Basil Ronald Martin Burnham was born in 1914, the son of Alan Martin and Felicite Louise Burnham of Wilmslow. He was a friend of Lesley Morrey, and went to Reaseheath College.
He married Edith Mabel Morrey, daughter of Arthur Morrey of The Square, Holmes Chapel on 23rd December 1939 in the Parish Church. Mabel had been working as a Nurse at the Royal Infirmary at Chester.
He volunteered for the RAF when home on leave from Malaya where he was a Rubber Plantation manager (at Gula Estate, Kualakarau, Perak, Malaya).
On Basil’s death, Edith moved to one of the cottages in Middlewich (near the M6), where his son Christopher was born Jan – Mar 1943.
Basil was an RAF Volunteer, No 3 squadron (No. 967898).
No. 3 Squadron RAF Regiment was a field squadron of the Royal Air Force. Its mission was the protection of RAF bases from ground attack.
He was a Sergeant-Pilot, but missed the Battle of Britain as he was working overseas so, he must have volunteered after 31st October 1940. He was shot down in November 1942 at Warford Ness over the North Sea.
In January 1943, Canon Vale said “Our very real sympathy is with Mrs Burnham (nee Mabel Morrey) whose husband Sergt-Pilot Burnham is reported missing.”
He is listed on Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede Panel 72, and on the Holmes Chapel War Memorial in St Luke’s Churchyard.
A 3 Squadron Hurricane IIC, in 1942
'They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.'
Extract from 'For the Fallen' by Laurence Binyon