Desmond Ruchwaldy

Bank: Westminster Bank

Place of work: Broadwater branch

Died: 21 May 1946


Desmond Fred Ruchwaldy was born in Singapore on 14 November 1920, the son of Fred and Norah Evelyn Ruchwaldy. The family returned to England early in Ruchwaldy's childhood, and he was educated at St Dunstan's Preparatory School, Worthing, and Hurstpierpoint College. 


Ruchwaldy joined the staff of Westminster Bank at its Haywards Heath branch in November 1937. The following month he transferred to Broadwater branch, where he remained until July 1940, when he left the bank to join the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. 


Ruchwaldy trained as a fighter pilot, but early in his career was involved in a crash in which he broke his back. He spent six months in plaster, but was subsequently able to return to active service, and went on to have a highly successful career. As a Sergeant in 1942 he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal, and in 1944 - by which time he was a Flying Officer - he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.


Later in the war he spent six months in the United States of America, and on his return was appointed commanding officer of Glasgow University Air Squadron, but he missed flying, and early in 1946 returned to a pilot's role. Flight Lieutenant Ruchwaldy was killed when his plane crashed on 21 May 1946. He was 25 years old and left a widow, Josephine, and a young son.

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