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Bankole Vivour in RAF uniform, England.

Sergeant (Air Bomber)[1] Bankole Beresford Vivour (1920 - 31 March 1944) was a Nigerian born Royal Air Force bomber.

Early life

Bankole Vivour was born to Garnet Vivour (son of William Vivour) and Sarah Rhodes de Vivour.[2] He lived with his family in Lagos (Military street and Igbosere road) and was known for his passion for Africa, travel, and world politics.

Royal Air Force career

Bankole Vivour on training field at airforce base, November 10, 1943.

His passion for Africa and his knowledge of Germany's actions in Namibia inspired him to join the Royal Air Force (RAF) during World War II. He reportedly said, "You do not wait for the fire to reach your house before you put it out".[citation needed] He left Lagos to join the RAF at 22 years old, leaving behind a heartbroken mother and a very proud father.[citation needed] He lived in Liverpool[3] and he spent time at the Victoria League Club where he kept up with Nigerian current affairs and enjoyed the company of other west Africans.

World War II

He joined 156 (pathfinder) Squadron at the height of the winter offensive of 1943-44.[4] On 24 March 1944 Vivour participated in bomber command's main thrust to destroy Berlin. His squadron consisted of 148 men and 72 of them died that night but Bankole Vivour survived.


Bankole Vivour tombstone, de (Reichswald Forest War Cemetery)

He took part in the historic air battle in Nuremberg deep in the south of Germany. On 30 March 1944 his squadron took off from their RAF Upwood Base. German night fighters challenged and crushed the squadron's attacking force, resulting in 545 casualties including Sergeant Bankole Vivour. He was buried at Reichswald Forest War Cemetery Germany.[5]


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