Flight Lieutenant Ian Scovil Soden D.S.O. (33289)
Distinguished Service Order George VI
Air Crew Europe Star
was born on 14th March,1917 , educated Woodbridge School and graduated from RAF College Cranwell on appointment to commission in the Royal Air Force on 19th December,1936. On that day he was posted to No. 56 (Fighter) Squadron based at RAF North Weald in Essex. Involved in six sucessful enemy engagements in the 48 hours,late on 18th May,1940 he failed to return from his fifth sortie of the day ,his Hurricane being reported shot down a few miles from Vitry. This at a time when the allied Forces were retreating to Dunkirk.
On the outbreak of war,the squadron was engaged in defensive patrols until require to provide cover for the retreating forces at Dunkirk,in May,1940 when the officer was killed in action on the 18th of that month.
He was posthumously appointed a Companion to the Distinguished Service Order,a rare reward to such a young officer and mentioned in Despatches in the London Gazette of 1 January,1941.
Excerpt from The London Gazette,28th June,1940
ROYAL AIR FORCE
The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the undermentioned appointment and
awards in recognition of gallantry displayed in flying operations against the enemy:-
Appointed a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order.
Flight Lieutenant Ian Scovil Soden (33289)
This officer’s flight was ordered to France at short notice,and during the following two days he acted as leader in many combats against the enemy. He personally shot down five enemy aircraft,and possibly two more,whilst his flight destroyed a further seven. On one accasion he attacked,single-handedd,between fifty and sixty enemy fighters,destroying one of them. One evening in May,1940,whilst the aerodrome was being heavily bombed,Flight Lieutenant Soden jumped from a shelter trench,climbed into the nearest fighter aircraft and ,without knowing whether it was fully fuelled or armed,took off from the aerodrome which was covered in smoke. Many delayed action bombs were present. He thus left comparative safety to make a lone attack on a greatly superior force. This officer has displayed great personal dash and courage,and his personal influence has made his flight into a determined fighting unit.
Medals in box addressed to Mrs.D.M.Soden,Green Down House,Bradford Road,Coombe Down,Bath,Somerset
Flight Lieutenant Georg Edward Thomas Soden MRCS.,LRCP., (147577)
was born on 8th December,1908,studied at St.Bartholomews Hospital and was employed at Brackley Hospital,Northhamptonshire before being granted a commission in the Medical Branch of the Royal Air
Force Volunteer Reserve on 29th July,1943. He was killed in action at the Headquarters of No. 961
(Balloon) Squadron at Frith Road,Dover on 26th Septmeber,1944.
Leading Aircraftman John Francis Soden (1309640)
Information to be obtained yet
Flight Lieutenant John Flewelling Soden,RAF,42903
Air Crew Europe Star
Battle of Britain bar
Served with 266 and 603 Squadrons during the Battle of Britain. August 16th, 1940 he force landed his Spitfire after being wounded in the leg during combat with Luftwaffe BF109’s. He shared the destruction of a Heinkel 111 on 11/8/1940, claimed (confirmed) BF109. On 30/9/1940,claimed (confirmed) BF109,30/9/1940. Wounded 25/10/1940. He then transferred to the Middle East flying Tomahawks.
It was during the return trip to England from Aden via Capetown that the troopship on which he was travelling was torpedoed by the submarine U156. The troopship on which he was travelling was the LACONIA (CUNARD WHITE STAR LINE) and was sunk in mid Atlantic on the 12th of September,1942 by U-Boat 156 . When Captain Hartenstein of U156 realised there were Italian prisoners aboard the Laconia ,he immediately rescued as many as possible and called other boats to the rescue. However,on the way home they were attacked by a American B-24 .The U-boats dived ,the survivors were picked up later by French vessels but this action by the Allies led to the Laconia Befehl of Donitz for his Uboats to cease rescuing crews of sunken ships
John Flewelling Soden is buried in the Military Cemetery in Alamein,Egypt and commemorated on Column 247.
Soden Lieutenant,Frank Graham,
Army in Burma Reserve of Officers.
Gloucester Echo 4/6/1942
He died of Blackwater Fever during the retreat in Burma. He was educated at Woodbridge School,and worked for a firm of importers in London before going out to Rangoon to work for six years in the teak forestry business. He was considered to have been an outstanding sportsman ,he played at Wimbledon All England Club.
Captain Wilfred Scovil Soden
Royal Army Medical Corps
British War Medal
Victory Medal with Mentioned in Despatches Oak Leaf
First Served in World War One in Egypt from 7th February,1914.
Son of Frank Holland Soden and married to Dorothy Maud Graham at Trinity Church,
St.Marylebone,London on 29th May, 1914.
He was born in Canada ,educated at Woodbridge School,Suffolk and St.John’s College,Cambridge.
He worked at Winchcombe Hospital , had a brother ,Group Captain Ormond Soden,DFC,a sister,Kathleen
, an adopted daughter,Mrs.Cawood and lost 3 sons in World War 2.
1941,January – March
NL Open Sherlves
Soden,Flying Officer ,J.S.
Death on active service
1944,July – September
NL Open Shelves
On post offices in rural districts
Soden,Flight Lt. G.E.
Death on active service
Feature on the Sodens of Wincombe,Oxfordshire, England.
One of the many rewards one gets from the study of famly history is the chance to come upon the contribution and self-sacrifice of such a family as this,the Sodens of Wincombe,Oxfordshire. The selfless and generous effort made by them in their different roles during this very trying period in British history is exemplary and a source of considerable pride to those who bear the name.
Dr.Wilfred Scovil Soden was born in Canada , came to England with his family,where he was educated
He joined the Army Medical Corp and fought with distinction in the First World War. His medical career was distinguished by his work for the Wincombe hospital till his death in 1942 . This occasion was marked by all accounts with genuine grief at the loss of such a dedicated person,while remembering the great sacrifice made already by his 3 sons in the then raging Second World War.
All three sons were lost in World War Two in various arenas, Ian Scovil Soden,DSO in France, John fFlewelling Soden ,on the ‘Laconia’ and Frank Graham Soden in Burma. There are short biographies
to each in their respective sections.
Their mother was Maud Grahame and served in the WAAF.They had one adopted sister,Mrs. Cawood. All 3 names are remembered on the monument in Wincombe,Gloucestershire , England.