A whirlwind visit to the John Oxley

The John Oxley Library hosted a quick visit by England-based historian James Holland and producer/director Aaron Young. They were in Brisbane to film a section for an upcoming documentary on the Dam Busters. The two men previously worked together on the documentary Battle of Britain: The Real Story, screened on the BBC. On this visit, Holland and Young were particularly interested in the Charles Rolland Williams Papers held in the Library.

Portrait of Flying Officer Charles Roland Williams.

Charles Roland Williams was born in 1909 at Torrens Creek, Queensland. He joined the Royal Australian Air Force in 1941 and commenced training on 3 Feb 1941. He left for England on 16 Oct of the same year. He commenced as a Pilot Officer in No. 61 Squadron on 22 Sep 1941 and as a Flying Officer in No. 617 Squadron on 22 Mar 1942. C.R. Williams was Wireless Operator in the crew of the Lancaster Bomber, E for Edward, when it crashed during a bombing raid on the Mohne Dam in Germany on 16 May 1943. He was to have been married the following week to Gwendoline (Bobbie) Parfitt, a secretary at NAAFI in Nottingham, England.

The collection includes heart-wrenching letters from Willams to his fiancee and material kept by his family in Australia.

Gavin Bannerman - Manager, Original Materials - Queensland Memory


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