Rank & Name: W/C GCC Bartlett AFC
Date of Death: 05/03/2010


Geoffrey Bartlett was educated at Allhallows School in Honiton, Devon between 1921-29. After leaving Allhallows he worked for his fathers Estate Office whilst studying towards his finals for the Chartered Surveyors Instituation. However his studies were interupted when in 1936, he was granted a Short Service Commission (4 years) as a pilot in the RAF.

He went to No.8 Flying School in Montrose, Scotland where he earnt his wings, passing out 3rd in the list of 28 officer pupils. He and the other top 6 in the class were posted to 224 Sqn (Coastal Command). Flight Global (dated May 20 1937) makes mention of GCC Bartlett being posted to 224 (Coastal Command - general reconnaissance) Sqn effective as of 24th of April 1937. In june 1937, 224 was the first RAF Squadron to be fitted out with the new Lockheed Hudson bomber.

Whilst with 224 he was selected to complete a course at Heston, British Airways School on the Lockheed to become a qualified trainer of pilots and cews from other squadrons converting from the Anson to the Hudson. He and the other trainers became known as 'The Hudson Circus".

The day after war was declared in Sept. 1939, Geoffrey and his fiance Christina Beveridge (spinster of Dundee) were married. He was detached from 224 when the "Circus" moved to the Thornaby and then onto Silloth. Christina gave birth to baby Judith on the 8th Oct. 1940 at Silloth. He reached the rank of S/L with 224 Sqn and took command of 'B' flight before the end of 1941. He was sent out on a Hudson mission the day of the Channel Dash, but like all others, was unable to make contact. In march of 1942, 224 moved back to RAF Limvady were his son Derry was born on April 8th (224 were at the time detached to the Isle of Tiree, the first squadron to take residence there).

Promoted to W/C in June of 1942, along with the command of 59 Sqn (successor of W/C Niven who had been killed in May 1942) and shortly after taking command of the squadron, W/C Bartlett (with a scratch crew) led 11 other 59 Sqn aircraft and crews on a strike op' on the Deschimag U-boat yards as an auxillary attack during the Millenium II - Thousand Bomber raid on Bremen.

He was serving C/O during the height of 59 Sqn operations and this level of conduct, skill and achievement was maintained for the rest of the war. He was affiliated with the squadron for far longer than any other C/O during the period of hostilities. After Bartlett was posted to No.111 OTU in the Bahamas (for his operational rest as Chief Instructor) in late 1943, after which he requested that many squadron members be stationed there to finish of thier tour as trainers. I see this as a credit to the quality of skill 59 airmen possessed and it appears that Bartlett recognised this too.

Post war, Geoffrey held various positions during his service career including a posting to the Sir Ministry in Adastral House, London as head of the Manning Branch M5 and to No.4 FTS Heany, in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) as W/C Admin in 1948. After various posting in Sept. 1959, he reitred from active service. After several unsuccessful attempts at gaining civilian employment, Geoffrey was accepted by the Ministry of Air as a civil servant. He worked for the Ministry of Defence and in 1968 on the "Angl-French Helicopter" projects, translating highly technical French documents for the benefit of the Project Officers. Geoffrey retired from civil service on the 30th of June 1977.

Unfortunately, the joys of retirement were short lived after his wife of 39 years suffered a heart attack in August 1978 and was unable to recover, passing on in early Oct of the same year. Christina passed away on the eve of her 63rd birthday.

W/C Geoffrey C.C. Bartlett AFC passed away at the age of 97, on the 5th of March, 2010. May he rest in peace.


Further Information

I was contacted by Harry Ree on the ww2talk forum and sent a copy of W/C Bartlett's obituary. I then contacted Lincoln Crematorium who graciously passed on my a message to the family. I have since been in contact with Andy Shaw (the grandson of W/C Bartlett) who sent me a short history of his RAF Service before and after the war and also the portrait above. My thanks and appreciation to Andy for taking the time to get in touch and his contributions to the site.


ORB notes:
13.4.43 - W/C G.C.C Bartlett, A.F.C, posted to RAF Station Aldergrove, supernumerary pending posting overseas, w.e.f - 7.7.43.



Rest In Peace