Clifford John Dibden
Clifford John Dibden was born on 23/02/1917 in Chepstow, Monmouthshire and was the son of Charles and Edith Dibden. His father worked as a Baker’s vanmen and the family lived at 5 Howell Row, Chepstow.
Cliff was a keen rugby player and during 1937/38 he played centre for both Gloucester and Lydney Rugby Clubs.
On 06/03/1939 Cliff joined the Gloucestershire Constabulary as a Police Constable and was stationed at Lydney Police Station in The Forest of Dean.
In 1941 he married local girl Pearl Frances Reeks and they lived together at Stroat Farm, Tiddenham near Chepstow, with their spaniel called ’Monty’.
On 08/09/1941 Cliff joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and became Flying Officer 136511. He joined 92 Squadron in 1943 in Italy.
On 17/01/1944 92 Squadron were posted to Marcianise, near Naples in Italy, to provide top cover for the 8th Army.
On 22/01/1944 twelve Spitfires took off from Marcianise to support British and American troops who landed 30 miles south of Rome. Cliff’s was the tenth Spitfire to take off but sadly his aircraft hit a tree, crashed to the ground and burst into flames, Clifford Dibden died from injuries and burns.
Just a few weeks later 92 Squadron moved from that air strip due to the obvious dangers and concerns from other pilots.
Dibden is buried at the Caserta War Cemetery in Italy, in grave V,E,19.
The Form 540 entry reads: -
“Dibden was a most popular pilot and will be sadly missed”
Cliff is remembered on the Chepstow War Memorial and the Gloucestershire Constabulary WWII War Memorial plaque at their HQ’s.