Rank & Name: Sgt John Carey Woodcock
Date of Death: 23/11/1940


(back L-R) Gracie Woodcock, John Woodcock, Kathleen and Billy Morgan, (front) William Woodcock.

In late 1940, John's mother Gracie was contacted by F/Sgt.George Wood (observer with 59 Squadron) and by the wife of his Captain/pilot, P/O Jack Beelaerts van Blokland. Follow the links to view the letters sent to Gracie.

Sgt John Carey Woodcock was Observer, when he and his crew were lost. view details

He flew with the same crew during the Battle of Britain.

Update May 2015: Have recently been contacted by Robert Cattle, nephew of Sgt Woodcock. He kindly sent in the following details and the picture of John. Thank you Robert.

"Sgt. John Carey Woodcock, Observer, RAF. (RAF Reg. No. 580991).

John was the son of Spencer and Gracie Woodcock. John was born 26th. December 1919. His older sister and brother were Mary and Raymond, his younger brother was William.

He must have joined the Royal Air Force in 1939 after the outbreak of the war with Germany in that year. John started to fly in Bristol Blenheim bombers in 1940. Until earlier in that year he had been in Sunderland Flying Boats at a number of different bases including Shetland Isles. But he saw an opportunity to fly in "land craft" and he took it.

The families of those who had been lost had hoped for a long time that the crew may have been captured. There were entries in newspaper announcements to the effect that "we await news and we are thinking of you". Mrs Joan Van Blokland wrote to John's mother, Gracie Woodcock, from Andover to express mutual sorrow at their disappearance and the hope of their capture. She had never been apart from her husband for such a long time. Both the Air Ministry and fellow airmen had continued to hope; and they all asked for any information to be passed on. But as time wore on, it became clear that there was to be no return.

John and his fellow crew members' names are recorded In Memoriam at the Runnymede memorial to those lost airmen of no known grave.

John was but a month from his 21st birthday...

Tribute To John: Robert has compiled John's letters home to family along with other information. Download the PDF (1mb) here.


The Woodcock Family 1927: Spencer, Raymond, Mary (Robert's mother), Jonathon, Gracie & William.


Further Information - Robert Cattle

John at the controls of an Avro Anson - Flying training?

Nephew & Uncle : Robert & John - July 1940





Awardee of the Battle of Britain Clasp - Although entitlement was revoked by the Air Ministry in 1960 (read more)


Rest In Peace