Biography – Flying Officer Sydney John Cornes

Biography – Sydney John Cornes
Sydney John Cornes Died 21st February 1943. Age 24

Family situation

  • John was born in 1918 at his grandparents’ house in Halmerend, as a descendant of a family with Betley associations since the 16th
  • He had a younger sister Marie.
  • He married Margery Cowell (17) when he was 20 and from 1940 lived at Bow End House, Betley.
  • They had two children.

Employment and Interests

  • Accountant’s Assistant, an amateur radio enthusiast and a keen flyer.


  • He enlisted in December 1939 as an Aircrafthand/Wireless Operator Class 2 at Cardington.
  • He progressed through the grades and into training as a pilot, with an Emergency Commission in RAF Volunteer Reserve in February 1942.
  • He saw active flying service over the Channel and was posted to MaltaShow on map at Christmas 1942.
  • Acting as Navigator he made many sorties in the North African theatre until he was lost in February 1943 at the climax of the Battle of Tunis.


  • His body was never recovered but he is honoured on the Malta MemorialShow on map.
Common Wealth War Graves Commission Certificate