Person    | Male  Born 17/2/1910  Died 11/9/1939

Pilot Officer Anthony Sainte Croix Rose, BA

Categories: Armed Forces, Law

War dead, WW2 i

Commemorated on a memorial as having died in WW2.

Pilot Officer Anthony Sainte Croix Rose, BA

Anthony Sainte Croix Rose was born on 17 February 1910 in Chipperfield, Hertfordshire, the son of Harcourt George Sainte Croix Rose (1883-1955) and Florence Norah Rose née Deane (1884-1970). The birth of Anthony Rose was registered in the 2nd quarter of 1910 in the Hemel Hempstead registration district, Hertfordshire. He was baptised on 3 April 1910 in St Catherine's Church, Littleton, Southampton, Hampshire, where in the baptismal register his family is shown as living at Braziers, Chipperfield, Herts and that his father was shown as a solicitor.

He is shown as aged one year in the 1911 census, living in a nine roomed property, 'Braziers', Tower Hill, Chipperfield, Kings Langley, Hertfordshire, with his parents, a nurse, a cook, a housemaid and a parlour-maid. His father described himself as a solicitor.

His sister, Jean Rose (1915-2005) was born on 11 March 1915 in Chipperfield, Herts and in 1920 their parents were divorced.

Having graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge University, Cambridgeshire, with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), he was admitted to Lincoln's Inn where he was entitled to practise as a barrister.

Electoral registers in 1937 and 1938 show him listed at 14, C Floor, Sloane Avenue Mansions, Sloane Avenue, London, SW3. He was able to vote in local elections elsewhere as in 1938 he was also listed at 3 Stone Buildings, Lincoln's Inn, London, WC2 where the register confirmed his abode as Sloane Avenue Mansions. In 1939 he was still listed at 3 Stone Buildings but his home was recorded as 110 Rodney House, Dolphin Square, London, WC2.

In the London Gazette published on 23 May 1939, he is shown as being granted a commission as an Acting Pilot Officer on 17 April 1939 in the Auxiliary Air Force attached to No.615 (County of Surrey) Squadron and in the London Gazette published on 19 September 1939 it states that as an Acting Pilot Officer he was confirmed in his appointment and graded as a Pilot Officer, service number 90719, in his squadron with effect from 29 August 1939.

According to the il2sturmovik.com website:- 'Pilot Officer Anthony Sainte Croix Rose has the sad privilege of being the first to be killed (in No.615 Squadron) when he crashed in command of Gloster Gladiator Mk I K7987, one mile north of Bletchingley, Surrey, on 11 September 1939. According to the available documentation, decision is then made to organize night flight training sessions with landings and formation flights, within a radius of approximately eight kilometers southwest of Croydon. The weather conditions are deemed to be in good visibility with a cloud base at 600 meters. However, to minimize the risk, only three aircraft must be flying at the same time. 

Pilot Officer Anthony St.C. Rose take off at 20h15 aboard the Gloster Gladiator Mk I K7987 for about thirty minutes. The training is delayed, and he did not leave the ground until 20h40. Around 21:05, he radioed with Flight Lieutenant Leslie T.W. Thornley to inquire about the next events. He is then asked to return over Croydon. Flight Lieutenant Leslie T.W. Thornley takes off at the same time, along with Pilot Officer Thomas C. Jackson. They are however unable to contact Pilot Officer Anthony St.C. Rose who seems to know serious difficulties for navigation according to many exchanges with the air controller. Weather conditions deteriorate rapidly, greatly reducing visibility, forcing only instrument flying.

Around 21h50, a phone call was made by the local police to report a possible plane crash according to several witnesses. Pilot Officer Keith T. Lofts and Flying Officer Robert S. Cromie (doctor) are immediately sent to the scene where they can only see the destruction of the aircraft and the death of the unfortunate Anthony St.C. Rose.

The investigation concludes a loss of control due to a sudden deterioration of visibility, as well as a lack of experience in instrument flight. He was cremated at Croydon Crematorium on 14 September 1939.'

Probate records confirm that his address had been 110 Rodney House, Dolphin Square, London, SW1, that he died on active service, aged 29 years, on 11 September 1939 and that when probate was granted jointly to his mother and his sister on 22 February 1940, his estate totalled £1,550-6s-0d.

He is commemorated as 'P/O (PILOT) A. StC. ROSE  11.9.1939  ROYAL AIR FORCE' on Panel 5 of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's memorial at Croydon Crematorium, Mitcham Road Cemetery, Mitcham Road, Croydon, CR9 3AT; as 'ANTHONY SAINTE CROIX ROSE' on the Lincoln's Inn War Memorial at New Square, London, WC2; as 'A.St.C.ROSE' on the Market Harborough Gates and Garden of Remembrance at The Square, Market Harborough, LE16 7PD; as 'Rose, Anthony ST Croix' on the Memorial Cross in the churchyard at St Nicholas Church, Rectory Lane, Little Bowden, Market Harborough, LE16 8AE; on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's website and on the Royal Air Force Commands website.

Credit for this entry to: Andrew Behan.

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