John Frederick Ernest BICKFORD

BICKFORD, John Frederick Ernest

Service Number: 23049
Enlisted: 19 July 1940
Last Rank: Warrant Officer
Last Unit: 85 Squadron
Born: Perth, Western Australia, Australia, 3 November 1905
Home Town: Rockhampton, Rockhampton, Queensland
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Salesman
Died: Mackay, Queensland, Australia, 21 November 1964, aged 59 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Mount Bassett Cemetery, Mackay, Qld
Show Relationships

World War 2 Service

19 Jul 1940: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Warrant Officer, 23049
19 Jul 1940: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman, 23049
1 Dec 1940: Promoted Royal Australian Air Force, Leading Aircraftman, 2 Recruit Depot
1 Apr 1941: Promoted Royal Australian Air Force, Corporal, No 2 ITS Bradfield
1 Jan 1942: Promoted Royal Australian Air Force, Sergeant
1 Oct 1942: Promoted Royal Australian Air Force, Flight Sergeant
1 Dec 1944: Promoted Royal Australian Air Force, Warrant Officer, 85 Squadron
14 Nov 1945: Discharged Royal Australian Air Force, Warrant Officer, 23049, 8 Stores Depot
Date unknown: Involvement Warrant Officer, 23049, Royal Australian Air Force

Help us honour John Frederick Ernest Bickford's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Chris Buckley

John was the sixth of nine children of Ernest John Bickford (born 1861 in Melbourne, Victoria) and his second wife Mary Dixon (born 1869 in Melbourne, Victoria). John - a Botanist, Author and Furniture Manufacturer/Exporter - married Mary in 1895 in Melbourne, Victoria. The family lived in Perth, WA from 1895 until 1906 when they relocated to Sydney, NSW.

John married Valerie Leighton (born 1906 in Condobolin, NSW) at Lake Cargellico, NSW in 1927, and the couple settled in Sydney, NSW where John was a Storekeeper. In 1930 they moved to Aragon near Gladstone, QLD where John was a Farmer until 1937.

At Valerie's request they left the farm and John was working as a Salesman in Rockhampton, QLD when he enlisted in the RAAF in July 1940. In a letter John wrote to the Rockhampton Recruitment Office in May 1940, he said '... in view of the calamitous news that the Belgium Army has surrendered, I feel that I should be doing my utmost in all possible, or in any way to help .... I am prepared to go anywhere, at any time ... My father and three brothers fought in the last war, and now I desire to do my share in retaining the right to freedom ...' (National Archives Australia). John served at 2ITS Bradfield Park, and HQ Bowen and was a Warrant Officer attached to 8 Stores Depot when he Discharged in November 1945. Father Ernest John Bickford (Private; Service No:22221), Brothers Howell Nicholas (Private; Service No:3752), Richard Watson (Private; Service No:11909) and Leslie Wills (Private; Service No:95190) and Brother-in-Law John Benjamin Oswald Hosking (T/Corporal; Service No:19644) served in WWI. Brothers Richard Watson (Staff Sergeant; Service Nos:NX422731/N74699) and Percy Dixon (Warrant Officer; Service No:NX19671) also served in WWII.

John returned to QLD and was working as a Clerk in Bowen when he Divorced Valerie in 1948. John worked as a Foresty Officer and Storekeeper in Dawson, QLD and in abt 1956 married Jean Elizabeth Shaw (born 1924 in Mackay, QLD). John and Jean settled in Mackay, where John died in 1964 and Jean in 2016.