Another installment in our 'Holgate Heroes' series.
A FORMER police officer and the apple of his sisters’ eyes, Raymond Athol Bruck made the most of his 22 years of life.
Born in the third quarter of 1922 to parents Albert Edward Bruck and his first wife Beatrice Virginia, Raymond was the younger brother to five sisters.
Despite the nine years between him and his youngest sister, he was idolised by all of his siblings and considered the golden boy of the family.
After leaving Holgate Grammar School in Barnsley, he joined the police, becoming a sergeant in Birmingham where he is still recognised by the West Midlands Police Museum.
With the war underway however, Raymond chose to volunteer for the RAF, serving with the 630 Squadron aboard a Lancaster Bomber.
While the date he joined the RAF is unknown, we do know that his final mission took place on the night of December 21, 1944, when he took part in Operation Politz.
The mission saw 207 Lancaster Bombers attack a synthetic oil plant at Politz on the Baltic coast, with Bruck’s plane taking off at 4.58pm.
Bruck and his crew survived the attack, however when returning to England they found themselves lost in thick fog and were ordered to land elsewhere instead of the base.
Tragically they crashed at Scanfield Farm alongside five other bombers who found themselves in the same situation.
Bruck perished in the crash, dying in the early morning hours of December 22, after helping deal a damaging blow to German oil production.
He is buried at St Peter’s Church in Tankersley – his headstone inscription reads: ‘He Died That We Might Live, He Was One Of The Best’.
You can read the introductory article explaining the history around our Holgate Heroes here