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Dobson, J., W.O., 1946

James Dobson

In Karachi War Cemetery, Pakistan, is the Commonwealth War Grave of 547354 Warrant Officer James Dobson serving with the 10th Squadron Royal Air Force who died 23/06/1946.

Dorothy Hall has submitted the following:-

James was born in Sunderland in 1919, the son of John and Margaret Ann Dobson. The family lived in the Southwick area.

James joined the Royal Air Force about 1938.

The Sunderland Echo 17/06/1940 reports:-

News has been received by Mr John Dobson of Hawthorn Street, Southwick that his son, Leading Aircraftman James Dobson is missing but possibly a prisoner of war. The reports states that his machine was compelled by enemy action to make a forced landing. Dobson joined the RAF two years ago.

The Sunderland Echo 17/11/1943 reports:-

Sworn to secrecy about the way in which he made his escape to the British lines after escaping from a prisoner of war camp in Italy, Sergeant James Dobson RAF of 1 Hawthorn Street Southwick has arrived home after being in the Mediterranean zone for more than four years.In the early days of the Libyan Campaign Sergeant Dobson was on a flight over enemy territory when his plane was hit and it crashed. None of the crew were killed but the sergeant was badly burned about the hand. Before the crew could set off towards the British lines they were taken prisoner by the Italians. From North Africa they were sent to a camp in Italy and for more than three years they waited for the Allied armies to break their way through into Southern Italy. Then when the armistice was signed they got their chance to make their way back to their comrades in the Eighth Army.Of the seven friends who left the camp in Italy to make the dangerous trek to liberty Sergeant Dobson knows that four reached safety but the party was scattered and what became of the other three he has not yet learnt.As a result of the changes and the black-out Sergt. Dobson when he came home got lost in his home town. Before joining the RAF Sergt. Dobson who is 24 was employed at Turnbull's Glass Works Southwick. He is an old Sea Scout.

Late in 1943 James married at Luton, Madeline Young. She had been born in Lanchester in 1918. She was the daughter of Joseph and Martha. In 1939, Madeline was in service at Amersham, Buckinghamshire. Her parents were living at 1, Colliery Road, Malton.

After the war, in 1946, James volunteered to go to Karachi to bring back troops and equipment. He was found drowned in a local river, although he was a very strong swimmer. He was buried in the Karachi War Cemetery. "Loving Memories Until We Meet Again" was added to his headstone.

James' mother Margaret Ann had died April 1st 1941 and his father John died at Sunderland late in 1946.

Madeline placed two In Memoriam notices in the Sunderland Echo June 1947 and 1948.

Madeline remained at Luton for many years until the 1980s. She returned to Lanchester and died in 2012, aged 94 years. She never remarried - 66 years a widow.

James Dobson is remembered at Lanchester on L62.01 at Southwick in Prisoners of War 1939-45 and in Monkweamouth RAF Book of Remembrance

The CWGC entry for Warrant Officer Dobson

If you know more about this person, please send the details to janet@newmp.org.uk