Eric Lewin: [Heath 1925–193?]

Head and shoulders of Eric Lewin
Eric Lewin

Eric was born on , the second son of Frank and Elizabeth Lewin. His father was a Patent Agent, although in 1917 he was an officer in the West Riding Regiment, serving in France.

At that time the family lived at Ventnor Terrace, Halifax although later they moved along Manor Drive to Grandsmere Place. Eric attended Heath from 1925 to the 1930s. Comments on his school reports from 1932 suggest that he had recently suffered from illness or injury, which had resulted in a prolonged absence from school.

After leaving school Eric became a car mechanic, running his own garage and car sales business in New Road, Halifax.

With the onset of the war with Germany, in 1940 Eric enlisted as a pilot in the RAF. During his elementary flying training he was involved in a mid-air collision and had to bail out of his Tiger Moth aircraft. This resulted in him joining the ‘Caterpillar Club,’ the requirement being to have life saved by use of a parachute made by Irving Air Chute Ltd.

Following his initial training, Eric was posted to Saskatchewan in Canada under the ‘Empire Air Training Scheme’ to complete advanced training. His group was the first to go there and the station was not properly equipped for flying in the sub-zero temperatures of a prairie winter. However, the group received a warm welcome and friendly hospitality from the local inhabitants.

On completion of his training, Eric was posted to 9 Squadron stationed at RAF Honington in Suffolk and flying Wellington bombers. After numerous successful flights, on the night of 12th/13th August 1941 Eric’s aircraft was shot down over northern Germany with the loss of all crew.

Eric was posthumously awarded the 1939-45 War Medal, the 1939-45 Star with Bomber Command clasp and the Air Crew Europe Star. His name appears on the memorial by the school gates.

David Lewin [Heath 1968–1971]