Father: Arthur Raymond Victor Rodway; mother Kate
Ed. Holt Secondary School, Liverpool
In 1933, he was fined 40 shillings for "having driven a motor-cycle in Chester Road, Dunham Hill, without due care and attention"; a year later he was remanded at Southport on a charge of "stealing a sports car worth £225 from the centre of the town." When he was arrested, the police found thirty-seven auto ignition and door keys.
Liverpool Echo - Wednesday 21 November 1934:
"Decent Lad Who Stole A Car
"You ought to have been sent to gaol, but you are only a lad, and the bench don't want to start you on a criminal career. If you do it again, however, you will go to gaol without the slightest hesitation." Alderman J E. Willett, chairman, at Southport, to-day, said this when Norman K Rodway, aged 18. of Vandyke-street, Liverpool. was fined £25 after pleading guilty to stealing a motorcar valued £225, the property of Bamber's, Birkdale. Mr. J. G. Barr, prosecuting. said the motor-car was taken from Lord-street on Saturday night and garaged in Liverpool by the accused. He was arrested on returning to the garage, and when brought to Southport was found in possession of thirty-seven ignition and motor doorkeys. In reply to Mr. W. H. Rallis (for accused), Detective-Constable Mighall said Rodway had given the police every assistance, and seemed to be a decent lad.
In May he was fined at Liverpool City Sessions in each of two cases of stealing cars. and a third case was taken into consideration. Mr. Bells told the bench that Rodway was the son of a highly respectable Liverpool business man, and was originally apprenticed with a Liverpool drapers. He got in with several adventurous youths, and four, including Rodway, decided to go to London, to get a ship to Australia.
"ABSOLUTELY MAD" The difficulty was getting there, and they took a car, but it broke down. They reached London by getting lifts on lorries, and wandered about for a week trying to get a ship. The whole thing was absolutely mad, and realising they must get back to Liverpool, they took another car from Hampstead, and drove to Liverpool. Rodway was in the habit of hanging about Speke Aerodrome, and took a third car out of a park there, but only drove about for ten minutes, and left it. Regarding the car taken from Southport, he intended to drive it back to Southport, when he was arrested. Rodway now came before the court full of remorse.
A congregational Minister said Rodway was a boy of excellent character, and his father was a deacon"
m. 1935 Kathleen Philomena [Duffy], 1 child, Kenneth Raymond b. Nov 1935 (d. 2016 in France)
prev. a "Viewer" [also described as an Aircraft Fitter and Salesman] for Napier, Liverpool
prev. exp. 57 hrs on Tiger Moth, Avro Avian, Hillson Praga
Address in 1941: 73a Muirhead Ave, Liverpool
Norman originally applied to the ATA in March 1941, however they replied that they were not allowed to consider applications from pilots of military age (he was 25) unless they had been turned down by the RAF for some reason. Norman replied that he had "failed to pass full medical standard" for the RAF, but pointed out that he had no difficulty in passing his medical for his 'A' Licence, and had "never experienced any ill-effects while piloting aircraft".
His flight test went well, and the ATA took up references; the Rev. Machin, of Hartington Rd Congregational Church, said Norman was "strictly honest, diligent, most willing, highly intelligent - a young man of many gifts and of great promise; and will endeavour to give the utmost satisfaction to his employers."
Postings: 6FPP, 7FPP
"An average pilot, a good worker and a well-conducted officer, likely to make a good all-round ferry pilot if not progressed too rapidly".
Reprimanded once: 28 Nov 1941, suspended for 3 days without pay; "failed to report an accident"
3 Accidents, all his fault:
- 14 Oct 1941, a 'bad landing by inexperienced pilot' in Swordfish W5848; starboard undercarriage collapsed and the lower main plane was damaged.
- 2 Jul 1942, his Spitfire Vb EP521collided with another aircraft after landing, due to the windscreen being obscured with oil
d. 11 Dec 1942 in Spitfire Vc ES260. He took off from Kinloss after the last landing time, on a flight to Litchfield via Dyce estimated to take 17 minutes, but crashed in the dark 40 minutes later, at about 17:35, adjacent to the airfield at Dyce. The aircraft landed down wind into the airfield lights, stalled and crashed before reaching the runway.
"It was unfortunate that his sense of duty to his job tended to make him a little over-confident in his flying"
Buried Allerton Cemetery, Liverpool - Sec. 1A. Gen. Grave 217
His widow Kathleen was in financial difficulties while the ATA insurance was being processed, and also needed an operation which required a 3-week hospital stay and a month's convalescence. The ATA lent her various amounts of money to tide her over, and it wasn't until 14 May 1943 that the balance, some £1,830, was paid to her.
She said "as the interest from [the insurance money] together with the fifteen shillings a week pension I receive would not be sufficient to cover Kenneth's education, I shall certainly have to take a position of some kind."
She moved to 37 Stamfordham Drive, Liverpool, and married Richard Earl Slee in 1954. Kenneth then moved in with them in 1957, but Richard died in Jan 1958, and Kathleen then married Joseph Azzopardi, from Malta, in 1966. She died in Malta 24 Jul 1988.