Bolton Remembers the War Logo
Frank Edwards - Royal Air Force
Supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund
Click for interview transcript
Frank Edwards
Frank Edwards





Frank Edwards

23 June 2005

Frank was born in 1921 at Flearbottom, Bradford Park, Darcy Lever. His father was a motor engineer, one of the three Edwards brothers associated with Edbro's. He went to Lever Bridge School and Ridgeway's Endowed School. When he left school he worked for his father for two years at Edbros. He was a talented footballer and in 1937 signed for Blackpool. He was on the ground staff there when War broke out. He was called up and trained as a flight mechanic in the RAF, serving at various bases throughout the British Isles. Known as "24 hours a day Edwards" he worked long hours, using his Bolton-bred engineering skills to keep the planes airborne. After the War he set up in business on his own and played football semi-professionally.

Full text of Ernest's interviewFull text of Frank's interview

pdf version - 63kpdf version - 63k

Groundcrew... mp3 sound clip - 350k Groundcrew... mp3 sound clip - 350k

Modifications... mp3 sound clip - 311kModifications... mp3 sound clip - 311k


We were starting up the 420 Canadian Bomber Squad, we were the first intakes, and we started this thing up and then eventually they started bringing Canadians in. There were also Rhodesians at Waddington, a Rhodesian Squadron which they bombed from. When the Scharnorst and the Gneisenau came down the channel, they were going for some sort of re-fit, and we had Hampdens which they converted to torpedoes to torpedo these things. We had six aircraft and they left early one morning, icy it was, to try and torpedo these and it was so well protected with nets and that, they had a job to do anything, to get down. The plane that I was on, an English lad, he dived his plane on it. They saw him dive it on one of the boats, and of course he didn't come back. And that morning his wife gave birth, and I was leader on the plane, and I had to go and tell his wife. They lived nearby. It was a terrible experience. I can still feel that in me.


I was a bit of an expert on boost and that on aircraft, and one time when we were back at Biggin Hill and they had the mauling with the Messerschmitts at a certain number of feet, a thousand feet, the Squadron Leader, the Canadian said ‘Can you do anything about this?' Well, my Dad used to have beeswax for his car, to polish his car, and I said ‘Well there's beeswax that we could do. This was 1942 and the Battle of Britain wasn't over but it was almost over so all the camouflage on the aircraft was coming off a bit and you know, they weren't doing it as much. They were all dull paint, so this beeswax shined them up, and I rode home to get some beeswax and they gave me a pass to come home and pick it up. And another thing that I said to him, I said ‘Where the aerial sticks up behind the cupola - the cockpit, put that at the bottom', and that's what they did, and they put that upwards to the tail and all these things gave extra speed.