An Old Coathamian – Not Forgotten

Henry Alfred SCHUMM

No. 117134 Pilot Officer (Observer),
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve;
No. 9 Squadron, Royal Air Force.

Died 23 April 1942, aged 27 years.

Buried in Rheinberg War Cemetery, Kamp Lintfort,
Nordrhein-Westphalen, Germany,
Grave I.A.25.

No. 9 Squadron was part of RAF Bomber Command and was stationed at RAF Honington in Suffolk at the time of Pilot Officer Schumm’s death. It was then flying Vickers Wellington Mark III bombers. In the evening of 22 April 1942, Pilot Officer Schumm was a member of the crew of Wellington code-sign WS-(?) which took off to take part in a raid over Cologne in Germany. But it crashed near Cologne in the course of the raid. He was killed in the crash, whilst the other five crew members survived and were taken prisoner.

The cemetery in which Pilot Officer Schumm is now buried was constructed after the end of the War and contains the graves of over 3,300 British and Commonwealth service personnel, mostly airmen, whose graves were originally sited in various other parts of the western areas of Germany.

Henry Schumm was the son of Henry Alfred Schumm and Minnie Schumm of Middlesbrough. The Schumm family were naturalised British citizens, of German origin, who had established a prominent butcher’s business in Middlesbrough in the 1870s. Henry came to Coatham Grammar School in September 1923, aged eight, and joined Miln’s House in the preparatory form. He was a fee-paying day boy. In 1928 he represented his house in both athletics and swimming competitions, with some success, and he left school in July 1929. In July 1940 he was on the list of Old Coathamians in H.M. Forces, as a Cadet, RAF. At the time of his death, both parents were living in The Avenue, Linthorpe, Middlesbrough. He was first listed on the School’s Roll of Honour in December 1943.