Sqd-Ldr Russell Alfred Bell-Syer
- Born: 1886
- Marriage: Eileen Burnand Q1 1910 in Plymouth, Devon
- Died: 29 Sep 1942 aged 56
Info from Bryan Bell-Syer "Gladys' brother Russell retired to Swindon village after a stint in the Royal Navy then merchant marine in China, so they would have been fairly close (... see Obit, actually shared a house with Cyril and Gladys). He commanded a gunboat on the Yangtze river shortly before he resigned from the navy. Russell's name appears on the village war memorial as a Squadron leader because he became Chief Navigation Instructor at RAF St Athan, west of Cardiff, when WWII broke out, but died on active service. "
1911 census (from Wendy) as Lieutenant - Executive Branch on Board HMS Hermione in Barrow & Furness
The Register 1939, Occupants of The Old Cottage, Swindon, Cheltenham
Gladys E M Griffiths 25/5/188 Unpaid Domestic Duties/ARP Air Warden
Doris H Locke* 25/6/1890 Nurse Companion
Russell Bell-Syer 08/09/1886 Aircraft/Officer RAF
There was also one other occupant but this is blacked out as asssumed still living (imagine it was a 'domestic')
** Russell Bell-Syer is down as single but he was married of course to Eileen. I found her living at 39 Marchmont Street Holborn as Domestic Help to Mr & Mrs Seckel. She is rightly declared as Married.
Apr 1940; Guest at George-Powell/St John Wright wedding listed as 'Flight-Lieut R.A. Bell Syer'
3rd Oct 1942; Cheltenham Chronicle "Death of Sqdn-Ldr R.A. Bell-Syer. Collapsed in Plane. His many friends in the district will hear with regret of the death, while flying, of Squadron-Leader Russell Alfred Bell-Syer at the age of 56. Squadron-Leader Bell-Syer a retired naval commander, had been living for some years before the war with his sister, Mrs.Gladys Griffiths, at the Old Cottage, Swindon village.
On the outbreak of war he joined the R.A.F. and served as an adjutant at a number of stations, and had recently been promoted Squadron-Leader and appointed Commanding Officer at a new station.
His work involved a great deal of flying, and he was a passenger in a plane when he collapsed and died.
Squadron-Leader Bell-Syer took an early interest in the Sea Cadet movement, but had to relinquish this work on joining the R.A.F. He came of a well-known London family"
Russell married Eileen Burnand Q1 1910 in Plymouth, Devon.