Author Topic: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF  (Read 138715 times)

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #360 on: April 18, 2016, 10:58:36 AM »
         2368 Pte. Frank Jerome Walsh : Manchester Regiment, RFC & RAF

This soldier is reported as serving in Gallipoli and arriving in that theatre of war in May 1915.  At some time later, he was given a new Regimental Number, namely 250463.   Subsequently, he was commissioned in the Manchesters and thereafter transferred to the Royal Flying Corps, flying with No. 10 Squadron in France.

Frustratingly, a record of his service with that squadron is limited to a combat on the 8th October 1918 in which he was wounded.  At that time he was flying a A.W. FK8 type of aircraft, apparently without a gunner.

I have been unable to ascertain in which battalion of the Manchester Regiment he served.  PhilipG.
 

timberman

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #361 on: April 18, 2016, 06:45:18 PM »
Philip

He started with the 1/6th Manchester's
Then he was commissioned into the 5th Manchester's
24/10/1916.

Timberman

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #362 on: April 19, 2016, 07:27:35 AM »
Timberman,

Thank you for that additional info. which helps so much to fill in the "blanks" PhilipG.

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #363 on: April 22, 2016, 12:22:51 PM »
         2604 L/Cpl Ernest Arthur Worrall : 6th Manchesters & Royal Flying Corps

This soldier, formerly of the 6th Bn. Manchester Regt., took a commission with the Regiment as a 2nd Lt., later transferring to the RFC in which service he reached the rank of Captain.  On the 29th May 1917, he was involved in a night bombing operation in the region of Lille, flying in a FE2b type of aircraft, No. A841 of No. 100 Squadron RFC having left his base at 10.45 pm that day.  During that flight his machine was hit by ground fire and set alight, forcing him to land near Steenwerck suffering from wounds to his arm.

In due course he was posted to No. 51 Squadron, a Home Defence and Training unit.   He was "killed whilst flying" which indicates an accident of some seriousness as the Observer was also killed.

The brief records report that on the 20th March 1918  Worrall and 2nd Lt. A.R.C. Hodges were flying in a FE2b machine of No. 51 Squadron,
No. A5466 operating in the UK.   Worrall is buried in Manchester Southern Cemetery.

Lt. Hodges however, is buried in the church cemetery at Marham, the Squadron's base being nearby.  Interestingly, I notice that Lt. Hodges' parents lived in Cape Town, so it could be that this officer had a connection with South Africa.  In connection with their son's death, his parents  gave to the CWGC the additional information that "he was severely wounded on the Somme in 1916", I should think whilst serving with the Middlesex Regiment.

In the case of Captain Worrall, I note that his sister lived in Cheetham Hill, which would account for his interment in Manchester's Southern Cemetery.    PhilipG.

Offline charlie

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #364 on: April 22, 2016, 04:46:12 PM »
EA Worrall

Philip, according to his RFC casualty card he also served with the 14th Bn and graduated as a Flying Officer on 31.07.1916.

Also on the reverse side of his casualty card is the report of the Court of Enquiry:

Court of Enquiry No 20577/1918 Lt Worrall and 2/Lt Hodges.

The court having carefully considered the evidence before them finds that FE2b Machine No 5466 was wrecked on the 20th March 1918 through spinning into the ground and catching fire. The court are of the opinion that the engine proved unsatisfactory, but there is no evidence to show what were the intentions of the Pilot Lieut. Worrall.

Charlie

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #365 on: April 23, 2016, 12:18:36 PM »
Charlie,

      E.A.Worrall

Thank you for the additional information, in particular, the Court of Enquiry Report.  The Court seems to lay blame on the engine being unsatisfactory, but aircraft surely do not spin to the ground purely on engine failure?   There is a routine for such eventualities.

The piece regarding "the intentions of the pilot" makes one believe that he was carrying out some unwise manoeuvre from which the aircraft failed to recover.  There is no mention of "pilot error" and one wonders if, in all the circumstances, it was best to be vague about the cause of death of this experienced airman and his companion?    Any views?              PhilipG. 

Offline charlie

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #366 on: April 23, 2016, 05:07:18 PM »
Philip,

I agree with your thoughts regarding an "unwise manoeuvre". Even though accidents can always happen, I find it hard to believe that an experienced pilot with many hours on type would be caught out by an engine failure in "straight and level flight". I imagine engine failures occured quite often in those days. As you correctly note, the court used a lot of words to say nothing conclusive.

There is a short passage in J Sweetmans book Cavalry of the Clouds relating to Lt Worrall's wounding on 29th May.
https://books.google.de/books?id=zFI7AwAAQBAJ&pg=PA120&lpg=PA120&dq=ea+worrall&source=bl&ots=fm0Tz42srE&sig=VupPamBBGS87zQcTCU0LgEzy-EE&hl=de&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj7746aj6XMAhVGDywKHRt1AqUQ6AEIKjAF#v=onepage&q=ea%20worrall&f=false

Charlie

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #367 on: April 26, 2016, 09:21:48 AM »
Charlie,

E.A. Worrall

I've had a look at the instructions on piloting a FE2b. There's plenty to go wrong, from using the appropriate fuel tanks on "take off" to the security of the gunner's flying jacket whilst in the air.    The mechanic swinging the "prop" had a dangerous job, too.    PhilipG.

Offline mack

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #368 on: April 26, 2016, 11:42:09 AM »
         2368 Pte. Frank Jerome Walsh : Manchester Regiment, RFC & RAF

This soldier is reported as serving in Gallipoli and arriving in that theatre of war in May 1915.  At some time later, he was given a new Regimental Number, namely 250463.   Subsequently, he was commissioned in the Manchesters and thereafter transferred to the Royal Flying Corps, flying with No. 10 Squadron in France.

Frustratingly, a record of his service with that squadron is limited to a combat on the 8th October 1918 in which he was wounded.  At that time he was flying a A.W. FK8 type of aircraft, apparently without a gunner.

I have been unable to ascertain in which battalion of the Manchester Regiment he served.  PhilipG.
 
its a puzzle how he ended up being renumbered,the renumbering took place in 1917 and he had been a commissioned officer for at least 5 months.

mack[smiley]

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #369 on: April 26, 2016, 02:46:05 PM »
Mack,

Thank you. Research is full of mysteries.   PhilipG.

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #370 on: April 30, 2016, 12:31:25 PM »
          2nd Lieut.John Stephan Giffard : 20th Bn. Manchester Regt. & RFC

This officer's military career began with his service with the 20th Manchesters and with its departure overseas in October 1915.  It continued with his transfer in November 1917 to No. 5 Balloon Company of the Royal Flying Corps, with which unit he reached the rank of Captain in June 1918.  He completed a total of 2 years experience of kite-balloon operation and balloon observation procedures, augmented by a course at Roehampton in this connection.

He had a month of serving in the Home Defence Wing before a posting to RAF HQ., Cologne in May 1919, followed by a transfer to the Army of the Rhine.  His visit there was brief and he proceeded to No. 1 BTS in England and ultimately left the RAF in October 1919.

I note from the records that he was awarded the Croix de Guerre and was also Mentioned in Despatches.

It is well known, that after 100 hours of operational flying, Kite-Balloon observers were awarded the highly prized Observers' half-wing brevet.  In this connection I should think that Giffard would have qualified.

During his stay with No. 5 Balloon Coy., I note that there were three casualties amongst the ground crew.  Two of those were killed in action on the 28th October 1918, namely, Pte 2nd Class Walter Shields (age 41 and a native of Lr. Broughton, Manchester) and Sgt. P.Luff, so it was not just the aviators whose lives were at risk in units of this kind.  Both men lie in Mendingham Military Cemetery located near Poperinge.

In civilian life, Captain Giffard was a teacher with a BA degree (Cambridge). He had taught in schools in Hunstanton and in Birkdale, near Southport, followed by an appointment at Kingston Grammar School in Surrey.

In 1924 he emigrated to the USA and became an Assistant Master at Aiken Preparatory School in Aiken, S. Carolina.

PhilipG.

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #371 on: April 30, 2016, 05:26:59 PM »
I notice there is a spelling mistake in the heading. It should be Stephen.   Sorry. PhilipG.

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #372 on: May 13, 2016, 02:53:37 PM »
   2nd Lt. Noel William Grieves Wilkinson : 10th Bn. Manchester Regt., RFC & RAF

This officer was a student at Liverpool University before joining the 10th Manchesters in 1914 in which unit he was subsequently commissioned.  Later he was attached to the Lancashire Fusiliers before being transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in 1917.

Interestingly, the records show that in March 1915 he was at Codford (Salisbury Plain), undertaking a course on bombing.  Later, whilst attached to the 1st Wiltshires, he was sent on an Adjutants' Course.  It would seem too, that he became an instructor with the Inns of Court OTC, followed by an appointment to No. 55 Divisional Signalling School.

As regards his transfer to the RFC, he followed what would appear to be the common practice of reporting to No. 1 School of Aeronautics at Reading, followed by transfers to No. 49 Training Depot Squadron and No. 46 Training Squadron.  He left the service in June 1919. 

In respect of his pilot's duties, the records show that he flew "M.F.'s" and DH 6's.    PhilipG.

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #373 on: May 27, 2016, 12:58:08 PM »
         2nd Lieutenant Thomas Henry Clesham  17th Bn. Manchester Regt.

This officer was a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin.  He had connections with the mining fields in South Africa and served in the Natal Light Horse during the Boer War.   Subsequently, he was commissioned in the Manchester Regiment and "joined the Flying Corps", becoming "a fully qualified aviator."   

His obituary advises that he was killed in action on the 1st July 1916, falling "just as he led his men over the parapet".   His name is on the Thiepval Memorial.

The obituary's reference to " the Flying Corps" suggests that he left the RFC to rejoin the Manchesters.  However, it could be that the words "Flying Corps" describe  those who undertook a pilot's course as a hobby, and that Clesham was never in the RFC.?  Opinions wanted.  PhilipG.

Offline charlie

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #374 on: May 27, 2016, 01:27:05 PM »
Philip,
I have searched through Flight, Air History UK, the RAF casualty cards, the LG and the MiCs. I cannot find any reference to him in regard to the RFC. I can only sumise, as you have, that any pilot training he undertook was at private expense.

Charlie