David Sueafatt


William Robinson Clarke

‘RAF volunteer whose name officials always got wrong’

1923 - 2004

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David Sueafatt had been in the RAF during the Second World War having enlisted in Barbados in the spring of 1944 from British Guiana, modern-day Guyana. His forces records show his surname as ‘Sue-A-Fat’. He was part of a contingent of volunteers who arrived in England for training at Hunmanby Moor, near Filey in Yorkshire, in the summer of 1944.

Like many young Caribbean men, he decided to return to England after being demobbed to his country at the end of the war. After buying his passage on the Empire Windrush, he travelled from Georgetown to join it at its first port of call, Port of Spain in Trinidad.

Described on the Windrush passenger list as an electrician, a trade he learned in the RAF, his address was given as 54 Thornhill Square in Islington, north London. It was the home of his future in-laws, David and Margaret De Wever. Sueafatt later married their daughter Beatrice.

David Oliver Sueafatt was born in Georgetown on December 3, 1923. David’s family believes that his birth name was in fact ‘Duke’ and this is certainly a name that he was sometimes known as. His parents were of Chinese origin. His mother Eveline, née Wong, was born in Dem Amstel, British Guiana, on January 6, 1908. His father, John, arrived in the world the same year.

Shown on the register of marriage as both David Sueafatt and Duke O Sueafatt, David married Liverpool-born Beatrice Marian De Wever in Islington in 1950. Beatrice’s father, David, was also from British Guiana, while her mother, Margaret, hailed from Cleator in Cumberland, England. The De Wevers shared their house with two other families, Ernest, Florence, and Susan Brand, and James and Mary Feery. For the first week of his return to England, David, under the name of ‘Duke O Sue-Fat’, stayed at the government’s temporary accommodation at the Clapham South Deep Shelter.

According to records, David showing his surname as ‘Sue’, moved into Thornhill Square with his wife Beatrice and in-laws and remained there until at least 1964. David not only lived with his father-in-law, but he worked with him also. Both were cable jointers.

Between 1950 and 1969, David and Beatrice had seven children – Marian, Alan, Davina, Helen, Carole, David, and John, all born in London.

In January 1970, David arrived in Australia from London, working there for six months as a cable jointer for British Insulated Callender’s Cables (BICC) in Sydney.

Outside of work, David was an Arsenal fan and often went to watch the team play at Highbury. David and Beatrice lived at Orchard Drive, Wilmslow in Cheshire, but he died on April 10, 2004, in London. Beatrice passed away, aged 78, on December 26, 2011.

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