The grave of 26 year old Flying Officer (FO) David Stein who served in the Royal Air Force volunteer reserve, has been rededicated in France at a cemetery where he lay as an ‘unknown’ for many years…

The moving service took place on 19th September at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Brest Cemetery in Brittany. The service, organised by the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC), was attended by FO Stein’s cousin, Carol Taylor who was accompanied by her husband and son.

It was led by The Reverend (Squadron Leader) Rachel Cook, RAF. Members of the RAF including the RAF Exchange Officer Wing Commander Yves Gagnon, RAF Exchange Officer French MOD and local dignitaries were also in attendance.

FO Stein’s cousin, Carol Taylor of Rotherham, South Yorkshire said: “Our family know that David’s mother, father and sister would have been very grateful, as are we, that his final resting place has been found, and that so many people have joined us in honouring him.”

Tracey Bowers, JCCC said: “This has been a fascinating case to work on and I would like to thank all those who have helped. It is a privilege to have arranged the ceremony for this daring young man who paid the ultimate sacrifice.”

FO Stein was killed on 30 October 1941 flying a Westland Whirlwind plane on a low-level ground sortie on an aerodrome in Brittany, France. He was brought down by ground anti-aircraft fire and last seen flying away from the target with one engine on fire.

Although FO Stein was buried alongside other Allied airmen in Brest (Kerfautras) Cemetery, his identity remained unknown until research, which was later analysed and verified by the JCCC, proved a connection with the site where his aircraft was found.

David Stein was born on 23 December 1914 in Lassodie, Dunfermline, Scotland. Prior to enlistment in 1939 he was a tobacconist living in Edinburgh. David was commissioned as a pilot officer in 1940, promoted to flying officer in July 1941 before being posted to No 263 Squadron in Grangemouth, Scotland.