Date of birth: 12.3.1921
Date of death: 13.7.1944
Regiment: Royal Air Force
Family information: Son of Benjamin Pollard and Florence A nee Dickinson
Rank: Flight Sergeant
Service number: 657517
Flight Sergeant (Pilot) Harry Pollard was in 70 Squadron RAF when he was killed on 13th July 1944 age 23.
From the book The Long Road - Trials and Tribulations of Airmen Prisoners from Stalag Luft by Oliver Clutton Brock and Raymond Crompton p120.
“Courage was displayed by many aircrew on many occasions, and frequently went unrecorded, usually because at the time it was nothing unusual. Flt Sgt Harry Pollard, pilot of Wellington LW806, was one of those to remain at the controls of his stricken bomber to give his crew a chance. Pollard and crew were on way back from bombing the Milan marshalling yards on 12/13th July 1944 when they were in collision with another Wellington MF 120 of 142 Squadron.
Bill Taylor (bomb aimer): “The front of the aircraft was smashed in, stopping the engines and jamming the door. I handed the parachute to the pilot and he told me to get out by the emergency hatch in the rear. He would hold the aircraft in a dive and not let it corkscrew.” Shortly after his parachute opened Bill saw LW806 hit the ground and blow up.
W/O Jack Broad, (wireless operator), F/S Arthur Roberts (rear gunner) and Bill Taylor (bomb aimer) were the only survivors from either aircraft. All three were captured and sent to Luft 7 in Trupp 15. Landing in a field Taylor decided to head for Lake Como and Switzerland but after three days was captured by two German soldiers.”
It would be 7 months later when an article appeared in Yorkshire Post & Leeds Intelligencer 24 February 1945 p8:
“Mr & Mrs D Pollard of Poplar Walk Knottingley have been informed that their elder son F/Sgt Harry Pollard reported missing during operations in Italy last summer is dead and buried near Cremona.”
Pontefract & Castleford Express 23 February 1945 p4 (with photo)
Mr & Mrs Ben Pollard of Poplar Walk, Knottingley, have received news from the Air Ministry that their elder son, Flight Sergeant Harry Pollard, lost his life on July 13th 1944. They heard in November that he was presumed dead, as he had been missing since July. Now, a further report from the International Red Cross Committee unhappily confirms that he died on the date mentioned and was buried at the site of the plane crash near Pizzighettone, 12 -½ miles south west of Cremona, Italy. Flight Sergeant Pollard worked in the offices of Bagley & Co before joining the RAF.”
Harry Pollard was born on 12th March 1921 and was baptised on 27th March 1921 at St Botolph’s Church, Knottingley. He was the son of Benjamin Pollard, a Glassworker and Florence A (nee Dickinson) who married in the third quarter of 1920 and this was registered at Pontefract.