Ace pilot tried to get pardon for queen

A WAR-TIME “ace” pilot who once ran a private school in Felixstowe has died at the age of 89.Wing Commander George Melville-Jackson lived an extraordinary life as a fighter pilot, with a long career in the RAF.

A WAR-TIME “ace” pilot who once ran a private school in Felixstowe has died at the age of 89.

Wing Commander George Melville-Jackson lived an extraordinary life as a fighter pilot, with a long career in the RAF, plus he was a sailing enthusiast and ran an ultimately unsuccessful campaign to have the executed Queen Anne Boleyn pardoned.

His son Andrew Melville-Jackson said: “He had the best of life and the best of dying - he had all his family around him when he died and was visited by his closest friends.

“It was incredible how much he fitted into his life but he was always an extremely active man and loved doing different things.

“He was technically an 'ace' pilot because he shot down five aircraft which qualified you to be called an ace. He enjoyed his time in the RAF and commanded four squadrons, which was virtually unheard of.”

Wing Cdr Melville-Jackson was co-headmaster with his brother after the war of the St Felix private prep school in Grange Road, Felixstowe, which his parents had previously moved to Felixstowe to run after the first world war.

Most Read

The school is long gone but its extensive grounds today house Grange Primary School. After three years he returned to the RAF as a regular officer.

His son said the family had fond memories of the seaside town - he could remember his father teaching him to sail off Felixstowe Ferry in Mirror dinghies.

Wing Cdr Melville-Jackson met his late wife Elizabeth during war-time while she was working as a theatre sister for eminent burns surgeon Archibald McIndoe. As well as a son, he leaves a daughter Alison.

After retiring from the RAF in 1968, he spent several years with a teacher friend Alan Jones, from Felixstowe, running offshore sailing and training in France and Spain.

History was one of his passions and he once wrote to home secretary Charles Clarke urging him to pardon Anne Boleyn. He said she was “obviously innocent” of the adultery and incest of which she had been accused and wanted her remains moved to Westminster Abbey to be reburied next to her daughter Elizabeth I.

Did you know Wing Cdr Melville-Jackson - would you like to pay tribute to him? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

WING Cdr George Melville-Jackson, who was born in 1919, was part of 248 Squadron in 1942 attacking enemy bomber airfields in Sardinia, and shortly after providing support for a convoy through the Mediterranean, protecting the oil tanker Ohio.

In a dogfight over Paxos, he scored a direct hit on an enemy plane, which crashed into the sea, but his Beaufighter suffered a hit and he had to crash land on his return to base.

He flew convoy patrols in the Channel and other areas during the Battle of Britain in July 1940.

Later his plane was hit again in another battle over the Bay of Biscay but he managed to get back to base. He later destroyed Junkers 88 long-range fighters in an air battle. His sterling service earned him the DFC.

He then helped form 618 Squadron, which worked on tests for a Barnes Wallis bouncing bomb that was to be used against shipping.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter