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Birkenhead Institute Old Boys

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World War 2 - Memorial

This page is dedicated to the memory of a single Old Boy who gave his life in World War II. The information given is as accurate as I can make it. If there are any anomalies in the information given, please let me know at

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Henry Charles Dent

Date of Birth 3rd Qtr. 1921 Place of Birth Birkenhead
Date of Death 6th June 1944 Age at Death 22
Father Henry William Dent Mother Sarah Ann Dent (Martin)
Parents Married Place Birkenhead Parents Married Date 2nd Qtr. 1920
Sibling Marjorie Dent Sibling DOB 3rd Qtr. 1929
Started BI Summer 1933 Class IIIB Tate House Left BI
Regiment Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve Unit 140 Sqdn. possibly 149 Sqdn.
Service Number 1544756 Rank Flight Sergeant
Joined Regiment After 1941 Circumstance of Death Aircraft downed by flak
Cemetery Grave Location
Commemorated Runnymede Memorial Memorial Location Panel 217

Notes What we know about his last day in 1944. Compiled by Leon Hilleman, Netherlands

He joined 140 squadron after being a Spitfire pilot, he started to fly with the Mosquito Dh 98 PR Mk XVI. The 140 squadron was a photo recannaissance group. They photographed the enemy lines, and were looking for launching site's of V1'and V2's it is believed. On that day in 1944, 6th of June, he and his pilot, Flight Officer Frank George Rudduck, had a PR mission. Their mission should have brought them to Cambrai and Montididier in France, but near Calais, their plane was hit by German flak, and it crashed in the North Sea.

The body of F/O Rudduck washed up ashore on the 18th of June, in the South West of The Netherlands. He was buried on the 20th of June 1944, on the Cadzand General Cemetery in Cadzand, a little village in the south west of The Netherlands.

On the 19th of June, German soldiers found a body, on the beach of Cadzand, and brought the body to the Red Cross. It was unknown who this person was. The Germans thought it was an American airman. Later, in 1948, it came out (not sure how) that it was not an American airman, but an English airman from the RAF.

After they found him, they tried to identify the body, but the only thing they found were some personal things: a wristwatch, a nametag, but without a name on it, and a cigarette holder with the initials H.D. And it is because of these initials, that I started to look for information. Until then, I only knew that he was found on the 19th of June 1944, that he was a Flight Sergeant, and navigator. That was it. I tried to look for information, but that was very difficult.

Leon Hilleman

Because this is a newly identified grave, it is not yet accepted or recognised by the CWGC, (Commonwealth War Graves Commission) or the MOD (Ministry of Defence) in the UK. Leon Hilleman will be submitting his evidence in due course in the hope that it is then recognised.

 Last Saved Sunday, January 31, 2021 19:41