RAF pilot of Burrow Hill Farm killed on active service in Sudan
Kenneth Noel Hebditch : Sergeant (Pilot) 1187258, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Kenneth Hebditch came from a farming family. His father was Josiah Hebditch and his mother was Annie Mabel Hebditch and they lived at Burrow Hill Farm, Kingsbury Episcopi, Somerset. This farm is on the edge of Westmoor, in an area called Higher Burrow, below and to the west of Burrow Hill.
In the Second World War, Kenneth enlisted in the RAF and was assigned to Middle Eastern Command. He is shown here, centre.
He took a camera with him, and his amazing collection of photographs of North Africa, especially Sudan and Egypt, can be viewed on the link at the bottom of this post. This image shows a bridge over the Zambezi River.
While he was with the RAF he had the opportunity to see some world famous sights. A very different world to Burrow Hill Farm of Kingsbury Episcopi. His camera captures some of these sights and experiences.
In March 1942 he was gaining flying experience in a single-seater Tomahawk AH977 aircraft, within No.71 Operational Training Unit.
This unit’s task was to acclimatise pilots to desert conditions. From June to September 1941 it was providing night defence of the Canal Zone (Suez Canal), and then in September it moved to Gordon’s Tree near Khartoum in the Sudan.
The RAF Roll of Honour records that Kenneth was killed on active service. While flying his Tomahawk aircraft in training, he crashed near the base and was killed – on the 5th March 1942, aged 23.
Kenneth left behind his parents and two siblings, Ernest and Marjorie. The family have allowed us to scan his collection of photographs, which can be viewed on the links below. They are a wonderful legacy, which captures the landscapes and peoples of North Africa during the war years.