An Old Coathamian – Not Forgotten

Thomas Atherton HINDMARCH

No. 1207526 Warrant Officer (Navigator/Bomber),
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve;
No. 216 Squadron, Royal Air Force.

Died 3 June 1944, aged 33 years.

Buried in Le Petit Lac Cemetery, Oran, Algeria,
Plot E, Row C, Grave 38.

In 1944, No. 216 Squadron was an air transport squadron based in North Africa, flying Douglas Dakota aircraft. On 3 June 1944, Warrant Officer Hindmarch was travelling in a Dakota which was carrying service passengers, mainly from. 216 Squadron, on a routine flight from Biskra Airfield in Algeria to Oujda Airfield in eastern Morocco. It crashed en route into a mountainside swathed in cloud and all 14 persons on board were killed.

Thomas Atherton Hindmarch was the son of George Thomas Hindmarch and Alice Mary Hindmarch, who lived in Brotton at the time of his birth on 6 January 1912. They lived at 14, Ings Lane, when Thomas came to Coatham Grammar School in September 1922. His father was an electrical engineer in the local steel industry. Thomas had attended Brotton Council School before becoming a fee-paying day boy at Coatham. He joined Miln’s House, in Form IIB, and in his final year, 1930-31, he played rugby for his house and for the school, as well as becoming a school monitor. He was particularly successful in the academic field, gaining distinctions in History in the School Certificate examinations in 1928. He repeated his success in the Higher levels in 1931, for which he was awarded prizes. At some point he went to university, gaining B.A. Honours, although when and to which university is not known at present. Thomas’s parents had retired to Saltburn-by-the-Sea at the time of his death. He was first listed on the School’s Roll of Honour in December 1944.