Thursday, October 23, 2014

169068 Richard Percy Challen, RAF

Richard Percy Challen was born at Hurstpierpoint, Sussex on the 7th October 1898. He appears on the 1901 census of England and Wales as a two year old living with his parents at Stonecot, Hurstpierpoint.  Percy Challen, head of the household, was a 39 year old Findon-born farmer.  His wife Clara, aged 36, had been born in Brighton.  There were also a boarder (Richard M Hill, a 39 year old wine and spirits merchant from Nantwich, Cheshire) and a general domestic servant: Alice Westgate aged 17 from Hurstpierpoint. 

He appears in the magazine for the first time in January 1919 where he is noted as Challen, R P, 3rd A[ir] M[echanic], RAF.  This information is repeated monthly up to and including the final published roll call in July 1919.
Percy's surviving papers in AIR 79 note his next of kin as his mother, Mrs Clara Margaretta Challen of the Five Bells, Chailey, Sussex. This address was subsequently scored through and replaced with 34 Hartington Terrace, Brighton. He joined the RAF in May 1918 and served in France from 11th October 1918 until 16th February 1919.

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