Christ Church Crest
 
 
   
 
ยป William Laurie LANG
 
 

William Laurie LANG

Service number 72296

Born: July 4th 1911
Died:  October 27th 1941

Laurie was a son of John and Winifred Lang of Cleithaugh, Jedburgh. Roxburghshire. His father was in the Indian Civil Service and Laurie was born in India.

He spent some time in Canada in 1928, arriving back at Southampton on the Empress of Scotland on September 12th.

He was educated at Clifton College and Matriculated in 1930. Whilst up at Christ Church, he was President of Athletics and played tennis for the 2nd V1. He was Secretary of the University Political and Economic Society. He graduated in 1933 with a 2nd in PPE. He went to work for Pilkington Brothers Ltd. Glass Manufacturers.

On September 15th the following year, he married Frances E Mallett at Christ Church. They had two sons, one born in Stourbridge and the other in Prescot.

On May 10th 1938, he was granted a commission as a Pilot Officer in the RAFVR with seniority from May 15th 1936. He trained as a pilot with Coastal Command, Leuchars. On June 16th 1939, he was appointed a Junior Operations Officer in the Department of the Director General of Civil Aviation.

He was promoted to Flight Lieutenant on August 10th 1941. His family were living at Grendon Underwood, Buckinghamshire where a daughter was born early that year. His father died at his Scottish home, Cleithaugh, on July 31st.

On October 27th 1941, Laurie was killed whilst training another pilot at an Oxfordshire airfield. The plane crashed in fog.

The Times of November 1st 1941 announced, “In October 1941 on active service Flight Lieutenant Laurie Lang RAFVR own husband of Frances. No letters please.”

Laurie is buried in the churchyard at Grendon Underwood.

The inscription on his gravestone says

“Flight Lieutenant W.L. Lang Royal Air Force
27th October 1941 aged 30
A talented athlete, loving husband and father
A brave and free spirit”

His name is on the Jedburgh War Memorial

His wife died in 1983.

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