Author Topic: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF  (Read 144934 times)

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #105 on: December 20, 2014, 03:42:52 PM »
Timberman,

Many thanks.   Philip.

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #106 on: December 23, 2014, 04:25:09 PM »
                                          Captain Richard Bentham : Royal Flying Corps & 2/7th Manchester Regiment

This officer was "killed whilst flying", although another source has his death on 8th November 1916 as "Killed (Accident)."  He was based at the Central Flying School (CFS) at Upavon in Wiltshire and his death occurred whilst piloting a DH2 type aircraft No.5982.

He is buried in Newchurch - in - Pendle (St.Mary) Churchyard, Lancashire.

I have not been able to discover at what stage during his military career Bentham achieved his captaincy, but at present I have assumed that his rank indicates that he was CFS staff and not a trainee pilot.   I could be wrong in this connection, of course.

In passing, I discovered that the number of All Ranks deaths at the CFS during the war numbered 86, including that of Captain Bentham.  PhilipG.

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #107 on: December 31, 2014, 11:56:14 AM »
                      Lieutenant (later Captain) Clarence Edward Williamson-Jones DFC : 1st Bn. Manchester Regiment, RFC & RAF

This officer was commissioned on 20th March 1915 into the 1st Manchesters and had a distinguished military career serving not only in the Manchesters, but on operational flying duties with both the RFC and RAF.  He continued to serve in the RAF after the Great War and beyond, reaching the rank of Group Captain.  He died in 1977.

He can be traced as Cadet No.1410 serving with the Artists' Rifles early in the Great War and following his commissioning as a 2nd Lieutenant joining his battalion in the Salient shortly before the Second Battle of Ypres, a battle which commenced on the 21st April 1915.  The 1st Manchesters were part of the Jullundur Brigade of the Lahore Division, taking up positions on the 26th April with their right flank on a farm west of Wieltje, the objective being the enemy trenches about 1000 yards north of them.  Even on their way to the Start Line, the Brigade met severe enemy fire as they marched past the moat to the south of Ypres town, the 40th Pathans, for instance, suffering some 22 casualties.   

The attack commenced at 1.20.p.m. being covered by the British artillery bombardment, but nevertheless the advancing troops met enemy fire of every kind and casualties were heavy, in the case of No. 1 Company four officers, including Williamson-Jones being wounded.  The Manchesters' splendid reputation during the battle had been confirmed, but the cost to the battalion was heavy, for total casualties amounted to the death of the battalion CO - Lt. Col. Hitchins  - and 15 men, 217 All Ranks wounded and 56 men missing. (It was in this battle that Acting Corporal Issy Smith won his Victoria Cross).

As regards Williamson-Jones, his military future was to lie with the Royal Flying Corps and later with the Royal Air Force.

Continuing research revealed a reference to him flying a contact patrol on the opening day of the Battle of Messines (7th June 1917), when operating with a RE8 type aircraft of No. 6 Squadron RFC and being wounded in the leg.   The role of the RFC in that battle is praised, especially in connection with contact patrolling and Counter-Battery work.

By May 1918 Williamson-Jones was serving with No. 59 Squadron RAF.  On the second day of that month he was returning to base after a patrol involving photographic work, flying a RE8 machine No. C5048 with Acting Lieutenant B. Instone as Observer.   It appears that Williamson-Jones' final approach to the airfield was misjudged and the normal remedy of the application of an appropriate amount of "throttle" failed as the engine "cut out".
The aircraft therefore crashed short of the aerodrome "nose down" in a trench, neither Lt. Williamson-Jones nor his Observer suffering injury.

PhilipG.
 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #108 on: December 31, 2014, 12:13:24 PM »
                                                                     
                                                                Captain Williamson-Jones DFC

                   The citation for this officer's award of the Distinguished Flying Cross is given below:-

"Over Boursies, 22nd March 1918; Near Beaumetz 3rd March 1918, and many other occasions elsewhere.   This officer has completed over fifty GB shoots, frequently under adverse weather conditions, and in the face of severe opposition from aeroplanes and anti-aircraft fire.  The success of these operations was in many cases mainly due to his courage and perseverance.  On one occasion, flying at 2000 feet, he held up for a time the advance of hostile infantry."
PhilipG.





                                                             
               

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #109 on: December 31, 2014, 12:51:35 PM »
                                                 Captain Williamson-Jones' DFC citation.

The reference in the citation to "GB shoots" I find puzzling. I wonder if this is a misprint and should read "CB" which is an abbreviation for "Counter-Battery"?  Suggestions wanted, please. PhilipG.

timberman

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #110 on: January 04, 2015, 10:28:00 AM »
Philip not sure if you have this officer
had a quick look but could not see him.

This is all I got.
Charles Arthur Morris
Pte 2056 Man Reg
2nd Lieut Liverpool Reg and RFC

He got his commission Nov 1917

1915 Star issued by The Manchester's
Vic and Brit medals issued by RFC

Timberman

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #111 on: January 04, 2015, 12:22:53 PM »
Timberman,

Thank you. I will see what I can trace. Philip.

Offline mack

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #112 on: January 09, 2015, 07:51:08 AM »
hiya phillip
these two officers were both transferred to the RFC.

2/Lt George,william Williamson,2nd manchesters,was reported killed after leading a assault on german trenches on 9th December 1914,along with two of his men,one man was wounded and three missing,but he was very much alive and kicking.
he returned to England and passed his aero club flying certificate at the military school,birmingham on 31-3-1916,became a major in the RFC
awarded MC,gazetted 18-2-15,MID 17-2-15 and the OBE
resided broad rd,sale
occupation.electrical inspector for a boiler insurance company
parents hugh+mary

his brother 2/Lt hugh albert Williamson formerly 2/Lt in the Manchester regt was reported missing on 2-7-16 aged 29,serving with 34th squadron.also MIDs.

mack ;D

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #113 on: January 09, 2015, 06:02:40 PM »
Mack,
Thank you for that further info.  Philip.

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #114 on: January 12, 2015, 08:10:45 AM »
                                    Lieutenant Richard Austin Spencer : 4th Battalion Manchester Regt.  RFC & RAF

This officer was commissioned into the Manchesters on 22.11.16 and later transferred to the Royal Flying Corps.   I have been able to locate him in the RAF records, flying on air operations with No.59 Squadron on the 6th November 1918.

The 4th November 1918 is recognised as the day that the last big air combat of the Great War between the RAF and the German Air Force took place, a day when RAF casualties were heavy, but a day when the enemy air force could no longer have any effect on the advance of the British forces.

However, RAF aircraft continued to be shot down and Lt. Spencer was one of the victims claimed by the enemy on the 6th November.  Together with his Observer Lt. W.F.Wilson, he was airborne in a RE8 type aircraft No. C2529 engaged in "Counter-attack patrolling" east of the Sambre River.  They were attacked by hostile aircraft during which the machine's controls were shot away and the crew were forced to land.  Neither Lt. Spencer nor Lt Wilson were wounded.   PhilipG.

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #115 on: January 15, 2015, 11:21:47 AM »
            2nd Lieutenant (later Major) George William Williamson OBE., MC., M.Inst.C.E., M.I.Mech.E., F.R.Ae.S., 2nd Battalion Manchester Regiment
                                                                 and Group Captain (Retd.) Royal Air Force. 

As "Mack" has indicated, this officer was reported in the Regimental History as being killed in action.  Nothing was further from the truth as  indeed,"Mack" so reported, for later in the war there is brief mention in the records of Williamson transferring to the RAF and taking command in the rank of Major of No. 15 Aircraft Acceptance Park. (AAP).

Williamson joined the 2nd Manchesters on the 25th October 1914 just east of Festubert accompanied by reinforcements of 77 men.   By early December, the battalion was in the line near Wulverghem and it was there that he led a night reconnaissance patrol which located the German trench lines.   Two days later leading a patrol of of 45 men, he attacked these same trenches, but through various circumstances the patrol was forced to retreat, in doing so incurring five casualties, one of which was Williamson who was wounded.  The date was the 9th December.   I surmise that this was the action, amongst others, which resulted in the award to him of the Military Cross.     

A period with the 3rd battalion in the rank of Captain seemed to ensue, followed in due course by his transfer to the RAF.  I have been unable to ascertain the location of No. 15 AAP, but it seems possible it was UK based.   No doubt Williamson's engineering expertise fitted him for his new appointment.  This can be confirmed by his involvement in the inter-war years with cockpit arrangement and display of those dials necessary to assist the pilot in "blind flying", e.g. "Artificial Horizon", "Turn & Bank" etc.

PhilipG.     

Offline charlie

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #116 on: January 15, 2015, 01:32:57 PM »
Hello Philip,
15 AAP was located in the Didsbury/Alexander Park area. It was established in 1918 and accepted aircraft from the local manufacturers - mainly AVRO.
Charlie

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #117 on: January 15, 2015, 04:27:01 PM »
Charlie,


Thank you for that contribution. I know the location having worked there in 1947. Regards, Philip.

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #118 on: January 15, 2015, 04:42:56 PM »
                                                                Captain C.E.Williamson-Jones DFC

I write in connection with the recent reference in this officer's DFC citation to the meaning of "GB Shoots" .  I am pleased to report that Woolwich advise me that "GB Shoots" is a reference to GUN BEARING SHOOTS.

As this exercise involves flying in a relative static location at a low altitude giving compass bearings to the ground batteries, the award of the DFC mentioned above suggests to me that it was well-deserved.
PhilipG.

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #119 on: January 16, 2015, 10:43:09 AM »
                                   Lieutenant F. Leach 1/8th Battalion Manchester Regiment & Royal Air Force.

I have not found it possible to discover anything of this officer's military career with the RAF which appears to have taken place in India.   His death is recorded by the CWGC as being on the 16th June 1918 and they have placed his name on the Kirkee 1914-1918 Memorial located near Poona.   This would appear to indicate that he has no grave.

However, the CWGC it seems have, through circumstances beyond their control, been forced to abandon many graves in India and it may be in the case of this airman that particular procedure had to be followed.    PhilipG.