My name is Richard Douglas Comely, born October 9, 1950 in Oxford, England. My father (C) is Christopher Robin Comely. He was born October 23, 1927 in Cheltenham, Gloucestshire, England. He died in Courtenay, British Columbia, March 26, 1997. After 20 years in Portage la Prairie Manitoba, my father and mother and two youngest brothers moved to Courtney in 1975. My mother is Maureen Ivy West, born in London, England October 13, 1928. My parents were married on October 15, 1949 near Gretna Green, Scotland. (They eloped). My mother died February 4, 2002 in the Two Hills Hospital in Alberta. She had moved to Alberta a year before she died to be closer to my only sister Susan. I am the oldest of the six children born to our parents. After me there is Peter Anthony, Susan Elizabeth, Robin John, Timothy Charles and Christopher Quincy. We lost our brother Peter in 1994. Peter struggled with health problems from the time he was stricken with meningitis at age three. IN PHOTO ABOVE: A: Flight Sargeant Anthony Hugh Basil Comely was born in 1922. He joined the RAF in the beginning of WW2 and was killed by a sniper in Rangoon, Burma on March 24, 1946. His grave is located in Thailand.
B: Pilot Officer Peter Woodruff Comely was born March 31, 1921. He was shot down on August 15, 1940 by a Messerschmitt 110. He was flying a Hurricane of #87 Squadron based in Exeter. His plane crashed into the channel about 10 miles off Portland, England. He has no known grave. August 15, 1940 was the heaviest day of fighting during the Battle of Britain.
D: Jennifer Mary Comely was born February 9, 1926 and married Doctor Donald Olliff on April 4, 1953. She too became a doctor. She and Donald had two sons, Simon Piers in 1955 and Hugh Adrian in 1957. She still lives in Chipping Campden where her and her husband first moved to in 1953. They lived in Grevel house (built in 1380) for many years. Aunt Jennifer recently sold it to move into a smaller home.
E: Richard Michael (Mick) Comely was born October 3, 1919. In the photo above he is holding his left hand because a birthing mishap rendered his left arm completely non functioning and it remained so all his life. He went on to become a chemical engineer and a university professor. He died about 15 years ago. I will add the exact date in the near future.
INFORMATION REGARDING THE MEDALS PICTURED IN FAMILY PHOTOS The information below is kindly provided in an email from David Lancaster :
As I mentioned in my recent email about Peter Comely, there is a reference to Richard Basil Comely having been awarded the Military Cross, with Bar. That is the one at the lower left of the medals photo ..
The Military Cross was awarded for "gallantry in the field". There were 37,081 Military Crosses awarded during the First World War, but only 2,992 with Bar (i.e. for a second act of gallantry)
Notification of such awards were published in the London Gazette and the Edinburgh Gazette. The citation for the "2nd Military Cross" - i.e the Bar (shown across the ribbon on your photo is accessible from: https://www.thegazette.co.uk/Edinburgh/issue/13192/page/231 (although the link says page 231, the link actually seems to take you to page 233, but if you scroll forward a couple of pages to page 231 you will see the citation there) I think you will be interested to read that citation if you have not seen it before There is also a reference to Richard being awarded the Croix de Guerre, awarded by the King of the Belgians. The reference is at: https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/31537/supplement/11209 The Croix de Guerre is the second from the left on the lower row of the medals .
I don't have anyone with such a distinguished military record in my direct ancestors, so it is an honour to have even a distant connection with the Comelys. With Kind Regards DavidLancaster
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