Remembering Air Cadet Pelham Rolfe

1094 FB_IMG_1509949382730One of Ely’s Air Cadets, Corporal Luca Chadwick has been researching a fellow Air Cadet who was killed during The Second World War and was buried  in a Commonwealth War Grave at St Peter’s Church, West Row.

1094 FB_IMG_1509949373999Pelham Rolfe was a Air Cadet of 1124 (Mildenhall) Squadron, Air Training Corps (ATC), who died through enemy action on the 19th March 1945.

Cadet Rolfe was a passenger in a lorry on his way home from an ATC activity at RAF Bircham Newton, Norfolk, on the 17th March 1945 when the lorry was attacked by a German ME109 Fighter Aircraft.

Cadet Rolfe was caught by the enemy aircraft’s machine gun fire as it strafed the lorry and he died from his wounds two days later on the 19th March 1945 aged just 15.

Rolfe was given the honour of a  full military funeral and cadets from his own squadron carried his coffin as well as providing a guard of honour.

Across the country many young men who were Air Cadets went on to join the RAF during the war as soon as they could when they were 18.

Cadet Rolfe was one of 55 Air Cadets known to have been killed through enemy action and who were given the honour of being buried in a Commonwealth War Grave in the U.K.

Rolfe died doing what he loved and what Air Cadets still do today, wearing the uniform of The Royal Air Force, with pride.

At this time of National Remembrance it is important that we all

Cpl Chadwick beside Cadet Rolfe's Headstone

Cpl Chadwick beside Cadet Rolfe’s Headstone

remember him as well as all those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defence of our Nation and our freedom, lest we forget.

(Story and photos by Corporal Luca Chadwick 1094 Squadron ATC)