a daughter.


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