This is a special English-language version aimed at readers in Australia.

Bøkebloggen has a slightly strange local profile this Friday. We think that this man never walked in the streets of Larvik. Nevertheless, he has been connected to Larvik for more than 81 years. C.W.S. Oliver was buried at the Undersbo cemetery on 23 August 1942.

There are probably some Larvik people who, when they have passed by, have reacted to the foreign name C.W.S. Oliver on a tombstone and asked themselves: «Who was he, and why is he lying here?» Bøkebloggen can tonight give you the answers of both questions.

We would like to extend a big thank you to the following people:

Tone Strand brought Oliver to our attention when she posted a photo of his grave on the Commonwealth Wargraves Commission’s Facebook page.

Søren Flensted gave us permission to use the picture of Oliver.

Librarian Renee Holman at the State Library of NSW sent us links to sites that provided us with invaluable information

Kate Lemerle sent us a link to a site that provided us with invaluable information.

Bengt Stangvik told us that Oliver volunteered for the Australian Air Force. It was in 1940, and he was then only 22 years old.

John Williams wrote: «Here is Oliver’s logbook, which you may find useful.»

A special greeting to Margaret Støle Karlsen.

Australia entered the Second World War on 3 September 1939. Just over three months later, on 16 December, the then 19-year-old Oliver signed an application for flight crew with the Royal Australian Air Force. He wrote that he didn’t have a pilot’s license. Oliver also wrote that he was working on motorcycle engines as a hobby. He wrote that he had been involved in athletics, Australian rules football (captain), swimming and gymnastics.

When Oliver enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force’s reserve force in June 1940, he filled in a questionnaire. He stated that he was 5 ½ feet tall with brown eyes, dark brown hair and a medium complexion. Oliver also stated that he belonged to the Church of England.

It’s deeply tragic to know that Oliver never got to meet his mother and his friend Lottie back home in Australia. We also don’t know if they ever knew if he was buried in Larvik.

Claudius William Samuel Oliver’ (born 20 June 1920 in Adelaide in the state of South Australia, died 11 August 1942) was an Australian flight officer (flight sergeant). He is the only aviator from a country in the British Commonwealth who is buried at Undersbo cemetery in Larvik.

Claudius William Samuel Oliver. The woman to the right may be his friend Lottie Shavler. Photo: Via John Williams. Courtesy of Søren Flensted

Oliver moved in 1940 from Mayfield in the state of New South Wales, a suburb of Newcastle. He was living in North Bondi in the same state, a suburb of Sidney, when he enlisted on 9 December 1940. Oliver’s position was listed as shop assistant.

His parents were William Samuel Oliver (died 1933) and Madeleine Eveline, née De La Perelle (1882–1956). His father was from Devonshire in England, and his mother was Australian. Claudius William Samuel was their only child.

Norway had a strategic importance for Nazi Germany during the Second World War. The invasion on 9 April was sudden and extensive. At the beginning of July, the whole country had been occupied by the Germans, despite the intervention of allied countries. After this, the Allies’ activity in Norway was limited to raids and special operations, in which air forces from British Commonwealth countries – including Australia – provided support to Norwegian resistance forces until the Germans capitulated on 8 May 1945.

Oliver volunteered for bomber command in the Royal Australian Air Force at a recruiting center in Sydney on 9 December 1940 and served in No. 149 Squadron.

In 1941 he was stationed in England.

A Stirling I R9162 aircraft took off at 02:34 from Lakenheath airbase on 10 August 1942 to drop mines in the Silverthorn region of the Kattegat. Oliver was the pilot. The plane crashed on the night of August 11, 1942. The cause was never determined. The entire crew of seven lost their lives. Four have no known grave.

On 12 September 1942, Sgt. James Henry Storey was found dead at sea four kilometers from Hjardemål Klit in Denmark. His name was written on the lifebuoy he was found in. Storey was buried in Frederikshavn on 17 September.

Sgt. Leonard Robert Sims was buried at the Kviberg cemetery near Gothenburg.

The body of Claudius William Samuel Oliver washed ashore at Andvik in Brunlanes. He was laid to rest at 8 o’clock during military honors at Undersbo cemetery in Larvik on 23 August 1942. There was an honour section of the German troops under the leadership of an officer. The coffin was carried by six non-commissioned officers.

Arne and Svein on Claudius William Samuel Oliver’s grave at the Undersbo cemetary in Larvik. Photo: Courtesy of Tone Strand.

The funeral speech was – according to the Ortskommandant’s regulations – delivered by an officer, who was a clergyman in civilian life. In the speech he particularly emphasized that the fallen opponent was a soldier and as such had fought in an honorable manner and had given the utmost for his country.

After the wreath laying, three volleys were fired over the open grave.

Oliver had written a letter to his mother in case he was lost. Link:Stirling I R9162 crashed in Jammerbugt / Skagerak on 11/8 1942 (

Two In Memoriam notices were printed in the newspaper Newcastle Herald. The first had been written by «his loving friend» Lottie Shavler and appeared in the edition of August 11, 1943, the first anniversary of the accident; the other had been written by his mother and was in the edition of 11 August 1944, the second anniversary of the accident.

Oliver was awarded the following medals: 1939-1949 Star, Aircrew Europe Star, Defense Medal, War Medal 1939-1945 and Australia Service Medal.

He died on August 11, 1942, aged just 22.

Morten Bakkeli