Author Topic: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF  (Read 141305 times)

Offline mack

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 8,432
Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #75 on: September 23, 2014, 09:13:25 PM »
hiya philip

the report on Robert Hilton was in german,fortunately Charlie is fluent in german and transcribed it for me.

mack ;D
ps many thanks charlie ;D

Offline PhilipG

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,641
Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #76 on: September 24, 2014, 03:48:17 PM »
Mack & Charlie,

Many thanks for your kind assistance in the matter of Lt. Hilton's death.   Whilst the Index to Wills describes his date of death as "died on or since 6th April 1918, the RAF service record for this officer is more precise and now confirms his date of death in the following fashion:

12.3.21 - "Death accepted as having occurred on 6th April 1918. (Killed in Action)."

The document also indicates that Lt.Hilton had served in the 16th Manchesters and interestingly, that before being commissioned, he had held the rank of Corporal Observer (5.2.18).  Again thanks to you both.  PhilipG.

Offline PhilipG

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,641
Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #77 on: September 27, 2014, 04:01:03 PM »
            Lieutenant A.T.Heywood : Royal Flying Corps and 19th Manchesters

This officer is reported as joining the Manchester Regiment in 1914 and proceeding to France in 1915, possibly with commissioned status.  In due course, he transferred to the RFC and served with No. 45 Squadron.  It was whilst flying with this squadron in the Ypres area that he met his death on 3rd September 1917.

He had left his base at 8.15 a.m. piloting a Sopwith Camel No. B3917 and was last reported as flying west on patrol over Comines at an altitude of 4000 feet.   However, he later became engaged in a fight with enemy aircraft somewhere near Houthem at 9.25.a.m. and was shot down and killed.

Heywood's death figured in a claim by the German Air Ace Werner Voss of Jasta 10, but this claim is disputed.   Voss was shot down and killed on the 23rd September 1917 and has no known grave.  However, I understand that some recognition of his death is recorded on a panel at the German Cemetery at Langemark, although I have not seen it.

Like Werner Voss, Lt.Heywood has no known grave and thus his name is on the Flying Services Memorial at Arras.   PhilipG.

Offline PhilipG

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,641
Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #78 on: October 09, 2014, 05:09:25 PM »

Lieutenant (later Captain) A.N.Solly  :  Royal Flying Corps and 26th Bn. Manchester Regiment

After the Battle of Loos it was realised that the RFC must regain superiority in the air and to this end a quite remarkable build up ensued, with the RFC by June 1916 having 27 squadrons in France.  Lt.Solly's squadron (No.23) arrived in France on the 16th March 1916 equipped with FE2b aircraft.

On the 30th April 1916,whilst on a photographic patrol over Ayette, the FE2b aircraft - No. 6345- and piloted by Lt. S.H.B. Harris with Lt. Solly as his Observer was damaged by enemy anti-aircraft fire.  Despite being wounded, Lt. Harris was able to bring the aircraft back to base and landed safely.

Lt. Solly was in action again on 31st May, this time flying in the squadron's aircraft No. 5215 in the Cambrai- Adinfer Wood area, escorting a reconnaissance patrol. On this occasion, his pilot was Captain H.Wyllie.  At 9.15 a.m. the patrol was set upon by 3 Fokker aircraft when operating at a height of between 6000 and 7000 feet.  None of the RFC aircraft were lost and there were no RFC crew casualties, but an enemy 'plane was seen to go down. The report by the commander of this patrol attributed the success of the action to the ability of the patrol to keep a tight formation.

The results of the efforts of the RFC on the 1st July 1916 have been assessed as "mixed".  Certainly the RFC had air supremecy, but contact with the artillery had been variable.

On the 1st July, Lt.Solly and his pilot, Captain Wyllie were again airborne, this time in squadron aircraft No. 5213.  They were engaged in a reconnaissance patrol with two other squadron 'planes, when at an altitude of 7000 feet over Vaulx, at shortly after 5 o'clock in the evening, they were in combat with 5 enemy aircraft.  One German machine was seen to go into a  controlled nosedive.   On their return to base, Solly's aircraft came under anti-aircraft fire and he was wounded, being hit in the thigh.

Clearly, Lt. Solly must have successfully recovered from his wounds, for he was in action again on the 13th May 1917, this time flying with No. 20 Squadron operating FE2d aircraft.   I note that during his spell recovering from his wounds he must have undergone pilot training, for his Observer/Gunner was Air Mechanic Second Class C. Beminster.  Flying squadron aircraft No. A6354 over Menin they engaged in combat at 11 a.m. with an enemy "two-seater" and shot it down, returning to base unscathed.

The CWGC record Solly's date of death as 11th August 1917 and give his rank as that of Captain.  Mention is also made of his connection with the Manchester Regiment.  One source gives the manner of his death as "killed whilst flying", which could indicate his death took place when engaged in non-operational flying.   Research indicates that he was flying with Lt.D.Y.Hay, piloting a Bristol F2B aircraft No.A7108 which crashed and both were killed.   I see that his squadron (No.20) was equipped with FE2d's around that time which may indicate that these officers were involved in some "air test" or training on a new type of 'plane at the time.   With this theory, I gain support from the fact that on the 26th  January 1917 Solly was seconded to the "Rolls Royce Works", returning to operations some three months later.   As the Bristol F2B was designed to be fitted with a Rolls Royce engine, perhaps his flight in aircraft No. A7108 had some technical purpose?

Both officers are buried in Longuenesse (St.Omer) Souvenir Cemetery.   

PhilipG.

Offline charlie

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,417
« Last Edit: October 09, 2014, 07:56:09 PM by charlie »

Offline PhilipG

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,641
Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #80 on: October 10, 2014, 04:34:51 PM »
Charlie,

Very many thanks for the trouble you have taken directing me to the "links" to this gallant officer's service with the RFC etc.  Much appreciated.

He was,of course, a "Fighter Ace", his score of 9 enemy 'planes destroyed is made up of the following:- 1 Destroyed, 6-Out of control and a further 2-Out of control (shared).

Particularly interesting was to see his photograph in the "Book of Honour" where, somewhat sternly, he sits with the men of his Platoon (No. Xlll) of the 19th Manchesters.   I have him down as with the 26th Manchesters, as that battalion is recorded in Solly's RFC papers.   On that matter, I see that the 26th battalion was "a local reserve battalion formed from depot coys. of the 19th, 20th and 21st Manchesters, so that placement could account for the period he spent pending his posting to the RFC for flying duties.

With the damage to the machine's starboard wing shortly after "take off" (being a biplane I wonder if the other wing collapsed too?) and the death of the two flyers, it would be interesting to learn the details of the  Accident Board's enquiry.   I suspect that the squadron's riggers would be subject to some intense questioning.

Without doubt, Captain Solly comes over as a brave and experienced flyer, but I still wonder what his secondment to Rolls Royce was all about.  PhilipG.

Offline george.theshed197

  • sadly no longer with us
  • *
  • Posts: 1,162
Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #81 on: October 10, 2014, 06:08:57 PM »
Phillip.
Was there any connection with 'Handley-Page and the Handley Bomber of the early '20's post WW1 era  there was also in a somewhat later period the development of the similarly name Handley-Page Torpedo Biplane around that same period  also associated with Rolls Royce??
I can also remember one of my Uncle 's George  H. ( a former WW1 Sgt Despatch Riding Instructor A.S.C. Based at Stafford telling me about these planes in the late 1930'

Just a possibility
George


Offline charlie

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,417
Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #82 on: October 10, 2014, 07:56:23 PM »

With the damage to the machine's starboard wing shortly after "take off" (being a biplane I wonder if the other wing collapsed too?) and the death of the two flyers, it would be interesting to learn the details of the  Accident Board's enquiry.   I suspect that the squadron's riggers would be subject to some intense questioning.
 PhilipG.

I am no aero engineer but I would have thought that even the loss of the righthand upper or lower wing would have been sufficient to make the aeroplane almost or completely uncontrollable. The "extra" lift from the lefthand side would automatically force the aeroplane into a turn with it's damaged side on the inside of the turn and that is exactly what the pilot would not want. I should imagine it would have demanded massive strength to even partially counteract it. If it is correct that the accident took place shortly after take off he would not have gained much height - the F2B - only had a climb rate of 800Ft/m, that would not have given the pilot much time to react before contact was made with the ground.
Charlie

Offline PhilipG

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,641
Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #83 on: October 11, 2014, 11:14:12 AM »
George,

Nice to hear from you again.  I think you are possibly referring to the Handley Page 0/400 which after the Great War was modified for passenger carrying purposes.  As to the Torpedo Biplane of the 1930's, perhaps you are thinking of the Fairey Aviation "Swordfish" of "Bismarck" fame, affectionally known as the "Stringbag" and produced at Heaton Chapel, Stockport?   Take care. Philip.

Offline PhilipG

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,641
Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #84 on: October 11, 2014, 12:59:35 PM »
Charlie,
Thanks for your observations.   I could not agree with you more.  Incidentally, my reference to the "other wing" was referring to the remaining wing on the starboard side of the aircraft.  One tends to suppose that the collapsing of either one of these two wings, by reason of their connection by the struts, would affect the other.  I can visualise the machine, shortly after getting airborne, going into an uncontrollable spin, possibly being made even worse by an inability to "throttle back", leading to an horrendous crash with the inevitable deaths of the two gallant officers.

As a "driver-airframe" in WW2, I always considered that, apart from getting into an inverted spin (very dangerous), a "take off" was also a period of some disquiet, for an engine failure etc. at that time could cause a problem.  Fortunately, my "take offs" (and landings) on balance must have been satisfactory for I am still here!  Regards. PhilipG.

Offline george.theshed197

  • sadly no longer with us
  • *
  • Posts: 1,162
Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #85 on: October 11, 2014, 06:27:33 PM »
Hi again Phillip.
Yes good to chat, No - I can remember the old 'Stringbag Kite' so I am not being confused by that; the one I was thinking about came around about the same time as the Blackburn Dart and refering back to my notes ( from my Family History period) was named as the Type T, the H.P.19, powered by the Napier Lion engine. Again referring back, it seems that three prototypes were built - the first being a somewhat unstable, was modified  but still wasn't successful and by the time the third model was ready the Blackburn designed Swift was accepted and on order.
I should have just gone back to my old notes add not just relied on my bonce, however.
Take care and thanks again. Phillip.
George.

Offline PhilipG

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,641
Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #86 on: October 18, 2014, 04:20:20 PM »
Lieutenant Cecil W.Hardman : 23rd Manchesters & 70 Squadron Royal Flying Corps.

This officer was "killed whilst flying" on the 21st September 1916 "somewhere on the Western Front".  He was flying in a Sopwith "Strutter" aircraft No. A1915 with 2nd Lieutenant V.L. Morgan as pilot, Lt. Hardman occupying the machine's rear cockpit.  As to what duties the flyers were undertaking is not clear, but both airmen died and are buried in adjacent graves in the Gezaincourt Com. Cem. Extn.   I note that the squadron list of deaths numbers 84 men, including Lts. Hardman and Morgan.
PhilipG.

timberman

  • Guest
Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #87 on: October 18, 2014, 05:33:34 PM »
Hi Philip

From the GWF.

According to the Casualty Book (AIR1/967) and Casualty Report (AIR1/845), Hardman and his pilot, 2nd Lt Vernon Leslie Morgan, were killed on 21 September 1916 when Strutter A1915 stalled and nose-dived at about 150ft just after taking off on a practice flight.  Morgan is buried in Gezaincourt Communal Cemetery Extension, grave reference I. F. 10.

I think your wrong about him being a Manchester though.

CWGC entry.

Rank: Lieutenant
Date of Death: 21/09/1916
Age:28
Regiment/Service: Royal Flying Corps
70th Sqdn. and 23rd Bn. Middlesex Regiment
Grave Reference: I. F. 11.
Cemetery: GEZAINCOURT COMMUNAL CEMETERY EXTENSION
Additional Information:
Son of William Stevens Hardman and Florence Elizabeth Hardman, of 74, Hertford Rd., East Finchley, London.

Timberman

Offline PhilipG

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,641
Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #88 on: October 19, 2014, 12:49:54 PM »
Timberman,

First of all, many thanks for going to the trouble of finding out what happened to the Sopwith Strutter crew.  It would seem Morgan was not watching his airspeed indicator - with predictable results.  My "0ppo", a Nottingham lad, stalled and "spun in" in similar circumstances over 70 years ago, age 18 years.  Very sad.  He lies " in some corner of a foreign field".

Re your doubts about C.W.Hardman being an officer in the Manchester Regiment.  I can understand your uncertainty in this matter, for I was initially thrown too, by the CWGC and their GRU records.  However, I suggest we are on firm ground here regarding Hardman being commissioned in the Manchesters, insofar as the Medal Record Card places him in that regiment and leaving for France on 4th May 1916.   The back of the card gives the name and address of the officer's next of kin, which is exactly the same as the one quoted by the CWGC.

For further details of this officer I went to my copy of "Officers Died in the Great War 1914-1919", to find that he is listed there on page 154 of that book.   The details are:-

Cecil William Hardman, 23 Manchesters, Tempy. Lt., Kia 21.9.16 (and RFC).

I would value your views on this interesting matter.  Regards, Philip.

timberman

  • Guest
Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #89 on: October 19, 2014, 06:46:05 PM »

You right on both counts

MIC Manchester
and
SDGW Manchester

The only thing is!!

on the MIC
He is listed on the Middlesex Regiment Roll

Roll officer/107 Page 6D?

So is a bit of a mystery.

Timberman