Kenneth John HARMER (1925-1944)

War grave

Life story retold by Paul Beecroft

Kenneth (Ken) John Harmer, my uncle, is buried in the cemetery. He was a Flight Sgt. in the RAF and was killed on active duty on 6th December 1944 when his Halifax V (LL281) crashed on take off in Lincs. He was 19 years old. Service Number: 1897935.

Photo of Ken in  military uniform at younger age.

Reading Standard (Friday 15 December 1944) wrote: “Sgt Harmer volunteered for the Royal Air Force and worked hard to secure his position. He had only recently achieved his ambition and was the youngest of the crew.

He was educated at Palmer Central School, where he was a keen athlete, holding the record, which still stands for the three-quarter mile. He became apprenticed in Cook’s plant Hire Ltd, Reading, General Civil Engineers, was an active A.R.P. member of group G.2. and an enthusiastic member of the A.T.C. since the early days of its formation.

The funeral took place on Wednesday a choral service being held at Christ Church, where he was a former choirboy. The interment was in Reading Cemetery.”

He lived at 18, Buckland Road, Whitley, Reading. His parents were William and Annie Harmer. Sisters Joan (my mother) and Sheila. Grave No. 12864.

Close up of the war grave with the symbol for the Royal Air Force

‘In Memoriam. On Active Service’ notes by his family can be found in Reading Standard between 1951 and 1961.

Buried in Section 56, Row B, Number 8