KELSHALL – Arnold Sinclair

1394902 – A.S. Kelshall – Trinidad – F/O – Pilot – attested 12.8.41
133424 – commissioned 6.11.42 – P/War 26.4.44

[Source: NA AIR 2/6876 – Nominal Roll of Coloured Candidates, October 1944]

Flight Lieutenant – Pilot – 254 Sqn, Coastal Command – Beaufighter – POW

Educated QRC, Volunteer Trinidad ETS, trained at Piarco 60hrs Tiger Moth; UK training 60hrs Peterborough; Canada training Harvard a/c, Prince Edward Island. Shot down and wounded when flying a beaufighter against a German convoy off the Dutch coast. Sent to Stalag Luft 3, transferred to Ludenvalde, POW # 433427. Eventually escaped from Russian custody at the end of the war.

[Source: CMHA]

245 Squadron, 1940. A.S. Kelshall  front row, 3rd from right. [Foto: RAF]

Top right: A.S. Kelshall; Bottom left: John Shirley

[Courtesy: Family of F/O John Shirley & Aircrew Remembrance Society]

Kelshall Family0002

“A family group photo which includes my uncle, Arnold Sinclair Kelshall (on the right). Arnold was coastal command on Beaufighters and was shot down and  held in Stalag Luft 3 for about 1 year. This photo would have been taken right after my uncle and his brother Philip Walter Kelshall (my father, on the left) were demobilised, as I am the young lad in the photo, and I was born June 1944. I was born whilst Arnold was missing in action, and that’s why my initials are A.S.B. Kelshall in his honour. Both my uncle Arnold and my dad were at Cambridge university studying law when the war broke out. They joined the Cambridge University Air Squadron initially. My dad went on to be an instructor at RAF Cranwell before joining the Mosquito squadron. Arnold turned up later in a German prison camp, having been shot down in the North Sea off the coast of Holland, and been “rescued” by a German U-boat that luckily surfaced a few hundred yards away! Uncle Arnold went back to practice law with the family law firm in Port-of-Spain, TM Kelshall & co.”

[Courtesy: Anthony Simon Kelshall, son of Flight Lieutenant P.W. Kelshall]

HARRIES – Thomas

Flight Lieutenant – pilot – 19 Sqn – Mustang – POW

Shot down by flak over a V1 site. Taken POW. Retired 1945

[Source: CMHA]

605483 – T.M. Harries – Trinidad -attested 28.7.42 – P/O Pilot UK 5.1.43
136418 – F/L – commissioned 4.12.42 – POW 28.2.44

[Source: NA AIR 2/6876]


1399188 – E.R. Carrington – Trinidad – Ach/Obs. – attested 19.11.41
133251 – F/O – commissioned 7.1.43 – P/War 26.7.43 (?)

[Source: NA AIR 2/6876 – Nominal Roll of Coloured Candidates, October 1944]

Pilot Officer – Pilot – Halifax – POW

Educated QRC; Volunteer ETS; trained Piarco; Shot down while flying a Halifax. POW. Died April 1990

[Source: CMHA]

ANDERSON – Basil Courtnay

Rear Gunner – 218 Sqn – Lancaster – POW

[Source: CMHA]

1802306 – Basil Courtnay Anderson – Trinidad – 158 Sqdn – Sgt – Rear Gunner

Sergeant Basil Courtnay Anderson was shot down on the night of 8-9 October, 1943, on a 500 bomber raid to Hannover.  He left RAF Lissett in East Yorkshire as a rear gunner in Halifax bomber no. LW371 of 158 Squadron, which was hit just before arriving at the target.  The fuel tank and no. 2 engine on the left were on fire and Basil reported seeing the flames lick his turret.  Pilot John Clifford Mattey ordered his crew to abandon the aircraft.  Having repeated the drill many times, the whole crew jumped within 30 seconds and all landed safely.

Basil Anderson was captured by the Germans and imprisoned in Stalag 4B in Mühlberg-an-der-Elbe, along with the rest of the crew.

[Source:, courtesy AD]

Basil Anderson and his crewmates.





From left to right: Basil Anderson, Alan Steen, George Harris, John Mattey, Maurice Airey, Raymond Wootton and Ronald Duck

[photo: The Anderson Family]

[Trinidad Guardian 18 January 1944 – Courtesy Jerome Lee, CMHA]

BOURNE – Ian Desmond (Don)


Ian D. Bourne – Pilot Officer – Pilot – Spitfire X – POW

Son of Bertram H. Bourne (from Trinidad?) – educated QRC – volunteered ETS – trained at Piarco 2nd in class – flying a PRU Spitfire from Benson – first operational flight – reported missing July 1942 – POW – Joined regular RAF post-war, killed 26 July 1953, Squadron Leader, flying Gloster Meteor

[Source: CMHA]
ATS, Piarco, Trinidad. 2nd Course – Standing: F.W. Farfan, K. Rostant, T.H. Meyer – Sitting: I. Bourne, R. Williams (instructor), Lieut. J.F. Carroll (chief instructor), W. Brown (ground engineer), J.D. Lenagan/Lennigan? (senior cadet) [Source: CMHA]

Read more about his crash here at

GRANT – Cyril Ewart Lionel (Cy)

1397467 – P/O – Cyril Ewart Lionel (Cy) Grant – attested 10.10.41 – commissioned 6.2.43 – F/O 188338 Pilot
Missing – POW 26.6.43

[Source: NA AIR 2/6876 – Nominal Roll of Coloured Candidates, October 1944]

Flight Lieutenant – Navigator – 103 Squadron – Lancaster – POW 1943-1945

Cy Grant
Picture on the left shows Cy Grant as he was portrayed in the Nazi-propaganda paper Der Völkische Beobachter. Caption reads: ‘Ein Mitglied der Royal Air Force von unbestimmbarer Rasse’ (A member of the Royal Air Force of indeterminable race). The clipping was given to Grant by the commander of POW-camp Stalag Luft III in Silesia.

Actor – stage, film, TV;
Singer – concert, cabaret, record;
Co-founder Drum Arts Centre;
Director Concord Multicultural Festivals;
Author: A Member of the RAF of Indeterminate Race (a war memoir) Woodfield, 2006,
Ring of Steel: pan sound & symbol, Macmillan 1999,
Blackness & the Dreaming Soul: Race, Identity & the Materialistic Paradigm, Shoving Leopard, 2007;
Rivers of Time (collected poems) Naked Light 2008.

Article in Black History 2009

website (new!)

[Source: CG]

MOD – we were there

[Trinidad Guardian 18 January 1944 – Courtesy Jerome Lee, CMHA]

Ron Hall and Cy Grant

With fellow-Guyanese Ron Hall (to the left of Cy). And the names on the back of the picture.

Read an interesting account about Mr. Hall enlisting in Guyana and his voyage to the UK here on

[click to enlarge]

RonHall-CyGrant reverse

[Photo’s: Courtesy of Pip Jager and David Gleave/]

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