Gallant Young Faversham Airman



Gallant Young Faversham Airman


A newspaper cutting with a description of how Jack was awarded a DFM. This was awarded because he assisted an unconscious colleague to bale out of their damaged aircraft.




Temporal Coverage




One double sided newspaper cutting


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NHowellJ170423-01, NHowellJ170423-02


Faversham [indecipherable word] and East Kent Journal

21st NOVEMBER, 1941

[non-war unrelated articles and advertisements]


Four Sons and a Son-in-law

Mr. Frank Ward, of Water Lane, Ospringe, has four sons and a son-in-law serving in H.M. Forces. All are in the Army.

Eldest of the sons is William Ward (42) a Private in The Buffs, whose home is at 65 Upper Brents. He was serving in the last war in the King’s Royal Rifles and was in France for two years. Before joining up for the present war about two years ago he was working in Messrs. Burley’s brickfield at Sittingbourne.

Frederick Ward (37) is a Private in the Pioneer Corps in which he has been serving since last May. He is a single man and makes his home with his father. Before joining up he was working in Messrs. Cremer and Whiting’s brickfield.

Edgar Ward (36) is also a single man, residing with his father. He volunteered soon after the war broke out and is a Signaller, at present serving in the Middle East. He, too, was working in Messrs. Burley’s brickfield before he joined up.

The other son, Timothy Ward (30), is a regular soldier. He has been in the Army for nine years and is a Sergeant in The Buffs. For five years he was in India and in the early part of the present war he was in France. He is married and his home is at Canterbury.

The son-in-law is A. Robson, a Canterbury man, who was called up just recently.

Another son, Frank Ward, of 4 Flood Lane, is serving in the Home Guard.


To the Editor [missing word] “News”
appeals now being made to the generosity of the people of Faversham, may I, as the mother of two daughters, address one on behalf of the Y.M.C.A., especially to the parents.

Many of the young women of Faversham have gone into the W.R.N.S., A.T.S., W.A.A.F., Land Army and Industrial work, and for their benefit the Y.M.C.A. provides in its Club Canteens places where friendly contact may be made with other young women, away from the atmosphere of barrack-dormitories or village billets.

Mrs. Churchill commends this appeal to you and uses these words:- “I know that after two years of war everyone is already working hard in their various spheres – but the need of the Y.M.C.A. is essentially one of the moment. It is not only the girls now being called up who ask for our help but their parents, who – seeing their daughters leave home for the first time – are anxious that they shall find the comfort and friendship of the Y.M.C.A. Centre in the unfamiliar lives on which they are entering. I feel confident that the “Men of Kent” and “Kentish Men” will be well to the fore in giving the fullest support to this appeal, which I commend to you all from the bottom of my heart.”

Donations – please make them generous! – should be sent to me at Newton House. All will be acknowledged.


3, Briton Road,

(Continued from Column 2)

that occasion when he bales out, he landed in the middle of a wood at three o’clock in the morning.

Writing to his parents at the time he was reported missing an officer said: “A long series of flights had been carried out by your son with marked success and gallantry. This, in fact, was his 53rd raid and the pride which you must feel in him and what he has done is shared by us.”

Charles Lewis Dorman

In June last we recorded that Charles Lewis Dorman, of the Royal Navy, had been killed in action. He was then described as a 1st class Stoker. On Friday last, however, his wife (who is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Urbane Beach, of 5 Front Brents, Faversham) received the information that on April 24th. only about thr[missing letters] weeks before he was killed, he had been promoted to Acting Leading Stoker [missing letters]

[missing letters]LED BY ENEMY ACTION

[missing letters]mer Faversham Resident

During enemy action over south-east England on Tuesday, Mrs. Rosetta Castle, formally of Faversham, was killed, and [missing words] Mr. A.G. Castle was [missing words] injured.

Mr. Castle [missing words] many years with the firm of Messrs. Henry S. Tett and Co., Faversham [missing words] years he had been [missing words] house.

Mrs. Castle [missing words] daughter of the late Mr. and [missing word] William Broad, of the Bull Inn, [missing word], and a sister of Mrs. H. Chittenden, of Faversham.


DOWNS, Terry Alfred, 2nd Engineer H.M.S. Dominence (M.V.) (79 Upper Brents).

DOWNS, Ronald Arthur, Ordinary Seaman, H.M.S. Glendower (79 Upper Brents).

MARSH, Monica Rosa, A.C.W./2. W.A.A.F. (28 Forbes Road).

PARNELL, P.E., A.C.W./2, W.A.A.F. (23 Willlow [sic] Avenue, Lower Road).

SMITH, Percy, Fitter, R.A.O.C. (35 Stone Street).

[boxed] News













SERGT. JACK HOWELL, D.F.M., the gallant young Faversham Airman, who some months ago was reported missing, is now, alas, reported killed.

Only a few days before he met his death he had been decorated by the King with the Distinguished Flying Medal. The story of the circumstances in which he gained that award reveals the resource, the courage and the bravery of our lads of the air and excites our pride in them.

Sergt. Howell was the son of Mr. Albert Howell (who is himself now serving in the Air Force as a Sergt. Instructor) and Mrs. Howell, of 70 Abbey Street. He was only 19 and was one of the youngest airmen to gain the D.F.M.


It was in the middle of April last that news was received that he had been posted as missing since the 10th of that month.

His parents have now had a notification from the Air Ministry that Sergt. Howell "was killed in action when engaged in air operations over enemy country."

They have also received the following letter from H.M. the King: "The Queen and I offer you our heartfelt sympathy in your great sorrow. We pray that your country's gratitude for a life so nobly given in its service may bring you some measure of consolation."

This young man made no boast of his achievement in gaining a decoration, indeed he had not even told his parents, who first learned of it through the Press!

And it was only just recently that his father saw the official record of the award. In few words it tells a stirring story and recalls how, when it became to baling out, Sergt. Howell succeeded in getting an unconscious comrade out of the plane.

Here is the official record:-
February, 1941. While returning from operations over the enemy countries, the aircraft in which Sergt. Howell was wireless operator and air-gunner was badly damaged from A.A. fire, the starboard engine being put out of action and the aerial masts shot away. Later, while crossing the North Sea, the observer collapsed and it was found he was badly wounded in the chest. As the aircraft was losing height the pilot gave orders to throw all heavy equipment overboard. Sergt. Howell fixed up an improvised trailing aerial and was successful in getting contact with a coastal station which guided them back by keeping close contact. Shortly after reaching the coast of England the port engine caught fire and failed. The order came quickly for the crew to bale out. Sergt. Howell, dragging with him the unconscious observer, baled out and was successful in pulling the observer's rip-cord before releasing his own. To use the words of his pilot (stated in his report) Sergt. Howell's coolness, courage and devotion in the face of grave danger was an example of heroism and comradeship."

Sergt. Jack Howell was educated at Faversham District Schools and afterwards went into the grocery trade as an assistant. But it had been his ambition to be an airman and in 1938 he joined the Royal Air Force.

As already indicated, he was a very unassuming lad. When he was last home on leave – only a few weeks before he met his death – it was noticed that he was wearing the gold caterpillar, a badge presented to airmen who are forced to bale out from their planes while on duty. He had said nothing about it, but it was gathered that on

(Continued at foot of column 5)



AS BRITAIN’S FIGHTER PLANES streak across the sky at 300 and 400 miles an hour, a gas by-product is helping them to attain these high speeds. Benzole – distilled at the gas works – is the “anti-knock” component of thousands of gallons of high-performance aviation fuel.



[page break]

Two FAVERSHAM [missing words] JOURNAL Friday, November 21st, 1941

[non-war unrelated articles and advertisement]


British Legion and Home Guard Attend Service

Members of the Faversham Branch of the British Legion and the Women’s Section paid their annual visit to The Brents Church for a service of remembrance last Sunday afternoon. this year a considerable contingent of members of the Home Guard also attended. Among the British Legion representatives were the Mayor, Councillor Phil Johnson (Chairman of the Branch), Coun. C.E. Ely (one of the Vice-presidents) and Mrs. Cooper (Chairman of the Women’s Section).

The service was conducted by the Vicar, Rev. J.A. Osbourne, the lessens being read by the Mayor.

Before proceeding with his address the Vicar welcomed the Mayor and expressed appreciation of his visit again, also of the fact that he had taken on his important office for the fifth year in these strenuous times when there was a state of continual emergency.

He welcome [sic] also the British Legion, an organisation which for many years had been caring for those who fell by the way in the last war and was now taking up the additional task of helping those in trouble through the present war, and was exhibiting that social spirit which was so valuable in a time like this. Good work had indeed been done, and was being done by the local branch of the Legion. He had had experience (said the Vicar) of two or three branches and he could in all sincerity compliment the Faversham Branch on being the best among them.

He welcomed, too, the members of the Home Guard. It was the first time they had attended this church and he was pleased indeed to see them and hoped it might not be the last occasion. They represented a new and vigorous force of free men who had taken on the job of helping the country in its hour of need and had put themselves in a position to defend the hearths and homes of England. They were the symbol of the free men of England in this critical hour.

The Christian Religion And The War

Speaking of the connection between the Christian religion and the war, the Vicar said it might be asked what connection there could possibly be between the figure of Christ and all the horrors of this ghastly business of war. By way of answer he [missing word] General Smuts – one of the most [missing word] [missing letters]arkable statement of our time [missing words] said: “We are fighting for [missing word] compared with which the betterment of our earthly lot means nothing. I look upon this war as one of the great religious wars of the world; it is once more the historic fight which has had to be fought out from age to age – the fight between light and darkness.” And another great statement, President Roosevelt, in his appeal to his people, based that appeal upon the Christian claims and interests of humanity in this world.

The preacher referred also to two other outstanding figures, namely the Emperor of Ethiopia, who, it was reported, marked his return to his country and people by the holding of a Christian service, and Chiang-Kai-Shek, the leader of China, who in his long struggle was holding on to the truths of the Christian faith.

Later he said we were determined that the world which God had given to us should not be turned into a great concentration camp, but that human personality was preserved – in the Lord. He stressed those last words, remarking that we could not and would not succeed if we relied upon our own strength.

The service concluded with the recital by the Mayor of the British Legion’s act of remembrance, the Last Post and Reveille and the singing of “O Valiant Hearts” and the National Anthem.

The collection was for Mrs. Churchill’s fund for Red Cross aid to Russia.

[unrelated article and photograph]


Armistice Night Supper

The Faversham of the British Legion held its usual Armistice Night supper on Tuesday, November 11th. at the Recreation Club, and was well supported. They had as guests a number of soldiers stationed in the district, including their Commanding Officer.

In welcoming the guests, His Worship the Mayor, who is also Chairman of the Branch, stated that the Branch affairs were really being carried on by a few loyal members some of whom had been on the Committee practically since its inception. It was their desire to hand over at the end of this war to the younger ex-service men a flourishing organisation in good financial condition, when the ex-service men of the last war could take a well-earned rest.

Replying on behalf of the military to a toast to the Forces, the Officer present stressed the importance of not making the mistakes that were made after the last war. This country, he remarked should not disarm again until all other nations had done so. The only guarantee of world peace was a strong British Empire.

Home Guard Recruiting

Mayor E.H. Wix, speaking for the Home Guard, pointed out the seriousness of the threat of invasion, which must still be expected. The terrible treatment meted out by the Huns to womenfolk in the conquered countries could certainly be expected here if they got control of any part of this country. If invasion came the main job would be to kill Huns and this must be left to the armed forces, i.e. the Regular Army and the Home Guard. He was perturbed at the thinning of the Home Guard ranks as the younger men were called to the Colours. There was far too much complacency about, possibly due to the recent immunity from heavy bombing and the gallant resistance of our Russian Allies. He made a strong appeal to all ex-service men to do their utmost to get recruits for the Home Guard.

Capt. R.A. Darney in proposing the toast of the Chairman pointed out that this Branch was very fortunate in having as Chairman a man who was also Chief Magistrate of [missing word] town.

Colonel Hooper, [missing letters]wledging a toast to himself, [missing words] reminiscences of service [missing words] back one and said that in [missing words] [missing letters]anaged, since wondered how they [missing words] wireless, [missing words] been a real Gentleman’s War!

The musical part of the proceedings comprised piano-accordeon [sic] solos by Miss Fettes, a humourous monologue by the Mayor, songs by Mr. A.J. Hurn and community singing by the whole company. Mr. Jack Knowler was at the piano.

(née Dorothy Keech)

These were the best of us,
These were the ones who died for England’s sake,
For love and honour – thus they sped with glorious feet out into war.
To have, to give, we take
And, worshipping, adore.

These were the rising youth,
These were the ones who grew in England’s soil.
Who scorned to slight the truth,
To fill the world with babbling tales of wrong.
They had no heart to spoil
The beauty of life’s song.

These are the changeless ones,
These are our past, our future and our all –
Our fathers, brothers, sons –
They fell beside us, even as we fell.
But England will not fall
And she will live to tell.

German Gun Scrapped

New Romney Town Council have decided not to dispose of two 17th Century guns but a German machine gun received after the 1914-18 war is to go for scrap.





Faversham News, “Gallant Young Faversham Airman,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed July 23, 2024,

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