from Somerset, Devon and Dorset
© Andrew Templer 2023
John Michael Hewlett Sargent was the grandson of Beatrice (nee Templer) and Rev Sidney George Hawlett Sargent
SARGENT, JOHN MICHAEL HEWLETT
Rank: Flying Officer
Service No: 43553
Date of Death: 09/12/1941
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force 1 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit.
Panel Reference Panel 30.
Memorial; RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL
Son of the Revd. Lawrens Christopher Sargent, B.A., and Ethel Muriel Sargent, of The Vicarage, St. Peter-
Flying Officer John Michael Hewlett SARGENT (43553)
No1 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit, Royal Air Force
Date of birth: 16th July 1917
Date of death: 9th December 1941
Killed in action aged 24
Commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial Panel 30
He was born at Chiswick on the 16th of July 1917 the son of Major Laurens Christopher Sargent OKS, army tutor, later ordained, and Ethel Muriel (nee Dancy) of Up Pantiles, Ryders Avenue, Westgate on Sea, and later of The Vicarage St Peter in Thanet Kent and Ingrave Rectory near Brentwood.
He was educated at Doon House, Westgate, and at the King's School Canterbury from September 1931 to July 1936, where he was in School House. He was a King's Scholar, a house monitor and a Sergeant in the Officer Training Corps. For two years he was a prominent member of the PT squad (1935/36), was a silver bugler and was Hon Secretary of the Debating and Marlowe Societies.
After school he passed directly into the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich and on the outbreak of war was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant with the Royal Tank Regiment on the 27th of January 1938. He served as a wireless instructor and as officer in charge of PT.
He transferred to the Royal Air Force with the rank of Pilot Officer on the 13th May 1940 and was posted to No 1 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit, part of Coastal Command. He was promoted to Flying Officer on the 13th May 1940.
He was promoted to Flying Officer on the 13th May 1941 and was posted to No 1 Photographic Reconnaissance Unit, part of Coastal Command. He flew his first operational sortie for them on the 3rd October 1941 in Spitfire N3117.
At 11.05 on the morning of the 9th of December 1941 he took off in Spitfire N3117 from RAF Benson in Oxfordshire for a low level photographic reconnaissance near Berck. He failed to return.
His brother, Private Miles Christian Templar Sargent OKS 2nd Battalion Essex Regiment, was killed in action on the 16th May 1940.