The Liddons

Scroll down to find out more about the property.
Click on images or Charmouth Home to return back.

Captain Matthew John Liddon, whose memorial can be seen today in St. Andrew`s Church in Charmouth, was the grandson of James Warden, the gentleman who had died in a Duel. His mother, Ann Warden had married Matthew Liddon by licence in Axminster on 22 June 1789 in the presence of her father. At least five children were born of the marriage, Elizabeth in 1791, Sophia in 1793, Ann in 1795, Lucy in 1799 and Matthew John in 1801. The Liddons were an important family in Axminster, where they are shown as Farmers and Clothiers. Her name appears as Lady of the Manor in the detailed plans Isambard Kingdom Brunel drew up in 1846 with a proposal for a Railway linking Charmouth with Exeter. Her husband who was a Captain in the Royal Navy died in 1803 and she had to bring up her young family on her own.
On the death of her mother, Elizabeth Warden in 1798,she was to inherit both Langmoor and the Manor of Charmouth. It was said that she had to mortgage her estate to pay for the upbringing and school fees of her children. Although she owned Langmoor Manor, she was forced to rent it and lived in Melbourne House at the top of The Street, another property she had inherited. In1826 she was shown as the Patron of the Church when Glover was Rector. The 1841 Census shows her living there with her daughters, Sophia and Lucy. Another daughter, Ann married Captain Richard Spencer and lived for a time in Lyme Regis, but later, after he was knighted moved to Australia, where he was appointed Governor in Albany. When Ann died in 1849 her surviving children are shown as Mathew Liddon, Jnr, of Harwich, Essex, a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, Sophia Jackson Liddon and Lucy Liddon. In her will she leaves each of them a share of the Manor of Charmouth. The Naval Records for Matthew Liddon held at the Public Record Office are quite informative and show him rising from Masters Mate in 1822 to Lieutenant in 1828. He retired in 1860. At the time of his mother's death he had a house called “The Grove” in Axminster. He was to briefly become Lord of the Manor of Charmouth. But in 1854 he and his sister, Lucy sold the Estate to George Frean of Plymouth for £9100. By then Matthew was living in Andover in Hampshire and the Church is fortunate to have a memorial to him and his family. Both his sisters continued to live the rest of their days at Melbourne House.
As a postscript, in 1944 a descendant, Prudence F.Liddon Tosetti was born, and christened in Charmouth church. She was the great great grand daughter of Captain Matthew Liddon and niece of Harry Liddon R.A.F. killed in action on 5th May 1943 whose name is on our War Memorial and in the Book of Remembrance in St. Andrews.

The Land Tax for 1788 reveal that the Estate was literally split in half, with the property to the North of the Street known as Backlands being bought by the Reverend Brian Coombes, the village's Curate and that to the south called Sealands by Lieutenant James Warden R.N. Later in 1804, Simeon Bullen purchases the Manor House where his family were to live for 80 years before moving to Catherstone Manor.
It is James Warden who is to become the Village`s new Lord of the Manor. It is a puzzle how he was able to afford Charmouth and also Langmoor Manor where he resided. It has been conjectured that it was from prize money for the nineteen Sea Battles he fought in. But the Will for his wife shows them owning considerable property at Wapping, near London. He quarrelled with his son, whom he disinherited, and in his will left the Estate to his wife and upon her decease, upon trust, out of the rents and profits they were to pay to his son, William Weeks Wharton, £20 a year during his life.
In 1789 James won an action against the Rev. Brian Combe and others for removing sand and seaweed from the beach. His arguments climaxed with a disagreement with a neighbour, Norman Bond that resulted in a duel at Hunter's Lodge Inn with James being shot through the heart and the neighbour fleeing the country to Barbados. The episode is recorded on the large tabletop tomb near the entrance to Charmouth Church. His Wife, Elizabeth, was to survive him by 7 years, but not it would seem broken hearted. For a letter turned up where the writer says that: �Mrs, Warden welcomed and even courted her widowhood. She chose the pistols, thanked the gentleman who had lent them and made no effort to prevent the duel, although she lived close to a magistrate. In short she seemed determined that one of them should fall. If Mr, Bond, that her husband must be hanged, and if the latter, she was fairly rid of him. She was to lease Langmoor to a Mr Dicken and move to Axminster where she was to spend her last years. James and Elizabeth Warden were to have three children, of whom Ann who was to become Lady of the Manor on the death of her mother in 1798. She had married Matthew Liddon by licence in Axminster on 22 June 1789 in the presence of her father. At least five children were born of the marriage, Elizabeth in 1791, Sophia in 1793, Ann in 1795, Lucy in 1799 and Matthew John in 1801. The Liddon`s were an important family in Axminster, where they are shown as Farmers and Clothiers. She was living at Langmoor when she died in 1849. Her name appears as Lady of the Manor in the detailed plans Isambard Kingdom Brunel drew up in 1846 with a proposal for a Railway linking it with Exeter. The 1841 Census and Tithe Map show her living with two of her daughters in Charmouth, probably at Melborne House. Her eldest son was to die young at just forty and most of her Estate went to the younger son, Matthew. It is of interests that her eldest daughter Ann Warden Liddon was to be one of the earliest emigrants to Australia when she left these shores in 1833 with her nine children. By then she was Lady Spencer and accompanying her husband Captain Sir Richard Spencer, he was taking up his appointment of Government Resident at Albany. In the Dorset Record Office there is a magnificent bundle of deeds that cover the Liddon`s ownership and reveal the tangled web of debt she and her family were to amass on the security of the Manor of Charmouth for over 50 years. When Ann died in 1849 her surviving children are shown as Mathew Liddon, Jnr, of Harwich, Essex, a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy, Sophia Jackson Liddon and Lucy Liddon. In her will she leaves each of them a part of the Manor of Charmouth. The Naval Records for Matthew Liddon held at the Public Record Office are quite informative and show him rising from Masters Mate in 1822 to Lieutenant in 1828. He retired in 1860. At the time of his mother's death he had a house called the The Grove in Axminster . Shortly afterwards in 1854 he put the Estate up for sale. The Sale particulars describe a valuable Compact Estate comprising the Manor of Charmouth with all its rights and also Langmoor House with its park. . A newspaper advert for 1862 show him still owning property in the village when he sells by auction, "a pleasantly situated and roomy freehold dwelling house formerly called Streets Tenement with an excellent large garden and orchard situated opposite- Lower Sea Lane." This house was no doubt where the arcade of shops is today on the corner of Barrs Lane Matthew was to die in 1864 leaving two children, but by then their links with the village had been broken and the Manor of Charmouth had long been out of the family's hands. There is an unusual marble memorial to him in the church with a coat of arms above the inscription.

In 1788, the land Tax returns show Richard Henvill paying £8-6-6d for the Manor Farm with John Bowdridge as his tenant. The following year it is James Warden who is paying £4-14-8d for the land to the south called Sealands and the Reverend Brian Coombes paying £4-16-8d for the property to the North of the Street known as Backlands also farmed by John Bowdridge.
On James Warden death it is Widow, Elizabeth who is shown as paying the Land Tax for 1793. It is interesting in that it is described as part of Charmouth Farm.
The Land Tax for 1808 now shows that on the death of Elizabeth Warden it is her daughter, Ann Liddon who is the Lady of the Manor.

The Warden Tomb.
Hutchins in his history of Dorset has the following inscriptions. Today they are barely to be seen.
To the Memory of James Warden, Sq, who fell in a. Duel, He 28h of April, 1792, in the 56th year of his age.
He was created Lieutenant of his Majesty's navy in the year 1760 in which capacity he served his country with reputation & success. He was in 19 engagements during the memorable expeditions against the French fleet under the Gallant Hawke, & was present at the Surrender of Belle isle.
On the commencement of hostilities with America, his Voluntarily came forward to offer his service, and was in the number of those who first landed the British Grenadiers on that shore, after escaping the various dangers inseparable from his profession, he had the misfortune to experience the untimely end above mentioned .

27th August 1790 James Warden appoints Matthew Liddon of Weycroft, Axminster (Son in Law) his Game Keeper within the Lands of the Manor of Charmouth.

September 15th, 1797 matthew Liddon Esq. Axminster awarded a game certificate
Promotions May 28, 1799 Royal East Devon Fusiliers - Matthew Liddon Esq. to be Captain

Ann Liddon Spencer as a young girl at Langmoor Manor, near Charmouth.
Langmoor Manor on the outskirts of Charmouth as it is today.
1846 proposal for railway through Charmouth showing Mrs Sarah (Ann) Liddon as lady of the Manor.

A statement by Lieutenant Matthew Liddon , in the Royal Navy, Lord of the Manor of Charmouth in the County of Dorset dated February 1853
That Queen Elizabeth in the 6th year of Her reign (1564) granted the Lordship and Manor to Robert and William Caldwell, Gentlemen and their heirs with all their rights , members, liberties and appurtenances whatsoever to the late dissolved Monastery of Ford in the County of Devon belonging and all tenements, heriditaments and also the Advowson of the Recory and Church of Charmouth with their rights and appurtenances and all messuages, mills, dove houses, lands, tenements, commons, wastes, marshes, waters, fishing places, fishings, warrens, rents and services, rents of free men and of customary tenements , fee farms and of Knights fee marriages escheats relief heriots fines amerciaments court lets view of Frank pledge and all the same Courts appertaining chattels Wayved strays chattels of felons Bond men and women and fairs markets tolls customs and all other the rights jurisdictions franchises privileges emoluments and heritaments with the appurtenances of whatsoever nature general or special or by whatsoever manner they are known in Charmouth or elsewhere in the same County to the said Manor in any way belonging or as member so fully and freely as any other Abbott or Prior of Ford or any others the said Lordship and manor were possessed or seized or ought to have enjoyed by virtue of any Charter, Gift or confirmation or any Letters Patent by us or by any of our Progenitors Kings of England before this had made or granted or confirmed or by reason or by virtue of any lawful prescription use or custom heretofore had by whatsoever lawful means right or title and also so fully freely and in as ample manner and form as we or any Progenitors the Lordship and manor before said and all and singular the premises to the said Lordship and manor appertaining and every parcel thereof we have had and enjoyed and the same had and enjoyed as we or they ought to have and enjoy as unto the manor aforesaid belonging and appertaining.
In the Reign of King Edward 2nd (1307-1327) a fair and Market were granted to the Abbot. It is extant that the Abbott of Ford exercised extensive jurisdiction and granted permission to buy and sell within certain limits. In the sixth of Queen Elizabeth (1564) the Manor and lordship and Franchises in the same Manor as before related were granted to Sir William Petre and Mr Liddon has in his possession Deeds regularly deducing the Title to the present times.
In the year 1789 action of trespass was bought by James Warden Esq, the grandfather of the present owner (Matthew Liddon) against the Rev. Brian Combe and others for entering a Close of the Plaintiff part of the waste in the Parish of Charmouth and for carrying away stones, seaweed ore stones sand and gravel earth and for breaking fences, gates the defendants pleaded that the Close was part of the Sea Beach between high water and low water mark the result was that of not guilty that issue was found for the Plaintiff establishing Plaintiffs right as Lord of the Manor to t he sea beach. Mr Liddon has in his possession an old map and book of reference delineating the waste beach as belonging to the Manor and the several freehold leasehold and other tenements paying rents to the Lord of t he Manor with presentments at the Court Leet held from time to time and accounts of the rents of the Manor for years amongst others a payment by the owner of Wootton Fitzpaine - Thomas Rose Drew Esq and the Mayor of Lyme Regis. For the permission and license to take stone he also has in his possession payments for the pyrites and Mundic rented by different persons under leases and of stone let for the purposes of Cement and also the Lias Lime stone has also been taken from the beach for manuring the overland tenement let by the Late Mrs Liddon and if advertised in the year 1811that the tenement was to have the exclusive right of taking the seaweed annually thrown on to the beach. the late Mrs Liddon, the Lady of the Manor and also her father the said James Warden exercised the exclusive right of fishing in the River Char and the ancient Lords of Whitechurch never came below the Charmouth Bridge indeed there's is no doubt both from the evidence of documents and the reputation of the place that the rights and the exercise of them were coextensive with the grant except as to any custom within the place or Grants to Paries such as Mr Drew which were subject to acknowledgements. For example there appease at the Court Leet of 18th October 1805 James Gerrard and otters were presented for taking stones and sand from the reign of King Edward 4th the waste of the Manor and if persons generally took stones from the Beach it was a usurpation and they could not set up a prescriptive right. the neighbouring Manor of Chideock the Lord of which manor had an ancient grant in the reign og King Edward 4th now existing and in respect to Charmouth if the Register or the Cartulary of the Abbey of Ford can be inspected and other documentary evidence it will be made more evident what the right of the Abbots were
In 1906 Mr John James Coulton the Ghent Lord of the Manor of Charmouth brought an action in the Axminster County Court for damages for trespass by removing sand and stone from the Beach at Charmouth and established his rights.
Since that date a royalty on all sand, shingle and stone carted from the Beach has been paid to him, and also an acknowledgement rent in respect of bathing huts or tents put up by visitors on the Beach.

The 1810 Ordnance Survey for Charmouth showing Langmoor to the north west of the village and open fields to the south of the Street.
Sir Richard Spencer (1779- 1839) and Lady Ann Spencer (1793-1855)
Strawberry Hill Farm, the Spencer`s home in Albany, Australia.

This Indenture made the 1st February 1799 between Matthew Liddon of Furzleigh and Ann his wife of Axminster and Francis Dight of Axminster. The said Matthew and Ann his wife for the sum of five shillings paid by the said Dight has sold all those three closes lying in Langmoor containing 6 acres late in the possession of Elizabeth Fowler or her tenants afterwards of Francis Folaquier his tenant lately of Jacob Burrow and two of which closes were a short time since in the possession of Elizabeth Burrows and Elizabeth Farr and the other in possession of George Case as Tenant Therof. Signed Matthew Liddon, Ann Liddon.

The Manor of Charmouth with it's Manorial Rights , and the Estates of Langmoor and Seaside Lands with 120 acres was auctioned on 27th of September, 1837 at the Coach and Horses in Charmouth. But it could not have met its reserve as the sale did not go through until 1854.
Memorial in Charmouth Church to Captain Matthew Liddon, who was buried there in 1864.
A newspaper report in 1792 of the duel between James Warden and Norman Bond at Hunters Lodge on the outskirts of Charmouth.
Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette of 27 Aug 1789 stated "Lately was married, at Axminster, Matthew Liddon, Esq., of Weycroft House to Miss Ann Warden, youngest daughter of James Warden esq., of Charmouth".
A newscutting from 1797 showing Elizabeth Newell Warden renting Langmoor to her relation, John Dicken, Esq.
A report from May 1830 regarding the death of James Liddon, whjo was Ann Liddon`s eldest son.


Particulars & Conditions of sale of a freehold Estate Comprising the Manor of Charmouth also a Comfortable Residence distinguished as Langmoor House,together with meadows, Arable & Woodland approaching 100 acres, for sale by Auction by Auction Mart, Bartholomew lane on Thursday 18 th August 1853  
Particulars of a truly Valuable & singularly Compact Freehold Estate comprising the Manor of Charmouth, with the rights, Royalties, Fines Etc, Also a Comfortable Residence distinguished as Langmoor House, containing accomadation for a respectable family, productive garden, Coach House, stabling approached by a carriage drive through Park like land beautifully timbered, on the high road leading from Bridport to Axminster, together with several enclosures of Meadows, Arable & wood land approaching 100 acres a portion of which is bounded by the Sea Shore, on which, and in the cliffs, are found an abundance of Cement & Blue Lias Stone, Pyrite and other minerals. The right of collecting the same appertains to this manor from which a rental may be obtained, also the right of fishing in the River Char. Which will be sold by Auction, by Messrs H. Brown & T.A. Roberts at the Auction Mart,opposite the Bank of England on Thursday 18 th August 1853 at 12 o clock in one lot. The Premises may be viewed on Application to Matthew John Liddon Esq. RN Charmouth of whom particulars with a plan may be had.  
This compact & truly Valuable Estate offers the most Important & substantial recommendation to the Capatialist as it embraces some of the most Valuable and Fertile land in the County of Dorset, of which possession may be a considerable portion, together with the residence at Michaelmas next. The Timber also for the Eastern part, eshews an ornamental portion round the House,young and thriving, among other advantages it offers are an important oppurtunity to any Gentleman desirious of possession in political influence, being attached to the Borough of Lyme Regis, of which it forms a considerable portion, but in a commercial point of view the advantages desirable from the Mineral Production in the manufacture of Roman Cement and Blue Lias Lime, are not to be excelled.  
The Estate is all Freehold and the poor and other rates very low, is situate in that truly Picturesque valley of Charmouth, about 2 miles from Lymed Regis and 5 from Axminster. Comprises a Comfortable Family residence, approached by a carriage Drive through park with Lane adjoining High Road leading from Bridport to Exeter, supplied with excellent Springs of water and contains 4 principle bed chambers, a dressing Room, 2 Seravants Sleeping Rooms, Drawing, Dining & Breakfast Room, Entrance Hall, Kitchen, Skullery, Dairy and other Domestic offices, Coach House & Stabling. Productive Garden and Orchards together with various pieces of Arable, Pasture and Woodlands comprising in the whole 97 acres, 2 roods ( be this the same a little more or less) Many portions of which present desirable sites for building, commanding the most picturesque views over a vast extent of country and the English Channel, within easy approach to the South W and G.W railways by coaches passing and repassing daily.The manor of Charmouth extends over 500 acres, including the whole of the village. Among the many other advantages is an ancient grant from the Crown to take toll on all stone, sand, seaweed and other productions removed from an extensive range of the Seashore between High and Low Water mark, which with the abundantly supply of Blue Lias and Cement Stones, Pyrites and other Mineral and Fossil Productions in the Cliffs and on the Beach, from which Charmouth is so justly celebrated, with the great facilities of water carriage. A large annual income may be realised, and also fines, fees, Quit Rents, and other advantages attached to the Manor.  
Nos. 114-133 were late in the occupation of Mrs Austin at the nominal rent of £50 a year of which possession may be had at Michaelmas next. no.114 Late Mrs Austin Pond 36 perches , no.115 Late Mrs Austin Lawn 4 acres, 1 roiod 27 perches  
no.116 Late Mrs Austin Orchard 2 rood 6 perches, no.117 Late Mrs Austin Langmoor Yard & Garden 1 acre 14 perches  
nos, 180-175 by John Hodges, no 94 by John Diment, no147 by William Case, nos.214 & 37 by William Fooks, no.108 by Charles Clarke
no 210 by Mary Atkins, no. 213 by James Trum, no. 153 by Thomas Gordon Esq  
£50 per annum has been offered for the privilege of collecting the Blue Lias & Cement Stone on the Beach only, a very much larger Rental may be had if permissions be extended to dig into the Cliffs, also for collecting the Pyrites, Minerals and Fossils.  
Conditions of sale
No.10 That as under a will proved in 1792, this property is charged with an annuity of £20 payable to a gentleman ( W.W.W. Warden) now aged 86 years, the vendors shall not be required to procure a release or other discharge of the premises from the annuity, but the same shall be returned on a House, garden and Field, called Guppy`s Tenement containing 1 acre, 17 perches, in the occupation of M.J. Liddon Esq and James Hodges, situate in Charmouth, of the annual rent of £30 or otherwise, for the purchaser shall accept the joint & several covenants of the vendors for his indeminity against the said annuity, at the option of the vendors, and it shall noit be required of the vedors to obtain any conveyance or reconveyance of any trustess or trusteee in respect of any trust created more than 40 years the date hereof  
No.11 That no other Evidence of the Execution of a certain conveyance upon trust for sale and power of attourney dated 2 nd May 1851, by Lady Spencer shall be .. the vendors than that which appears in the deed, being the covenant residing at Albany, King George`s Sound, Western Australia, and another witness.

LIDDON. (Lieutenant, 1828.)
Matthew John Liddon entered the Navy 13 July, 1815; passed his examination in 1822; and obtained his commission 23 May, 1828. His appointments have since been – 16 Sept. 1828, to the Victor 18, Captain Richard Keane, on the Jamaica station, whence he returned to England in 1830 in the Fairy 10, Captain Francis Blair – and 14 July, 1838, to the Coast Guard, in which service he still continues.

MATTHEW LIDDON (1792 TO 1869) - Not Matthew John, though similar backgrounds and are cousins.
Matthew Liddon was the third son of John Bunter Liddon, an Axminster tanner, and his wife Mary (née Hill). Matthew was baptised at Axminster on 25 April 1792, and joined the Navy in May 1804, in the middle of the Napoleonic wars.
He served in the Caribbean, South America and the Mediterranean before he was 20, and in 1810 was mentioned in despatches following a skirmish off Calabria. On 3 May 1811 he was made a Lieutenant.
He then served with distinction in North America, before being appointed second-incommand of an Arctic expedition sent to look for the North-West Passage. The expedition’s leader, Edward Parry, named a gulf after Liddon, and it was many years before others made better progress through the North-West Passage.
In 1827 Liddon, by then a Commander, married Ann Bilke of Blackfriars, but formerly of Weycroft. After a few years in Hampshire they moved to Colyton in 1832, where Ann died in 1849. They had four sons and six daughters. Liddon was promoted to Captain on 1 April 1856, and died at Clifton (Bristol) on 31 August 1869.
The information above comes from ‘Notes on Axminster’ by Major W H Wilkin (1933), which can be found in Axminster library.


James Harvey Pierce was a friend of James Warden and appears to have received from him under his Will property in Wapping, whicvh he had himself inherited from his Aunt, Hannah Parks on her death in 1788. Nightingale Lane is shown on the map, which was James Warden`s mother lived before her early death in 1741.
My ancestor, John Harvey Pierce, owned this property, apparently a public house, at the time of his death in 1818 (per his will). He owned other property on Great Hermitage Street (now Hermitage Wall). I am wondering if Edinburgh Castle still exists in or near Wapping/Stepney (I am just learning the geography, excuse my ignorance, please).
If your Edinburgh Castle was the one in Stepney it was bought by a charity (Barnardos I think) early last century and became a mission hall and club.It stood in Rhodeswell Rd and was demolished to make way for the East London Sports Stadium probably late 70s.Hope this helps.
John Harvey Pierce Axminster Will 1818
Of New Park in Axminster bequeathe to General James Miller and Captain John Miller, my wife’s brothers to my son in law Charles Pearce esq of Plymouth dock solicitor £5
Bequeathe to my wife all my household goods
General james Miller, Captain john Miller, Thomas Gisborn and Charles Piers
Pay to my wife Jane £35 a year by her fathers will entitled to £80 a year £15 a year a legacy from her cousin
Henrietta Braddock my half sister
Bequeathe to my son Edward Pierce books, eldest son Henry Miller Pierce
Daughter Jane,
8 houses in Hermitage street, houses and land in Upchurch, Kent
Public house in Union Stairs. The Edinburgh Castle Public House with the Warehouses, Stable and dwelling House adjoining situated in Wapping near the Hermitage.  

Matthew Liddon was born in 1763 to Matthew and Deborah Liddon in Axminster. He married Ann Warden in 1789 at Axminster. James Warden Liddon born to Matthew and Ann Liddon
Matthew was born in 1797 to William Liddon and Hannah Parks Liddon at Axminster.
27th August
James Warden of Charmouth in the County of Dorset Esquire in and by his deputation bearing date under his hand and seal duly stamped the 26th day of August instant authorise and appoint Matthew Liddon of Waycroft in the parish of Axminster in the county of Devon Gentleman to be his Gamekeepr and within his Manor or lands of Charmouth aforesaid to kill and preserve Game etc.

1878 directory Wycroft, or Weycroft, long held by the Wigot, Gobodisleigh, and Dennis families, is now held by Edward Liddon, Esq., of Taunton ; and Lodge, a neighbouring portion of the ancient demesne to John Liddon, Esq., of London.
5/6 March, 1943; ESSEN:
A mixed force of 442 Lancasters, Halifaxes, Stirlings, Wellingtons and Oboe Mosquitoes was despatched to Essen, of which 56 returned early before reaching the target. At exactly 19.13hrs, the first 49 Squadron Lancaster lifted from Fiskerton's twinkling flarepath and by 19.31hrs the last of the 8 aircraft detailed, had climbed away into the dark, moonless night. High above home base navigators gave their pilots a course that headed them towards Mablethorpe, and from there to Egmong on the Dutch coast. From Egmong they flew to a point 15 miles north of Essen, where Pathfinders had placed yellow ground markers. From here the bombers began their run-up to the target. The attack was in three overlapping waves, Halifaxes first followed by Wellington/Stirlings
and then the high flying Lancasters. At the rate of 11 aircraft a minute, the main force passed over Essen within forty minutes. Shortly before midnight 49 Squadron's Lancasters started to land back at Fiskerton. The tired but eager crews clambered aboard the crew buses which ferried them to de-brief where most gave optimistic reports of a 'good show'. Meanwhile, back at the darkened airfield, to the ground-crew of M-Mother came the sad realisation that their charge would not be coming home. Their worst fears were later confirmed... Jimmy Thom DFM, the popular Scots pilot and his young crew had all perished during the operation. It is believed that they were shot down by Ltn Denzel, west of Texel and crashed into the sea. Later that morning, reconnaissance photographs showed that the returning crews’ optimism was not unfounded. 160 acres of the target had been destroyed with the main area of damage being between the Krupps works and the city centre.
But a price had to be paid; Bomber Command lost 14 aircraft and crews.
Lancaster ED431 (EA-M)
Sgt J.M. Thom DFM Pilot (Missing)
Sgt D.G. Fairlie F/E (Missing)
F/S J.H. Prior NAV (Missing)
F/S K. Bolton W/AG (Missing)
Sgt D.S. Bratt A/G (Missing)
W/O A.M. Horne B/A (Missing)
Sgt F.H.L. Vines A/G (Missing)
Crew on their 18th operation


Matthew. Rank: Captain. Date of Appointment: 16 December 1808.

Liddon, Matthew John. Date of Birth: 02 November 1800. Rank: Lieutenant. Date of Appointment: 08 February 1822.

Liddon, Matthew J. Rank: Commander. Date of Appointment: 04 February 1852.