Reginald Ernest Farrow was born in south London and came to live in Chelmsford when a young boy. He was educated at Chelmsford's grammar school before working as a clerk for the Essex County Council. He joined the R.A.F. in August 1939, trained in Canada and became a Spitfire pilot. He married in Chelmsford in November 1942 and had a daughter born posthumously. He was killed in July 1944 when engaged in attacking V-1 launch sites. His wife lived in Cramphorn Road, Chelmsford.

Reginald Ernest FARROW, Pilot Officer (Pilot), 501 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Killed in action over Normandy, France

A Chelmsford newspaper reported:

"PILOT WEDS. - At St. Peter's Church on Nov. 19, Sgt.-Pi!ot Reginald Ernest Farrow. R.A.F., of 48 Cramphorn Road, Chelmsford, second son of Mrs. B. Farrow, of Bramley, Surrey, was married to Miss Ruby Margaret Shcad. only daughter of the late Mr. F. Shead and of Mrs. F. Shcad. of 42 Cramphorn Road.

The Rev. Ashley Turner officiated, and Mr. W. Bush was at the orgarn. The bride wore a dress of white satin brocade, with headdress of orange blossom and net. and a bouquet of chrysanthemums and white heather. Her bridesmaids, the Misses Miriam Flack (chief), Joan Monk (cousin of the bride). Doreen Sorrell (cousin of the bridegroom), wore dresses of gold taffeta, and had bouquets of bronze chrysanthemums.

Mr. Ernest R. Sorrell. uncle of the bridegroom, was best man. The bride's going-away costume for a short honeymoon in London was a brown marocain and oyster camel hair coat, the gift of the bridegroom. Before his service with the R.A.F.. the bridegroom was in the offices of the County Accountant. He was educated at the King Edward VI. School."

He was home leave a few days before he was killed, and one of the last things he did was to send cigarettes and write a letter of encouragement to his friend and neighbour, Cpl. Charles Buddie, in hospital recovering from wounds received in Italy, and also to send a message of sympathy to the parents of a friend in his squadron who had been killed in action. An elder brother, Frederick Venn Farrow, had served in an Armoured Division in the Middle East since the battle of Libya.

On 12th July 1944 Reginald was killed in action over Normandy, France while engaged in attacking V-1 launch sites.

At the time of his death Reginald's wife Ruby and young daughter lived at 42 Cramphorn Road in Chelmsford. His parents were then living in Surrey.

Today Reginald lies in La Delivrande War Cemetery in Douvres, about ten miles from Caen in Normandy, France (grave V.E.5.). He is commemorated by the Essex County Council War Memorial at County Hall, Chelmsford.

His widow remarried in 1946. His daughter died in 1978.


Reginald Ernest Farrow was born in south London in 1920, the youngest son of the commercial traveller Frederick Willis Farrow and Beatrice Emma Farrow (nee Fenn).

His parents had married in St. Pancras, London on 6th October 1915 - at that time his father was aged 29, a roofing foreman, living at 47 Beckenham Road in Beckenham, Kent. His mother was the same aged and lived at 47 Gordon Square in St. Pancras.

Reginald had an elder brother, Frederick Venn Farrow (born in 1918), and sister, Beatrice R. Farrow (born in 1915).

He lived for 22 years, most of his life, with Mr. and Mrs. Edgar W. Green of 48 Cramphorn Road in Chelmsford.

After education at King Edward VI Grammar School in Chelmsford, Reginald worked as a clerk in Essex County Council's Accounts Department before joining the Royal Air Force in August 1939. He served as Pilot Officer (Pilot) 175712 in 501 Squadron, learning to fly in Canada, and flew Spitfires.

On 19th November 1942 Reginald, then 22 years old, married 18 year-old Ruby Margaret Shead at St Peter’s Church in Chelmsford. At the time his residence was listed as 48 Cramphorn Road; his bride was few doors away at 42 Cramphorn Road.