Flight Lieutenant Colin Roy Hewlett, DFC, RAFVR

of Begbrook Park, Frenchay.

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His father was Marshall William Hewlett.

Mother, Daisy Beatrice nee Lott.

They lived in Muller Rd, Ashley Down until 1940, when they moved to Begbrook Park, Frenchay.


Colin, their only child, was born in 1920 and went to Cotham Secondary School, Bristol; later re-named Cotham Grammar School. In 1937 he worked at Willways Laundry with his dad for a short while.









Colin was the first Bristolian to be awarded the DFC, visible in this photograph below his Wings.

In 1938, just before the Munich Crisis, Colin joined the Royal Air Force Voluntary Reserve.


Colin is seen in this picture as a new recruit in his forage cap.

At the start of the Second World War Colin became a Sergeant in the 65th East India Squadron and flew a Vickers Supermarine Spitfire throughout the Battle of Britain.


He was a brave man and became a skilled flyer.


He was almost a legend for being lucky in battle - it was referred to as 'Colin's Luck'.

In 1942, by now a Flight Lieutenant, he was transferred to Drem, East Midlothian, Scotland for a period of respite.


On 12th December 1942, Colin volunteered to test fly a Spitfire that had been repaired. During the flight there was an explosion in the engine and Colin was seen floating to the ground in his parachute; once more sparking off the comment from his friends that it was 'Colin's Luck' again.


But he was not so lucky this time; the explosion had broken his neck and he was found to be dead when he landed on the ground.


His body was brought back to Frenchay, where he was buried in the St John the Baptist Churchyard.

Colin's name is to be found on the War Memorial on the outside North wall of the church, not far from his grave. The Inscription on his grave reads...

Flt Lieut Colin Roy Hewlett, DFC, RAFVR

Killed on Active Service Dec 12th 1942, aged 22 years

"He kept his watch on cliffs of cloud"


He had been awarded the DFC just a short while before his death.

There is a strange sequel to this story that you may find of interest - in fact, it may send a tingle down your spine...

At the time of Colin's death he was engaged to a lovely girl called Marjorie, and afterwards she remained very close to Daisy and Marshall and always referred to them as 'Mum & Dad'.

Some time later, Daisy & Marjorie were in a cafe in Bristol, and when the waitress brought their food, she put down an extra plate and cutlery. When questioned, she said it was for the young officer who had been with them when she took their order.

From the description she gave, it was quite clearly Colin she had seen, and she was most upset when they told her about him.

It was an odd feeling for Colin's Mum and fiancée to think that he might be 'still there'.

This page is respectfully dedicated to the memory of this brave young pilot, who was one of the 'few who did so much for so many'.

The information and photographs seen here were donated to the Frenchay Village Museum by  Eileen (nee Charlton) and Peter Roy Merrett.

Eileen grew up in Stanshawe Road and her father, the late Leonard Charlton, after retirement in the 1970s, did gardening work for Mrs Hewlett.

 Peter, a one time pupil of Cotham Grammar, researched the story of Colin's short life during January 2003, using information he obtained from readers of the Evening Post Bristol Times, in response to an article he had written as a result of discovering some literature inherited from Leonard, his father-in-law.

It is a remarkable story. Well done Peter and Eileen.