Battle of Britain London Monument – S/Ldr. G R Edge

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Privacy Statement The Airmen’s Stories – S/Ldr. G R Edge

 

Gerald Richmond Edge was born at Codsall, Staffordshire on 24th September 1913. He attended Oundle School from 1927 to 1931, after which he went into the family metal business. In 1936 he joined 605 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force and was commissioned in July.

 

Above: Edge (right) with another pilot of 605 Squadron

 

Called up on 24th August 1939, Edge was serving with 605 at Wick when it saw its first action, in defence of Scapa Flow. On 10th April 1940 he damaged three He111’s and on 9th May he shared in the destruction of a Do17.

The squadron moved south to Hawkinge on 21st May for operations over France. On the 22nd Edge claimed a Me109 probably destroyed and possibly another damaged, on the 23rd he damaged a He111 and two Me109’s, on the 25th three Ju87’s and a Me109 destroyed and a Ju87 damaged, on the 26th a Ju88 destroyed, another possibly destroyed and a Me110 damaged and on the 27th one Do17 destroyed and another shared.

After suffering heavy casualties 605 returned north on the 28th to reequip at Drem. Edge was appointed ‘A’ Flight Commander on 21st June. Promoted to Acting Squadron Leader he went to Kenley on 5th September 1940 to command 253 Squadron.

On the 7th Edge claimed two He111’s destroyed and another damaged, on the 9th he claimed four Ju88’s destroyed and on the 11th a Me109 and two He111’s destroyed and probably another.

He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 13th September 1940).

On the 15th he destroyed a Do17 and a Ju88. Edge was himself shot down in Hurricane P2958 in an action over the Channel on the 26th.

His Hurricane was hit from the rear at close range and burst into flames. He baled out at 23000 ft. and was rescued by a fisherman nine miles off Dungeness. He baled out, was picked up by a boat and admitted to Willsborough Hospital, Ashford.

Edge was posted to RAF Kenley on 5th October as non-effective sick, with effect from 29th September. He rejoined 253 Squadron on 14th November as a supernumerary for flying duties. He relinquished his rank of Acting Squadron Leader on again being non-effective sick. He was still suffering from the burns inflicted on the 26th September.

On 5th December 1940 Edge returned to 605 Squadron, then at Croydon, to take command. He led the squadron until September 1941 when he was posted overseas to form and command 73 OTU at Aden, as Wing Commander CFI. He later went to Egypt, becoming SASO at the Western Desert Air Force Control Centre.

In July 1943 Edge went back to the UK and took command of 84 Group Control Centre, moving later to France, as a Group Captain.

Edge was made an OBE (gazetted 1st January 1945) and took up an appointment at the Air Ministry.

He was released from the RAF later in the year, as a Group Captain. He went farming in Kenya but returned to England to live in retirement. In 1963 he settled at Pinhills Farm, Inkberrow, in Worcestershire where he bred a prize-winning Jersey herd.

He died in 2000.

His portrait was made by Cuthbert Orde (below).

 

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