Robert Philip Marks

Flight Engineer, 426 (Thunderbird) Squadron
Service number 161746
Died 16 December 1943
Buried Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery, Yorkshire
Age 22

Headstone Inscription
‘GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN BY HIS MUM AND DAD BROTHER SAM AND FIANCEE EDNA’


Robert was born on 15 October 1921 in Whitechapel, London to Moss and Sarah née Cohen and had an older brother Samuel. Their parents married in 1909 in The Synagogue, Stepney Green and Moss worked as a boot clicker and Sarah was a dressmaker. In 1916 Moss enlisted in the Royal Army Service Corps and served in the ambulance section.

In 1939, the family lived at 143 Ordnance Road, West Ham where Robert and his father Moss worked as boot and shoe fitter and cutters.

Robert was the flight engineer on Lancaster DS837 which departed RAF Linton-on-Ouse on a night operation to Berlin. On its return the aircraft crashed at 23.45 in bad weather at near Yearsley, north of York killing all the crew who were Canadian.

On Robert’s headstone it states fiancée Edna. Edna King was a WAAF airframe fitter based at RAF Cranfield. In the months before Robert’s death he had struck up a relationship with Edna, but Robert was later posted north and away from her. He was due to be on leave at Christmas 1943 and his girlfriend was expecting to be visiting her. Sadly this never happened because of the accident at Yearsley and Miss King later married another gentleman. On the day of the memorial service she was completely unaware of any arrangements but contacted her cousin in Yorkshire to ask him to look into the where-abouts of Robert’s grave and came across these webpages. In July 2011 Edna Blunt visited the memorial at Yearsley and, for the first time in 68 years, the grave of Robert Marks. She believed that Robert was planing to ask her to marry him at Christmas 1943 but that never happened. Her name is mentioned on the foot of his grave probably as he contacted his parents to tell them of his intentions but they never met Edna and did not realise the he had not gone through with his plans before his death. In the weeks after the memorial dedication service Edna visited Yearsley, Linton on Ouse airfield and Harrogate Stonefall Cemetery. Courtesy www.yorkshire-aircraft.co.uk (yorkshire-aircraft.co.uk)