Guy Rawstron Branch
|Birth name||Guy Rawstron Branch|
|Born||27 October 1913|
|Died||8 November 1940 (aged 27)|
|Service/||Royal Air Force|
|Years of service||1937-1940|
|Unit||No. 601 Squadron RAF|
No. 145 Squadron RAF
|Battles/wars||World War II|
|Awards||Empire Gallantry Medal|
|Relations||Charles Churchill Branch (Father)|
Mary Madelaine Bernadette Branch (née Rawstron) (Mother)
Flying Officer Guy Rawstron Branch EGM (27 October 1913 - 8 November 1940) was a Royal Air Force fighter pilot, one of The Few. He was killed in action on 11 August 1940. Since his death occurred before the introduction of the George Cross his next-of-kin were not given the opportunity of exchanging the insignia of the Empire Gallantry Medal for the new award.
Branch was born in 1913 in London, the son of Charles Churchill Branch and Mary Madelaine Bernadette Branch (née Rawstron). He was educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford. On 7 May 1937 he was commissioned as Pilot Officer in the Royal Auxiliary Air Force. On 25 March 1939 in Lewes he married Lady Prudence Mary Pelham, daughter of the 6th Earl of Chichester.
Accident and award
On 8 January 1938 Branch was a student pilot was flying as a passenger in a Hawker Demon with Pilot Officer Crawley when it crashed and burst into flames at RAF Upavon. Branch escaped but then returned to the aircraft to free the trapped pilot and pull him clear. For his actions he was awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal on 25 March 1938
On 9th January, 1938 an aircraft in which Pilot Officer Branch was a passenger crashed at Upavon, Wiltshire, and immediately burst into flames. Having extricated himself from the burning aircraft this officer found that the pilot was trapped in the cockpit by his legs. Despite the danger of the petrol tank exploding, Pilot Officer Branch returned to the blazing wreckage and, whilst actually standing on burning debris, succeeded in extracting the pilot. There is little doubt that this prompt and gallant act saved the pilot's life. The aircraft was completely destroyed by fire.— London Gazette
Battle of Britain
During the Battle of Britain Branch by then a Flying Officer was a Hawker Hurricane pilot with 145 Squadron. On 8 August 1940 he was credited with destroying two Junkers Ju 87s. A few days later on 11 August 1940 while flying Hurricane serial number P9251 he was killed in action over the English channel. 
- "Personal Tribute - Flying Officer G.R. Branch E.G.M.". Obituaries. The Times (48866). London. 5 March 1941. col C, p. 7.
- "Air Pilot's Life Saved Medal Awarded To A.A.F. Officer". News. The Times (47953). London. 26 March 1938. col B, p. 17.
- "Fallen Officers - Royal Air Force". Obituaries. The Times (48841). London. 4 February 1941. col B, p. 9.
- "No. 34496". The London Gazette. 25 March 1938. p. 2003.
- "Casualty Details - BRANCH, GUY RAWSTRON". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Retrieved 25 March 2010.
- "List of British Pilots who took part in the Battle of Britain". Battle of Britain London Monument. 2007. Archived from the original on 21 November 2008. Retrieved 25 March 2010.