The Airmen’s Stories – P/O R W G Beley
Robert Wilfred Garth Beley was born in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada on 13th December 1919 and moved to Rossland, British Columbia with his parents and three siblings in 1923. He was educated there, being known to his friends as ‘Bunny’ and was known for his prowess in skiing and tennis.
In August 1939 he travelled to England where he joined the Royal Air Force. He trained at 2 FTS, Brize Norton and was commissioned as a Pilot Officer in March 1940. He was posted to 151 Squadron, flying Hurricanes from North Weald, on 14th July 1940.
On 12th August 12 the squadron was engaged with Me109’s over the Channel. Beley was shot down in Hurricane P3304. Though badly injured he baled out and was rescued from the sea. Taken to hospital at RAF Manston he died from his injuries later that day.
He was 20 and is buried in Margate Cemetery, Kent.
Portrait photograph and additional research courtesy of Joyce Austin, Rossland Historical Museum & Archives Association.