William Thomas Ramsden was born in the 1912. He was brought up in North London and joined the RAF, training as a pilot.
After training he flew many aircraft, ending up with Lancaster bombers as part of 100 Squadron. As a pilot, it was his responsibility to ensure the safety of all his crew. Once, all four engines of the plane he was flying failed. He ensured all his crew had bailed out but, being the last to jump, he did not realise until too late that his parachute harness was not done up. Fortunately his leg caught in one of the parachute struts and although landing in a somewhat ungainly position, it saved his life. At the end of the war William was awarded the Distinguished Flying Conduct medal.
William’s granddaughter, Nat, never met her granddad but heard stories about him from her mum who told her “William always said flying Lancasters was like flying an old tin can, it was so hard to keep in the air as it was so heavy. I often think that if he had the courage to fly like that then I should have the courage to do things that are important too”. William was stationed in Buckinghamshire and by coincidence Nat now lives close by and is able to visit the places he would have known, meaning she now feels closer to him.
The 'William Ramsden' Bag
The 'William Ramsden' bag is a messenger bag made from vintage RAF blanket and soft dark brown leather, lined with an original silk map in a limited edition of just 15. For more information click on the photos below to be taken to our online shop.