Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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1180125   Aircraftman Stephen George Kirkham
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 15/01/2020
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 976 Balloon Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (British Air Force)
Died: 30/04/1942 (Died of Wounds)
Age: 34
Summary      
Stephen George Kirkham was the son of Mr and Mrs T Kirkham. He was born about 1908. He was the husband of Mary Agnes Kirkham. They had one son. Aircraftman 1st Class Stephen George Kirkham served with the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 976 Balloon Squadron in Egypt. The 900 series number was allocated to Barrage Balloon units of the Auxiliary Air Force. Aircraftman Stephen Kirkham appears to have died from wounds received in action.
Further Information
Stephen George Kirkham was the son of Mr and Mrs T Kirkham.
Stephen Kirkham was born about 1908. He was a native of London.
Stephen Kirkham was the husband of Mary Agnes Kirkham. They had one son.
Stephen Kirkham joined the Air Force at the outbreak of war and saw service in Iceland.
Aircraftman 1st Class Stephen George Kirkham served with the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 976 Balloon Squadron in Egypt. The 900 series number was allocated to Barrage Balloon units of the Auxiliary Air Force.
The North African campaign covered a vast front, and as expected, many areas lacked sufficient Air defences. Balloons provided protection at several important ports and coastal landing areas, effectively enhancing the existing anti-aircraft defences and preventing low level attacks by enemy aircraft.
Aircraftman Stephen Kirkham appears to have died from wounds received in action.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 9th May 1942: Killed on Active Service
KIRKHAM – Killed in action in the Middle East, First-class Air Gunner Stephen George Kirkham, Royal Air Force, beloved husband of Agnes Kirkham, Hammond Street, Moneymore. Deeply regretted by his sorrowing wife and son.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 9th May 1942:
Mrs Kirkham, of Hammond Street, Moneymore, has received intimation that her husband, First-Class Air Gunner Stephen George Kirkham, has been killed by enemy action in the Middle East. Air Gunner Kirkham, a native of London, joined the Air Force at the outbreak of war and saw service in Iceland. He was home on leave as lately as January last. He is survived by his wife and one boy. The sympathy of the district goes out to Mrs Kirkham and her son in their sad loss.
Aircraftman Stephen Kirkham is buried in Heliopolis War Cemetery in Cairo, Egypt. His inscription reads ‘LOVINGLY REMEMBERED BY HIS WIFE AND SON. SWEET JESUS, HAVE MERCY’
The cemetery at Heliopolis was opened in October 1941 for burials from the many hospitals in the area coping with sick and wounded, mainly from the Western Desert campaigns.
The CWGC record Aircraftman 1st Class Stephen George Kirkham as the son of Mr and Mrs T Kirkham. He is also recorded as the husband of Mary Agnes Kirkham of Moneymore, County Londonderry.
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Relevant Cookstown Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Hammond Street Moneymore Lived at Hammond Street, Moneymore 54.689958 -6.670763
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 National Archives UK Details of Squadron Number 976
2 War Graves Photographic Project Photo of Stephen Kirkham's grave can be purchased here
Cookstown District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2010-2021