Sergeant Riddington


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Sergeant Riddington

Blenheim bomber

The Mark IV Blenheim bomber, PZ-V (L9475), which was flown by Pilot Officer Hugh Corbett, accompanied by Navigator Kenneth Crane and Observer Sydney Riddington. All three crew members were lost in the early hours of the 4th August 1940, when the aircraft crashed into the North Sea. Picture courtesy of Malcolm Barrass.


Sergeant Sydney Eric Riddington, R.A.F.V.R.53 Squadron Badge

Thurmaston man Sydney Eric Riddington was a member of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR),who served with 53 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Coastal Command.

On the evening of the 3rd August 1940, at 19:48 hours, a Bristol Blenheim bomber, of 53 Squadron, took off from its base at RAF Detling, Kent. Aboard the aircraft was Pilot Hugh Christopher Corbett (RAFVR), along with Navigator Kenneth Walter Crane (RAF), and Observer Sydney Eric Riddington (RAFVR).

The aircraft took part in an operation over Emden Harbour, Germany, and later failed to return home to base. Tracking of the aircraft showed that at 00:45 hours it was flying out at sea north of Bircham Newton, Norfolk. However, wireless transmission from the Blenheim broke off abruptly at 01:05 hours on the 4th August 1940. All three crew members were killed as the aircraft crashed into the sea.

Sydney Riddington's body was recovered from the sea and returned home. He is buried in Thurmaston Cemetery. Pilot Officer Corbett's body was carried across the sea and was later washed ashore in Holland on the 29th of August 1940. Hugh Corbett is buried in Schoorl General Cemetery, Holland. The body of Sergeant Crane was lost to the sea, so his name is among the many of the missing of the RAF whose names are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.


Ross McNeill, author of RAF Coastal Command Losses, Volume 1. See RAF Commands

Malcolm Barrass. See Air of Authority

Steve Clements, for producing the 53 Squadron Badge.

The badge is © Crown Copyright and is reproduced with the permission
of the Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office

The Grave of Sydney Riddington
The Grave of
Sydney Riddington,
Thurmaston Cemetery


The Crew of Bristol Blenheim PZ-V (L9475), 53 Squadron, RAF, killed in action on the 4th August 1940:

Christopher Hugh Corbett was born in 1918, the son of Adrian Gray Corbett, a solicitor, and his wife Nita (Agnita Ethel), nee McCall. Pilot Officer Christopher Hugh Corbett was promoted to the rank of Flying Officer on the 18th April 1940 (See The London Gazette, 25th June 1940, Page 3869). When he died he was serving as Flying Officer, 72466, Hugh Christopher Corbett, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (R.A.F.V.R.).

Kenneth Walter Crane was born in Yorkshire in 1918, the son of Benjamin Crane and his wife Mary, nee Mann. When he was killed he was serving as Sergeant, 526095, Kenneth Walter Crane, Royal Air Force.

Sydney Eric Rddington was born in Leicestershire in 1917, the son of Albert Edward Riddington and his wife Ellen Mary, nee Smith. Sydney Eric Riddington joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (R.A.F.V.R.) during May 1939, and was posted to his squadron during June 1940. He was a prominent racing cyclist and a member of both the Leicestershire Road Club and the Leicester Forest Cycle Club. When he was killed he was serving as Sergeant, 751028, Sydney Eric Riddington, R.A.F.V.R. He is buried in Thurmaston Cemetery - Section D, Grave 1368. He is also commemorated on the war memorial at Thurmaston.

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