An Old Coathamian – Not Forgotten

John Reay BAZIRE



No. 1192694 Sergeant, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve;
No. 937 (County of Northumberland) Balloon Squadron
Auxiliary Air Force,
attached No. 11 Radio School, Royal Air Force.


Died 29 May 1943, aged 30 years.

Buried in Middleton-in-Teesdale (St. Mary) Churchyard,
Section C, Row 1, Grave 12.


Balloon Squadrons operated barrage balloons to protect against low-flying enemy aircraft. No. 937 Balloon Squadron was located in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Sergeant Bazire died from injuries sustained in an air accident in the Wirral, where he had been training as a wireless operator at No. 11 Radio School, Hooton Park.



John Reay Bazire was the son of Gustave de la Chesnaye Bazire and May Bazire. His father was an ironmonger in Middlesbrough around the time of John’s birth in 1912. John’s paternal grandfather had come from France to settle in Middlesbrough in the 1870s. John had two older sisters, but their mother died in 1914, aged 34. He joined Coatham Grammar School in September 1924, entering Pearson’s House, as a fee-paying day boy. In 1925 he took part in the school pageant, and he acted in later plays. He sang in school concerts in 1927 and 1928, both in choirs and as a soloist. In July 1928 he passed his School Certificate examination, and after leaving he joined the Old Coathamians Association. In 1929 he was living at Meadowfield, Easson Road, Redcar. The school magazine of July 1938 offered him congratulations on his forthcoming marriage to Miss Eileen Florence Forster of Sunderland, although official records note her surname as Fowler. They had a son, Robin, born in 1941. John was first listed on the School’s Roll of Honour in December 1943. His father was still living in Redcar at that time, while John’s home was recorded as being in Middleton-in-Teesdale at the time of his death.