WG CDR ARTHUR T. WHITELOCK
In 2019 a small headstone was discovered in the Cemetery of the picturesque Gloucestershire village of Bibury, just a few miles to the west of 10 Squadron's present base at RAF Brize Norton. The stone marked the place where the ashes of a former Officer Commanding No 10 Squadron had been interred in 1964, to be later followed by those of his wife in 1972. It was in a very weather-beaten condition and its surfaces with engraved scripts were eroded and almost illegible, whilst also being covered with a hard fungal residue. The site held the ashes of Arthur and Frances Whitelock.
After painstaking and lengthy research to discover if there were relatives of the Whitelocks from whom permission might be obtained to replace the stone, no immediate family members were found: the couple had no children.
The 10 Squadron Association then submitted a formal ‘faculty’ to the Diocese of Gloucester asking for permission to replace the stone, which after some delay because it was in the Covid-19 pandemic year, took a while to eventually be granted. After a crowd-funding project amongst the 10 Squadron Association members had achieved the desired amount, a new stone was duly ordered and placed in situ on the site of the old one and a small ceremony held was by Squadron and Association members on 8 May 2021; numbers attending being limited by Covid ‘distancing’ rules.
Wg Cdr Arthur T. Whitelock had been the commanding officer of 10 Squadron from April 1929 to August 1930 whilst the Squadron were based at RAF Upper Heyford flying Handley Page Hyderabad bombers and it was he who conceived the idea of the Squadron Badge and Motto. The ‘winged arrow’ was considered to denote a modern bomb delivered from the air at great speed and the Latin motto translates to mean, ‘To Hit The Mark’.
Whilst this following website selection of 10 Sqn Memorial items have been found for locations distant from the known graves of the former 10 Squadron members, an exception has been made in Arthur Whitelock’s case in order to honour his memory for creating the badge and motto, which were later given Royal Approval in 1937, some seven years after his time on the Squadron.