Lewis Roy Liddelow


William Robinson Clarke

‘RAF volunteer returned to England before settling down back home’

1925 - 2019

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Roy Liddelow was a serving member of the RAF when he boarded the Empire Windrush at Port of Spain on May 20, 1948. The ship had started its outward journey at Tilbury 14 days earlier and was about to commence its iconic return to England. Roy was joined on board by another 193 passengers, some of whom had travelled from British Guiana, to pick up the ship at Trinidad.

Roy had enlisted into the RAF at home in Trinidad early in 1945 and was part of the third contingent of volunteers who arrived in England later that year. He had been based in Wales immediately prior to his brief return to Trinidad after the war.

Born Lewis Milroy ‘Roy’ Liddelow in 1925, he was of Trinidadian and Irish descent. His parents, Cyril and Agnes, née Loney, were also both born in Trinidad. His grandmother, Anna Loney, was from County Antrim and a member of the distinguished Loney clan – a royal Irish family.

Roy married Josephine Hetty Cooper in Willesden, north London, in April 1951. She was born in Cardiff on November 7, 1929. Josephine’s father, Maximilian ‘Maxy’ Erasmus Cooper claimed to have been born in Jamaica but family members believe he was in fact, Mexican. Her mother Ellen was from Bridgend in Wales. Ellen died in Battersea, London at the age of 104.

Maxy was a merchant seaman who had drowned on June 8, 1941, just four days after his 49th birthday. All 44 crew on board the SS Trevarrack lost their lives when the ship was torpedoed by a German U-boat 965kms southeast of Newfoundland. The ship had been sailing from Glasgow to Montreal. Maxy’s death is commemorated at the Tower Hill Memorial in London.

After their marriage Roy and Josephine lived with eight other adults and their respective children at 3 Alderbrook Road, in Wandsworth, south London. One of the other lodgers was Albert Pierre, another Trinidadian who had come to England on the Windrush.

The Liddelow family later lived at 34 Huntsmoor Road, in the Putney area of the capital. There they were the sole occupants. The couple would go on to have four children and ten grandchildren.

In the 1960s, Roy and Josephine went their separate ways, then divorced. Roy returned to Trinidad, where he married a Trinidadian named Yolande. The couple had two children together.

Roy, who worked as an aeronautical engineer for Trinidad and Tobago Airlines, never saw his British-born children again although they were all reconciled in the 1980s and kept in phone contact. Roy died in Trinidad in 1985; Josephine died in 2019.

Lewis Roy Liddelow – Courtesy of Roy Liddelow’s family

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