Flying Officer Cyril Joe Barton, VC., RAFVR

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Reference WMO253183

Address:

Selby Abbey

The Crescent

SELBY

YO8 4PU

England

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Status: On original site
Type: Non freestanding
Location: Internal
Setting: Inside a building - public/private
Description: Board/Plaque/ Tablet
Materials:
  • Metal Metal (any)
Lettering: Incised
Conflicts:
  • Second World War (1939-1945)
About the memorial: The memorial is a polished stainless steel plaque which is attached within the left hand of 5 lancets under the Selby War Memorial window in the north choir aisle of Selby Abbey. The oval plaque in brushed aluminium includes the badge of 578 Squadron and a description of the events which led to F.O. Barton being awarded a posthumous VC. At the base of the oval is the Boy Scout badge as F.O.Barton was an active member of the scouts. Above the plaque is a coloured replica of the 578 Squadron Badge. This matches the memorial to WC Wilkerson which occupies the niche to the left. The two memorials were assembled and fixed shortly before the 578 Burn Association annual meeting and Service of Remembrance in May 1995.
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Flying Officer CYRIL JOE BARTON V C., RAFVR Volunteering for aircrew in 1941 and having trained in America, he began operational duties as a Halifax bomber pilot with 78 Squadron before joining 578 Squadron, based at Burn. On the night of 30 March 1944 he participated in an attack on Nuremburg. Short of the target, his aircraft was very severely damaged by enemy fighters, which forced three of his crew to parachute out. Despite this, and single handed, he completed his mission before turning for home. Guided only by the stars, he flew his crippled machine over Germany and France, to encounter further anti-aircraft fire when crossing the English coast near Sunderland. With all engines out of action, he took the gallant decision to avoid the heavily populated area by making a crash landing at nearby Ryhope Colliery, an act of heroism which was to cost him his life. His final words were of concern for the safety of the three remaining members of crew, all of whom survived their traumatic experience. A posthumous Victoria Cross was conferred by King George VI in recognition of most conspicuous bravery. Cyril Barton, who was 22 years old at the time of his death, was a dedicated and practising christian and an active member of the 1st Oxshott Scout Group in Surrey

Cyril Joe Barton

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