Decorated Soldier marries Sweetheart, 1940

It’s always exciting to read about military personnel who were awarded honours for the services in the war.

Here I found Pilot-Officer Frank Henderson Denton who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (D.F.C.).  The D.F.C. is the third-level military decoration awarded to officers of the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force and other services, and formerly to officers of other Commonwealth countries, for “an act or acts of valour, courage or devotion to duty whilst flying in active operations against the enemy”


DFCDistinguished Flying CrossDFCDistinguished Flying Cross

Wedding After Decoration

Pilot-Officer’s D.F.C.

Much local interest was taken in a wedding at Farnborough Parish Church on Tuesday, when the bridegroom was a young New Zealander, who has recently been awarded the D.F.C. He was Pilot Officer Frank Henderson Denton, of Greymouth, West Coast, New Zealand. His bride was Miss Beryl Margaret Mary Rigby, daughter of Mr and Mrs Rigby of Hammersmith.

The bridegroom has been staying at Farnborough, where he has already made a number of friends. The ceremony was performed by the Vicar, the Rev. E. P. Field. The bride, who was given away by Captain Steventon, wore a costume of Air Force blue with fox trimmings, and carried a bouquet of carnations and white heather. There were no bridesmaids, but Flying Officer F. F. Baker was best man. After the ceremony there was a reception at the George and Dragon Hotel, and when Pilot Officer and Mrs Denton left for their honeymoon the bride wore a green suit with lynx furs.

The official notification of the award of the D.F.C. to Pilot Officer Denton was as follows:-

Denton, Pilot Officer Frank Henderson. –
One night in September, 1940, although the enemy tried to tempt his with a dummy flare path, Pilot Officer shewed great resourcefulness and daring when he successfully attacked the aerodrome at Chartres, his primary target, from a very low altitude. Several nights later, having failed to locate his target in the Ruhr owing to most severe weather conditions, he decided to attack the docks and shipping at Flushing. He broke cloud at 1,000ft. and manoeuvred until he was in a position to attack this target, which he knew was heavily defended.

Pilot Officer Denton dived through the devastating curtain of light “flak” and machine-gun fire in a most determined and courageous manner, and released his bombs at an altitude so low that the force of the explosions rocketed his aircraft several hundred feet in the air. Nevertheless he was able to see large fires and explosions among the shipping and docks. Eventually, with great difficulty, he brought his aircraft, with gaping holes through each wind, safely back to its base. Pilot Officer has taken part in 24 major bombing raids over enemy territory. He is a determined and courageous captain, and carries the complete confidence of his crew and associates.


Sources:
Bromley & Kentish Times, 1st November 1940, page 4
Researched using the free database at www.MilitaryAncestors.co.uk

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