Leading Aircraftman James Maxfield (1305565) of 107 R.A.F. Beach Flight was No. 4 R.A.F. Beach Squadron’s only fatal casualty. He died in Normandy on 15th June 1944, aged 22.
John Fenton saved this cutting from the Sunday Pictorial, dated 23rd July 1944.
The full text of the caption reads:
“Squadron Leader L. T. Taylor (correctly, L. A. Taylor) pays the last tribute to a comrade, LAC Maxfield, who met the fate that might have overwhelmed them both. They were digging a trench on the beach-head when the squadron-leader was called away. A minute later Maxfield’s pick struck a mine - on the site where they had been living for fourteen days.
The squadron-leader wrote to Maxfield’s mother and told her the sad story. “May God bless you and your men and bring you home to your loved ones,” she wrote in reply - and she asked for a picture of her son’s grave that she might treasure it for ever.
Here it is - taken by Bill Turner, “Sunday Pictorial” photographer in Normandy. A copy is being sent to Mrs Maxfield at her home in Herries-avenue, Southey, Sheffield.”
The burial ground pictured was at Ver-sur-Mer. Bayeux War Cemetery was established later and that became James Maxfield’s permanent resting place (Grave Reference XV.D.1.)
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