Raymond Terence Salvoni was born in the December quarter of 1922, (Windsor Vol. 2c Page 706), the son of Lawrence James & Charlotte M. Salvoni (nee Baker), who had married in the March Quarter of 1916 (St.Geo.H.Sq.Vol. 1a, Page 1146). The district St.Geo.H.Sq. is an alternative name for St George Hanover Square and it spans the boundaries of the counties of Middlesex and London.
Lawrence Salvoni, Raymond’s father was in WW1, I found his Medal Card and perhaps that is where he met Charlotte Mary when he was in the Duke of Cambridge’s Own (Middlesex) Regiment (Regimental Number: G/86132).
I believe that there were at least 3 other siblings, as I found some births registered with the mother’s maiden name of Baker from 1916, when Phyllis L. Salvonii was born in the September Quarter (Windsor Vol. 2c Page 791) and then Lawrence C.G. Salvoni in the December Quarter of 1919 (Windsor Vol. 2c Page 847) to Maurice L. Salvoni in the June Quarter of 1928. (Windsor Vol. 2c Page 723).
I believe that Lawrence James Salvoni had been born in the June Quarter of 1895 (Worcester Vol.6c Page 303) and it looks as though perhaps Lorenzo anglicized his name to Lawrence as on the BMD Registers his name was Lorenza James Salvoni. He is seen for the first time in the 1901 census in the household of Charles & Louisa Clements living at Beckford, (2 houses before Jubilee Cottage), Gloucestershire. Charles, 41, is an Agricultural Labourer born in Conderton, Worcestershire. Louisa, 40, had been born in Malvern, Worcesteshire. They had a son Harry Clements, age 15 and a Poultry Keeper (Assistant), while Lawrence Salvoni, was described as a Nephew, age 5 born in Worcestershire. (In the 1911 census Louisa states that they had 1 child born to them, and 1 child died, so I am presuming that was Harry, although I have no proof.)
I researched to find out why Lawrence James would be in this household and it appears that his father Lorenzo Salvoni, born in Italy, circa 1873, was ill in a Hospital in Powick, Worcestershire from the 28th October 1911 to the 8th March 1945, on his death, so poor Kathleen Salvoni, (nee Taylor), his wife of 16 years, in 1911, was left to look after her children, so therefore Louisa Clements, (nee Taylor), I believe was Kathleen’s sister and took Lawrence to help out, subsequent research shows that the Clements family was his designated Guardian in the School Admissions books, in Beckford C. of E. School, Gloucestershire, as, I believe, was also to Margery (Margherita?) and William, Lawences’s siblings. If anyone would like to find out more about this family, please get in touch with the website.
The next time we see Lawrence James & Charlotte Mary is on the 1939 National Register, taken on the 29th September 1939. They are living at 8 Crossways, Mancot Royal, Queensferry , Hawarden, Flintshire, Wales. This source gives the dates of birth and their occupation. Lawrence was born on the 14th April 1895 and he was a Carpenter, Charlotte’s date of birth was the 5th January 1896 and like most married women without a job, was doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties.” There is also a closed or redacted record, which may have been Maurice as he was born in 1928.
I also found Lawrence James’s father, Lorenzo, on the 1939 National Register, still in a Hospital in Powick, Near Worcester, Upton-On-Severn, Worcestershire, England, his date of birth was given as only 1873 and he was a Farm Labourer.
Raymond Terence is not on the family 1939 National Register, he would have been about 17 years old then, so he may have already enlisted in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, any help gratefully received about his early years.
Raymond had met his future wife and in the March quarter of 1943, he married Florence Dora Haines in a Civil Marriage or Registrar Attended Ceremony in Chester (Cheshire West ROC/95/167) and they had a son, Raymond L. Salvoni, in the March quarter of 1944, his birth was registered in Hawarden (Flintshire (Mold) HAW/58A/31).
However he was to find himself in the midst of war and his award of the Distinguished Flying Cross was in the London Gazette dated the 27th June 1944, page 3042. The King has graciously pleased to approve the following awards :- Raymond Terence SALVONI (155198) R.A.F.V.R. 640 Squadron. https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/36584/supplement/3043
So he must have been with 640 Squadron for a while, before he was posted to 35 Squadron, and this is the squadron that Charles Kenneth Fielder, whose name is also on this War Memorial and also Connah’s Quay & Shotton’s too, was in when he was killed in a plane crash in Belgium, please click on the link to read his story.
Eventually he did get to 35 Squadron and they show that he was on other missions, if anyone wants them, please contact the website.. I extracted page 17 below
Page 17- Night of the 14th/15th PB.684 (B) Pr5imary Visual Marker – Up at 20.02 – landed at Exeter 03.41. This was the flight that Raymond Terence died. The raid was from Graveley* against Merseburg/ Leuna** The next sortie was on the night of the 16th/17th January 1945, with the rest of his Crew flying again in TB.369 (J) as a Primary Visual Marker with F/O A.H.J. Pidgeon taking his place and also F/O C.J. Etheridge replacing F/O R.M.Weller, it must have been bad for the crew that saw Raymond lose his life. SEE ALSO PAGES 7, 9 and 12 for his other Missions in January 1945 before his died. If anyone wants copies of the Operational Records I downloaded please get in touch with the website.
Incidentally, I traced the Crew of PB.684 (B) and nearly all of them died, on the 8th March 1945 in a raid over Germany. I have made notes of the Crew if anyone wants them.
https://losses.internationalbcc.co.uk/loss/224710/ – International Bomber Command Centre
Excerpts from the above webpage for Raymond:-
MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION – Some reports say he was buried at Oldenburg but is in fact commemorated at Runnymede Memorial. It is possible that grave recovery units were unable to locate his body after the ending of hostilities.
And – Reason for Loss – A bomb from another aircraft immediately above smashing into the rear gun turret and is believed to have killed the rear gunner. The rear gun turret subsequently broke away from the fuselage and fell to the ground. S/L Danny Everett brought the aircraft safely back to Exeter due to bad weather over Graveley.
RAF Graveley – No.35 Squadron It seems that they were a Pathfinder Group and flew Halifax 11s, MK 111’s and Lancaster I & IIIs aircraft. As Bomber Command developed the new Pathfinder Force (PFF) Graveley would find itself a major player. (Extracted from the above.)
Merseburg…Dreaded Merseburg – This Target Would Prove Costly To The 398th
Extract from the above:-
35 Sqn..P.F.F. Operation Records Book. – January – 14th January 1945
Two aircraft attacked targets at GREVENBROICH: there was some haze but no cloud and the attack appeared to be accurately delivered.
Thirteen aircraft took part in an attack on MERSEBURG LEUNA. Though conditions were difficult, the attack seemed most effective. All the aircraft were diverted to EXETER owing to bad weather over base. Aircraft “B” was hit by a bomb from a friendly aircraft over the target area; the rear turret was smashed and later broke away taking with it the body of the rear gunner, F/O R.T. SALVONI, who, it is believed, was probably killed by the impact of the bomb.
So very sadly it seems that Raymond was killed as a result of a very unlucky accident by what might be called, “Friendly Fire.” The Rear Gunner was always in a very vulnerable position on these raids.
A tail gunner or rear gunner is a crewman on a military aircraft who functions as a gunner defending against enemy fighter attacks from the rear, or “tail”, of the plane. The tail gunner operates a flexible machine gun emplacement in the tail end of the aircraft with an unobstructed view toward the rear of the aircraft. While the term tail gunner is usually associated with a crewman inside a gun turret, the first tail guns were operated from open apertures within the aircraft’s fuselage, like in the Scarff ring mechanism used in the British Handley Page V/1500 (a 1918 aircraft), and also, in the most evolved variants of this type of air-to-air anti-aircraft defense, they may also be operated by remote control from another part of the aircraft, like in the American B-52 bombers (an aircraft first introduced in 1955 but still in service).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Bomber_Command_aircrew_of_World_War_II – RAF Bomber Command aircrew of World War II
Please see https://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/video-gallery/video/8532 – Halifax Bomber Rear Turret
TED CHURCH – TAIL END CHARLIE
7 – Rear Gunner – The Rear Gunner, and his job is arguably the most dangerous, and certainly the coldest, the most lonely & isolated, of any Halifax Crewman. His Parachute was stowed outside the Armoured Doors that shut him in a cold cramped position until the end of the Mission, his only human contact was that of the disembodied voices of other Crew members over the Intercom. He was here for how many hours the mission took. The call to Bale-out was ‘Abracadabra Jump, Jump! Abracadabra Jump, Jump!’. It sounded silly, but it had one advantage. It couldn’t have possibly been misunderstood. Nevertheless, it was often not used, and the Order was given in plain language. On hearing the command to Bale Out, the Rear Gunner opened his armoured doors at the rear of his Turret, reached back for his Parachute and clipped it onto his chest harness. He then swivelled his Turret right round until the open doors were facing outwards, then did a backward roll out into the Night Sky above a hostile country. This was, of course, presupposing that his Parachute had not been burnt or shot to pieces, that he was still able to turn his Turret to the escape position, and that the centrifugal forces exerted by his out-of-control Bomber would have allowed him to make these necessary moves.
Raymond Terence’s father Lawrence James Salvoni was to die and his burial is in the St. Deniol’s Church Parish Registers – Burials – Page 24 No. 186 Laurence(sic) James SALVONI, 14, Crossways, Mancot Royal, 21st November 1961 age 66 (Service in Church, Internment in Cemetery.) J. Graham CANHAM?
His mother, Charlotte Mary Salvoni remarried in the December quarter of 1964 to Oliver Ellwood, (Hawarden Vol. 8a Page 913) as her death at age 82 years, is recorded as Charlotte Mary Ellwood, her date of birth coincides with the date of birth on the 1939 National Register. (Delyn, Inferred County: Clwyd, Vol. 24 Page 368).
I believe that Florence Dora Salvoni* may have remarried in the December Quarter of 1946 in Chester, in a Civil Marriage or Registrar Attended marriage (Cheshire West ROC/99/82) to Walter R. Boughen.
Raymond Terence was much loved by his family and they made sure he would be remembered by adding his name to the War Memorial.