Austro-British Society Carinthia

Austro-British Society Klagenfurt

Society Carinthia





17TH AUGUST 1940


Additonal information provided by the Commonwealth War Grave Commission:
102 Sqdn.

Sergeant Maurice William James Pollard was a pilot with the Royal Air Force, 102 Squadron. On 16 August 1940, he and four other crew – flying an Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mark V, serial N1382 – were among 150 planes that took off from Royal Air Force Driffield in Yorkshire shortly after 8 p.m. The mission of N1382 was to bomb a Messerschmidt manufacturing facility near the city of Augsburg. Of the 150 Blenheims, Hampdens, Wellingtons and Whitleys that set off, 118 aircraft reported bombing successfully; seven aircraft, including N1382, were lost. The cause of N1382’s crash isn’t known, but it crashed near the summit of the Hochlichtspitze mountain in the Walser Valley west of Lech, near Vorarlberg, Austria.

All five crew were killed. They are buried in a collective grave at Klagenfurt War Cemetery, each commemorated with his own gravestone.

From left to right they are Sergeant W. F. Haywood, Sergeant S. G. Jermond, Sergeant J. Patterson, Sergeant M. W. J. Pollard, and Flying Officer M. H. Rogers.

The information provided by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission does not give Sergeant Pollard’s age or the names of his parents. But, with such a distinctive name and a bit of luck, we have been able find out quite a bit about him using online family history resources provided, in this instance, by FindMyPast.

Maurice William James Pollard was born on 15 February 1917 in Greenwich to parents James G. Pollard (an insurance agent) and Nellie, née Sexton, the second of possibly four children. His siblings were Muriel (born 1914), Eric (born 1920), and Jeanette (born 1931). In the 1939 Register, he was recorded as an “RAF Sergt Pilot” at home with his parents and siblings in Bexley, Kent.

We will continue to search for living relatives, but for the time being will end here, noting that Sergeant Pollard was a little over 23 years and six months when he died.

You can find more information about Sgt. Pollard and the fate of N1382 here, courtesy of Ed Williams, a member of the Guild of One-Name Studies who is researching the Pollard surname.

(Last updated 13 June 2023)