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Squadron Leader Edward Fitzroy St. Aubyn
Second World War Air Force United Kingdom
Squadron Leader Edward Fitzroy St. Aubyn
View record on CWGC

Edward Fitzroy St. Aubyn was born in London in March 1907. He was the third child born to Guy Stewart St. Aubyn and his wife Edith. He and his older sisters Barbara and Juliet would be joined by a third sister Violet in 1909, rounding out the family. Guy was a career Army officer who rose to be Colonel in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps and was appointed Officer, Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) in 1919.

Edward, known as Teddy, was educated at Eton, where he was a ‘Pop’ (a member of The Eton Society of senior prefects), before leaving to join the Grenadier Guards as an officer. 

While with the Grenadier Guards, Teddy took private flying lessons and received his aviator certificate from the Royal Aero Club in June 1930 at the Cinque Ports Flying Club at Lympne in Kent. 

He resigned from the Guards in 1933 shortly before his marriage to Eileen Margaret Nason ‘Nancy’ Meyrick at All Souls’, Langham Place, London. 

Teddy and Nancy, just married, outside All Soul's Langham Place © The Sketch, 4 October 1933

When the young Hugh Dundas joined 616 Squadron, Teddy was among the ‘grown-up men’ of the squadron that Hugh was a somewhat self-conscious about sharing a mess with. In his memoir of the war, Flying Start, Hugh recalled ‘Teddy had an endless stream of reminiscences about life as a Guards subaltern in London. My experience of women at that time was absolutely zero and I listened to these hair-raising anecdotes with awe and amazement, which I tried hard to disguise under a knowing exterior.’ Teddy often ‘led the festivities’ in the mess, and it was he who gave Hugh his service nickname of ‘Cocky’: he wanted Hugh to press the bell calling the mess steward, so he yelled ‘Hey, Cocky’ to get Hugh’s attention. ‘But why had he described me as Cocky? What had I done? Nervously, I asked him. ‘Because I couldn’t remember your name and because you look like a bloody great Rhode Island Red’ was the reply’. Hugh 'Cocky' Dundas did indeed sport a shock of red hair and a rather beaky nose. 

On 24 August 1939, Teddy and the rest of 616 Squadron were embodied into the RAF for full-time service. He underwent further flying training before rejoining the squadron in early August 1940, into the cauldron of the Battle of Britain.

On 25 August 1940, when 616 Squadron lost two men, Teddy’s aircraft was also hit over Dungeness. He crash-landed near Eastchurch. He was very badly burned and ‘for days, his life hung in the balance’; he was in hospital for several months. He recovered and managed to get back on operations, this time flying Mustangs in an army cooperation squadron. Hugh Dundas wrote ‘He was killed in action when, leading a section of planes back across the channel at wave-top level after a sortie over France, he misjudged his height and hit the water.’ 

His body was never recovered, so his name is carved on CWGC’s Runnymede Memorial. 

Teddy and Nancy had no children. She did not remarry, and when she died in 1959, aged just 49, Teddy was remembered on her headstone in the churchyard at Ashby Puerorum.

Teddy at Leconfield, Feb/Mar 1940 © Hugh Dundas