Alfred George Humphrey was born and raised in Chelmsford, the son of a mechanic. He was educated at the Mid Essex Technical College and afterwards worked for Essex Electrical Installations. He joined the R.A.F. in 1942 and trained to be a pilot in Canada. He was killed, along with four of his five crew, when his aircraft crashed into trees on high ground in Wiltshire. His home was in Waterhouse Lane, Chelmsford.

Alfred George HUMPHREY, Flight Sergeant (Pilot), 17 Operational Training Unit,

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Killed in an aircraft crash in Wiltshire. Aged 22

On the night of 13th to 14th January 1945 Alfred was the pilot of a Wellington X bomber HE865 which took off from Silverstone on a night time cross-country training mission. He was advised not to land back at base due to poor visibility. While attempting to locate a suitable airfield to the south the aircraft crashed around 3.30 a.m. into trees on high ground (700 feet above sea level) near Bayardo Farm, Milton, west of the Pewsey to Marlborough road in Wiltshire, and not far from the Overton Heath airfield.   

The incident claimed the life of 22 year-old Alfred and four of his five crewmates.  The other dead airmen were Sergeant (Navigator) 1459369 Gordon Charles Edwards (aged 20); Sergeant (Bomb Aimer) 1653083 Reynold Davies (aged 21); Sergeant (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner) 1895248 Victor Leslie Goddard (aged 20); and Sergeant (Air Gunner)1505117 Wilfred Robert Askhew. A sixth, Sergeant (Air Gunner) James Done survived.

At the time of his death Alfred's parents were living at Tyron in Waterhouse Lane, Chelmsford.

On 22nd January 1945 his funeral service was held at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Chelmsford, followed by burial at Chelmsford Borough Cemetery (grave 5827).


Alfred George Humphrey was born in the Chelmsford district in 1923, the son of Alfred Humphrey and Lilian Rose Humphrey.

His parents had married on 22nd May 1920 at Chelmsford Cathedral. At the time Alfred’s father was aged 34 and woking as a machinist. Alfred’s mother was aged 26, and both parents were living at 21 Victoria Road in Chelmsford. They were still there when Alfred was baptised at Chelmsford Cathedral on 23rd January 1923.

Alfred had an elder brother, Charles Maurice Edward Humphrey (1921-1966), and a younger brother, born in 1935.

Alfred was educated at the Mid Essex Technical College in Chelmsford, and subsequently worked for Essex Electrical Installations Ltd.

He joined the Royal Air Force in 1942 and gained his pilot's wings in Canada. His service number was 1614870. He was posted to 17 Operational Training Unit, based at R.A.F. Silverstone in Northamptonshire.