Author Topic: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF  (Read 108722 times)

Online PhilipG

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,269
Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« on: February 06, 2014, 02:54:16 PM »
On 2nd July 1916 at 6.30. p.m. Lt. I.C.MacDonell (Lord Strathcona's Horse & RFC). together with 2nd Lt. H.A.Williamson (Manchester Regt. & RFC), his Observer, "took off" in their BE2c aircraft No.2654 of No. 9  Squadron with orders to co-operate with British artillery batteries whilst airborne over the Somme battlefield.    Unfortunately, they were forced into combat with two enemy aircraft east of Bapaume and their aircraft set on fire, there being some suggestion that one of the German aircraft had fired a rocket.  Both officers were killed and having no known grave their names are engraved on the panels of the Flying Services Memorial in Arras.

2nd Lt. Williamson MID, is on my roll of those officers in the Manchester Regt. who chose later in  their military career to transfer to the RFC or RAF.   Unfortunately, I have been unable, in this instance, to discover the battalion of the Manchester Regt. in which he originally served.

I ask if anyone can supply this info, please?

I note I am lacking the same battalion info. in respect of the following  Manchester Regt. officers, who, like Lt.Williamson, also transferred to the RFC/RAF.  I would appreciate any info. regarding these officers who are:-

2nd Lt. S.Hall  No 4 Squadron  RAF   18.10.18.
2nd Lt. Alec Glen, Croix de Guerre.  No. 8 Squadron RFC 28.12.15.
Lt. W. Shields  45 Squadron RFC 5.9.17.
2nd Lt. J.N.C.Washington  No.8 Squadron RFC   DOW 2.10.15.

PhilipG.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2015, 05:49:47 PM by timberman »

timberman

  • Guest
Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2014, 09:16:57 PM »

2nd Lt. Williamson
3rd Bn

WILLIAMSON, Second Lieutenant, HUGH ALBERT, Mentioned in Despatches, 34th
Sqdn., Royal Flying Corps. and , Manchester Regiment 2 July 1916. Age 29. Son of M.
A. Williamson, of " Irlam View ", Broad Rd., Sale, Cheshire, and the late Hugh
Williamson.

2nd Lt. David Alec Glen

Bn not known

GLEN, Second Lieutenant, ALEC, Mentioned in Despatches, 8th Sqdn., Royal Flying
Corps. and , Manchester Regiment, Killed in air combat 29 December 1915. Age 19.
Croix de Guerre with Palm (France).Son of the Rev. J. P. Glen, of The Manse, Norwich.
Grave Ref. II. B. 4A.

2nd Lt. Samuel Hall

Bn not known

Lt. William Shields

14th Bn

SHIELDS, Lieutenant, WILLIAM, 45th Sqdn., Royal Flying Corps. and, Manchester
Regiment, Killed in air combat 5 September 1917. Age 28. Son of Samuel and Sarah
Shields, of 33, Upper Frank St., Belfast. Grave Ref. I. H. 41.

2nd Lt Jonathan Noel Washington

Bn not known

WASHINGTON, Second Lieutenant, JONATHAN NOEL, 8th Sqdn., Royal Flying
Corps. and, Manchester Regiment, Died of wounds (received 25th Sept.) 2 October 1915.
Grave Ref. IV. H. 5.

Timberman
« Last Edit: February 11, 2015, 05:50:13 PM by timberman »

Online mack

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,515
Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2014, 09:41:59 AM »
2/Lt jonathan,noel clulow Washington took his flight training on a Maurice farman at the military school Farnborough on 2-6-1915,he was born on 24th December 1895,no battalion recorded

mack ;D

Online mack

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,515
Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2014, 09:44:32 AM »
hiya Philip.
there are a few more Manchester officers on the forum who went over to the RFC/RAF,search for flying manchesters

mack ;D

Online PhilipG

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,269
Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2014, 11:59:25 AM »
Timberman and Mack,

Many thanks to you both for the info.   As regards "the flying Mcrs." I am on the case! Philip.

Online mack

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,515
Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2014, 01:20:48 PM »
its always a pleasure to be of help Philip

mack ;D

Online PhilipG

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,269
Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2014, 03:27:17 PM »
The Battle of Loos commenced on the 25th September 1915 and at dawn on that day 2nd Lt. Glen, formerly of the Manchester Regt. and now flying with No. 8 Squadron RFC was airborne, together with the rest of his squadron engaged in bombing operations over the front.  He was piloting a BE2c aircraft No. 1723 accompanied by his Observer 2nd Lt.D.C.Rutter.   Not unexpectedly, they were attacked by enemy aircraft.  During this fighting Lt.Glen's aircraft had descended to 1500 feet when it was engaged by enemy aircraft and "shot up".   Fortunately, the damage was minor and the crew were able to return safely to base.

(2nd Lt. Rutter subsequently took pilot training, reached the rank of Captain and at some stage during his flying career was awarded the MC.   Together with his Observer 2nd. Lt J.B.Jackson, they were engaged in ground attacks on enemy positions on the first day of the Battle of Messines when they were shot down, both being killed.)

2nd Lt. Glen was again in action on 29th December.  On this occasion he was taking part in a reconnaissance patrol over Cambrai, his Observer being Sgt. E.Jones.  Flying as one of the escort was another BE2c piloted by Lt.W.S.Sholto-Douglas.   At a height of 6500 feet the patrol was attacked by six Fokker aircraft, the subsequent battle occupying some 15/20 minutes.  Lt.Glen's aircraft was engaged by two of the enemy, Lt. Glen being wounded.  It was put into a spiral descent levelling out at 2000 feet, the intention being to avoid capture.  With similar intent Sholto-Douglas, whose aircraft was assailed by three German fighters was able to dive down and eventually return to base flying at just 20 feet.   However, Lt.Glen although wounded, managed to land the aircraft south west of Arras where he died.  Sgt. Jones was made a POW.

(Sholto-Douglas subsequently became an Air Chief Marshal in WW2 serving as AOC in C Fighter Command.)

In the same vein of research, I have come across No. 8226 Pte Reginald Lowe of the 17th Mcrs. who was wounded in July 1916, but who subsequently appears as a commissioned officer and Observer RAF, in action in 1918 with 62 Squadron.   I have put his name on my pending list for future research.  PhilipG.

Online PhilipG

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,269
Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2014, 01:34:23 PM »
Captain P.C.Cowan was a fighter pilot with No. 56 Squadron RFC having previously served with the 8th Bn.Manchester Regt.  On the 8th November 1917 two squadron aircraft (SE5a's) were ordered on a combat patrol.  The aircraft took off around 8.25 a.m., Captain Cowan flying No. B4883 whilst Lt.F.R.C.Cobbold was piloting No. B630.  The two pilots separated and in less than an hour later both men were in action with enemy pilots of Jastas 26 & 36.  Cobbold's aircraft was seen to be out of control and to crash over enemy territory, Cobbold surviving and, it is understood, being taken prisoner.

Captain Cowan's aircraft was observed to go into a spin which, perhaps through wounds, he was not able to counteract and with his aircraft out of control, he plunged to the ground and to his death.  He has no known grave and his name is recorded on the Flying Services Memorial in Arras.  I notice that 56 Squadron lost three aircraft that day, although the  pilot of one of the 'planes was uninjured.

Of interest, is that Captain P.C.Cowan's brother (Capt. Sidney E. Cowan)also served in the RFC (29 Sqdn.) and like his elder brother was also a fighter pilot.  Moreover, he belonged to that band of men who are regarded as "Air Aces" having in 1916 destroyed a total of seven enemy aircraft; indeed he is recognised as one of the very first "Aces" of the RFC.  Alas, whilst on an Offensive Patrol he was the victim in a mid-air collision and was killed.  He was 19 years old and the holder of a MC & two bars.




Second Lieut. E.W.Lindley was formerly serving with the 9th Manchesters before joining the Royal Flying Corps and reporting for duty with No.16 Squadron in February 1917.  On the 16th February  he was  ordered to fly a BE2c type aircraft No. 4179, taking with him 2nd. Lt. L.V. Munn.  His oders were to make himself familiar with the location of the British and German lines in the Arras sector.   The aircraft was airborne at 11.50 a.m. and some ten minutes later was east of Arras when it was shot down by Lt. K.Allmenroder of Jasta 11.  In the subsequent crash, Lt Munn was killed, but Lt. Lindley, obviously badly wounded was made a POW.  Sadly he died two days later. PhilipG.

Online PhilipG

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,269
Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2014, 04:16:12 PM »
2nd.Lt. Reginald Lowe RAF (formerly No.8226 16 Platoon, "D" Coy. 17th Manchesters.

The pattern of this officer's military service with its ending with his commissioning in the RFC for air crew duties is particularly interesting, insofar as his career commenced as a private soldier in the 17th Mcrs. early in the war.  He arrived in France with his battalion in November 1915 and was wounded in action the following July.   At some time afterwards he must have applied for air crew duties,  for in September 1917 he was commissioned in the RFC and was subsequently sent on an Observers' Course at the School of Military Aeronautics at Reading.   On the 13th July 1918 he was posted to France, eventually joining No. 62 Squadron RAF.  No. 62 Sqdn. was equipped with a well-regarded two seater type aircraft known as a Bristol F2b.  A Lewis gun (I wonder what would be the capacity of the magazine) was fitted in the rear cockpit  mounting for use by the Observer when in action.   On the 4th September 1918, Lt Lowe was on air operations flying with Lt. R.O.Schallaire, a Canadian, as his pilot, an action which resulted in their being shot down near Cambrai, fortunately both officers being uninjured.

They were part of a two squadron escort of bombers (DH9's) who were ordered to make a bombing raid on Valenciennes station.  The raid was intercepted by a strong force of German Fokker DVll fighters and heavy losses were incurred on both sides.

Lt.Lowe was again in action on the 16th September, this time his pilot being 2nd.Lt. C.H.Moss.   This was the beginning of a period of heavy fighting as the enemy was anxious to penetrate the air cover provided by the RAF.  No. 62 Squadron met a number of Fokker DVll aircraft and in the ensuing fighting Lt. Lowe and his pilot shot down one of the DVll's, although in this action Lt. Moss was wounded.  Nevertheless, it would seem from the Squadron report that they were able to return to base safely.  PhilipG.

Online PhilipG

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,269
Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2014, 02:57:28 PM »
Re our intrepid aviator named above who "downed" a Fokker D7. I see from the Book of Honour that a Pte D.C. Lowe No 8225 is listed on the Platoon roll. Could this be a relative, do you think?  PhilipG.

Online PhilipG

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,269
Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2014, 04:22:25 PM »
Lieutenant (later Captain) E.G.Leake MC  No. 59 Squadron RFC/RAF & 7th Manchesters

No.59 Squadron RFC was equipped with two-seater aircraft of a type known as the RE8 which was designed for bomber and reconnaissance duties.   Many pilots regarded it as unstable, but nevertheless, it continued in action for the last two years of the war.  The squadron arrived in France at a time when the Germans  had the upper hand in air superiority and suffered in what was known as "bloody April 1917".   On the 8th April, (prior to the Battle of Arras), Lt. Leake and his Observer, Lt.P.L.Hogan, together with three aircraft of No. 59 Squadron RFC were acting as escorts to aircraft photographing enemy lines at Etaing (east of Arras).     The patrol was attacked by German fighters and in each case the British machines were damaged, all the crews becoming casualties apart from Lt. Leake.  However, Lt. Leake was not to escape wounds, for he was slightly injured by enemy anti-aircraft fire when on patrol on 4th May and again on the 7th June when observing fire for British artillery batteries.

By March 1918, the squadron was in action over the Somme battlefields, heavily involved in the German Offensives of 1918 with all the difficulties entailed in moving landing grounds/spares etc. to the rear.   On the 25th March, Lt.Leake and his Observer 2nd Lt.TH Upfill were ordered to patrol over Loupart Wood.   However, they met severe enemy fire and their aircraft being damaged, they returned to base, neither Leake nor Upfill being wounded.

Three days later Leake and his Observer (Upfill) were airborne on a dawn patrol, but were shot down near Collincamps, the result of enemy ground machine gun fire.   Despite the crash both men were uninjured.

By July 1918, Leake had been promoted, for now he was holding the rank of Captain and moreover, had been awarded the Military Cross.   On the 24th July his aircraft was under anti-aircraft fire, in the course of which he was wounded.  Sadly, his wounds must have been severe for he died a week later.   His family lived in Hale, Cheshire, but pointed out in the CWGC "Additional Information" that he was a "native of Manchester",

As regards Captain Leake's Observer - Lt. Upfill, after his brother officer's death, he qualified as a pilot and was later awarded the Military Cross.  He and his Observer - 2nd. Lt.J.C.Walker were shot down and killed west of Solesmes by a German pilot of Jasta 37 on the 18th October 1918.

It would be very interesting to learn of Captain Leake's service with the 7th Manchesters.   Is that possible, please?   PhilipG.

Online mack

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 7,515
Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2014, 08:11:03 AM »
hello philip.
capt eric,gilbert leake was born in fallowfield on 26-1-1893,his parents james,medley+florence leake later moved to hale,he was sent to sedbergh school as a child and eventually became head boy in the higher school,he left in 1910,in 1913 he went to canada to work in the royal canadian bank on young st,ontario,when war broke out in 1914,he returned to england and took up training with the canadian highlanders,he went to france with the 15th batt canadian infantry in early 1915.
at some time,he transferred to the 7th manchesters
trained on a maurice farman at the military school,brooklands and passed his test on 5-1-1917
resided at "ardencraig"ollerbarrow rd,hale

theres a photo of him in the british aero club roll.

mack ;D

timberman

  • Guest
Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2014, 08:47:26 AM »
Captain George Chadwick

7th Manchester's & RAF

Not sure when transferred.
Issued with a SWB in 1919?

Timberman
« Last Edit: February 16, 2014, 08:53:59 AM by timberman »

Online PhilipG

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,269
Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2014, 10:26:07 AM »
Greetings to Mack & Timberman,

Thanks once again for your interest and help in this absorbing research; a task sometimes frustrating,but occasionally very worthwhile.  In that category I place No.8226 Pte R. Lowe- private soldier in the "Pals" to a flyer.  Thanks once more. Philip.

Online PhilipG

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,269
Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2014, 01:06:41 PM »
Captain George Chadwick was another officer in the 7th Manchesters who transferred into the RFC, being posted to No. 19 Squadron operating in the Ypres area.  The squadron was equipped with a single - seater fighter 'plane of some repute known as the SPAD 7.

On the 4th June 1917, Captain Chadwick was airborne on an Observation Patrol in his Spad 7 aircraft No. A6687 flying in the area Roulers-Menin-Ypres.  Whilst over Dickebusch he engaged in combat with enemy fighters, but was badly "shot up" and forced to land, his aircraft being wrecked in the process.   During the action he was wounded in the knee.

In due course, No. 19 Squadron was re-equipped with a diferent type of 'plane, known as the Sopwith Dolphin, a multi-gun single seater fighter aircraft.  On the afternoon of 3rd May 1918, again on Observation Patrol, Captain Chadwick entered into combat with enemy aircraft west of Neuve Chapelle, but was shot down over German occupied territory,possibly in the La Bassee region, by a German pilot of Jasta 52.   His squadron reported him as Missing in Action, but it subsequently emerged that he was a POW.



Second Lieutenant John Rawsthorne Tyrer was another officer in the 7th Manchesters who transferred to the RFC, in this case joining No.6 Squadron.  The squadron was operating in the Ypres area flying RE8 aircraft.   On the 9th October 1917 with Lt. NW Wadham as pilot and Lt. Tyrer as Observer, their aircraft was shot down by British artillery over Hooge and their 'plane crashed, wounding the pilot, but killing Lt. Tyrer.  The squadron log states "......hit by British shell."

PhilipG.