Solitary Grave On The Romney Marsh

Jan Leeming

Shoreham 2007

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Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.



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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.


Date: 14th October 2011


I’d been told about a Grave by the side of a little used road on the Romney Marsh and, as I was going to Rye recently, I asked my friends from the BOBMT if they could fill me in with directions.

I was delighted to have found it. This is the story of the grave of Pilot Office A.W. Clarke
Arthur William Clarke was born in Altrincham on December 26th 1919. In January 1931 he and his sister went to Cheadle Hulme (Manchester Warehousemen and Clerks' Orphan) School, their father having died. Clarke became a House Captain and then School Captain in September 1937. He left in March 1938, having been awarded the 'John Rylands' Gold Watch, and took up a post in the Meteorological Department at the. Air Ministry. He left when he joined the RAF on a short service commission in June 1939. With training completed, Clarke went to 12 Group Pool on March 8th 1940. He converted to Hurricanes and joined 504 Squadron on April 7th. He was shot down on September 11th in combat over the Kent coast and reported 'Missing. His name is on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 7.
However, an investigation of an aircraft which crashed and burned out south of Rookelands, near Newchurch on Romney Marsh, proved beyond any doubt that it was Hurricane P3770. Items found confirmed the pilot's identity as being Pilot Officer AW Clarke and also that he had not left the cockpit. Next-of-kin decided that his remains should be left undisturbed and that a memorial should be erected close to the crash site. This memorial was dedicated on September 11th 1986.
The memorial is sited on the verge of the Newchurch to New Romney road, south of Newchurch and just south of Rookelands (if using the 1:50000 OS map) at a place marked Starveacre Bridge (if using the 1:25000 OS map).

The Memorial is in excellent Condition and is obviously tended regularly.


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