Author Topic: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF  (Read 150318 times)

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #165 on: April 10, 2015, 07:53:24 AM »
At some stage during Pte. Pilbrow's military career he was awarded the Military Medal.     I have been unable to ascertain whether or not the award was made during his service with the 22nd Manchesters or in connection with the period he was with the 16th Middlesex.  I note that he joined the 22nd Manchesters on the 23rd June 1915 so it is, perhaps, possible the decoration was won whilst with the 22nd battalion?   PhilipG.

Offline Robert Bonner

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #166 on: April 10, 2015, 11:21:17 AM »
In Alastair Cowan's recent history of the 22nd Bn, Pte Pilbrow is included in the list of MM winners. No other detail unfortunately.
Robert

Offline mack

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #167 on: April 10, 2015, 12:57:22 PM »
44340 Stanley,edward pilbrow
enlisted 5-6-15
aged 23
1 carlysle square,chelsea
parents Edward+minnie
wife mabel
occupation,plumbers mate.
formerly 2381 16th Middlesex regt
transferred to 22nd manchesters 1-11-16
MM gazetted 28-9-17[22nd manchesters]

mack ;D

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #168 on: April 11, 2015, 07:49:01 AM »
Robert & Mack,

Thank you both for the information. Philip.

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #169 on: April 14, 2015, 11:13:39 AM »
                                                             Private S.E. Pilbrow RFC

As Pilbrow was a member of an aircrew on operational duties carrying the lowly rank of Private soldier and possibly on a low rate of pay (1s 9d per day?), I found the whole matter of this research intriguing.

For instance, a similar situation was in being in the RAF early in WW2 where some flyers were engaged on operations holding ranks in the range AC2 - LAC.   A good example of this practice was a raid over the Albert Canal on the 12th May 1940 by F/O Garland, Sgt. Gray and LAC Reynolds, when all three in the attacking aircraft (Fairey Battle) were killed in that action.  Garland and Gray were each awarded the VC, but the third member of the aircraft's crew, the Radio Operator - Reynolds - whose rank was that of LAC was not so honoured.    Later, I recall the Air Ministry deemed that all aircrew must hold the minimum rank of Sergeant (12s 6d per day).

I wonder whether or not it was the general practice throughout the Great War for operational flying duties to be carried out by men of such lowly military rank as that held by Pte. Pilbrow?  PhilipG.

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #170 on: April 19, 2015, 10:42:33 AM »
I am told that the apparent discrimination against LAC Reynolds in the matter of the award to him of the VC was based on the Authorities' assumption that at the time of the crew's attack, Reynolds would not have been able to make a contribution to that attack.

As we are aware, in the matter of awards during the Great War, the Authorities had an unenviable task in deciding what would or would not be an appropriate award for gallantry.  Clearly, the same difficulties arose in WW2.  As regards the use of OR's on flying duties during the Great War as brought to light in the matter of Pte. Pilbrow, I intend to look further into this interesting matter. PhilipG.

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #171 on: April 23, 2015, 09:34:14 AM »
I have now done a "trawl" in squadron records for both the RFC and RAF and it would appear that soldiers and airmen in the range Private and AM1, AM2 etc. were often employed on aircrew duties.  Whether or not these men qualified for extra pay when thus employed I have not been able to ascertain. PhilipG.

Offline charlie

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #172 on: April 23, 2015, 08:14:10 PM »
Hello Philip
This thread regarding Ptes and Airmen flying as aircrew on the RAF Commands website may interest you.
http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?6325-Airman-Aircrew-Ranks.
Kind regards
Charlie

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #173 on: April 26, 2015, 10:46:32 AM »
Charlie,

Thank you for bringing to my notice the interesting and apparently authoritative piece by "Senior Member", which appears to confirm my previous research.   The reference to "flying pay" was particularly interesting for, arising out of my WW2 service, I was convinced that one never missed an opportunity to increase one's pay, even though the conditions to do so could be hazardous, a matter Pte Pilbrow must have considered.

I have noted "Senior Member's" remarks re Ground Trades and aircrew duties.   I think persistence in volunteering usually overcame official refusals.  Indeed, I served for some four months with a pre-war trained RAF Sergeant Instrument Maker, at that time he was holding the reduced but necessary re-mustered rank of LAC, the RAF presumably thinking that later he could better serve as a pilot of a Catalina Flying Boat.

To finish.  Near Bois Francais and Fricourt (of Manchester Regt. fame), the Fricourt Comm. Cem. contains the grave of AC2 Gordon Desmond Coles of 59 RAF Squadron and buried in a joint grave are the bodies of his pilot (F/O) and Observer (Sgt).   They were shot down on 22nd May 1940, so it would appear that promotion to the rank of Sergeant for all RAF aircrews had not been promulgated at that time.   PhilipG.

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #174 on: May 07, 2015, 07:13:19 AM »
                          Captain Charles Harry Williamson MC  : 7th Bn. Manchester Regt. & RFC.

In civil life this officer was a pharmaceutical chemist.  He enlisted in the 7th Manchesters and served in Gallipoli where he was wounded.  He was awarded the Military Cross in respect of his service during the fighting at the Battle of Rumini in 1916.  Details of his service with the Royal Flying Corps are sparse, but he died on 27th March 1917 and is buried in Kantara War Memorial Cemetery. PhilipG.

Offline charlie

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #175 on: May 07, 2015, 08:53:42 AM »
Captain Williamson was on 14 Sqn at the time of his death. He was flying as an Observer with 2/Lt Cecil Charles Gibbs in a BE2e which stalled and caught fire. He is recorded as arriving at Ismailia in October 1916. 2/Lt Gibbs is also buried in Kantara War Memorial Cemetery.
Charlie

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #176 on: May 08, 2015, 02:37:57 PM »
Charlie,

Thank you.  Clearly, Lt. Gibbs was not watching his airspeed and perhaps "spun in". Philip.

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #177 on: May 15, 2015, 06:52:03 AM »
                                                           Captain C.H.Williamson

In the matter of the Battle of Romani, the Turks mounted an attack on the 3rd August 1916, the air support to the British forces being given by No. 14 Squadron RFC with their BE2c machines and some aircraft from No. 1 Australian Squadron.  The battle ended with the defeat of the Turks with no less than 4000 enemy prisoners being taken.

During the air operations 7 RFC aircrew became casualties.   Interestingly, one RFC aircraft succumbed to enemy AA fire some 12 miles behind the Turkish lines, but the crew were able to regain the British front line on foot after first destroying their damaged machine.     PhilipG.

Offline Pete Th

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #178 on: May 19, 2015, 05:34:28 AM »
Philip, I've just found another entry related to transfer of officers to the RFC in the 11th Battalion war diaries:

"27th March 1918. Quiet day. 2Lts W. Jones & J. Swann proceeded to England on transfer to RFC"

Regards
Pete
Remembering

Pte Sidney Lee (36719), 2nd Battalion, Worcestershire Regt - dow 18.02.17
Sgt Charles Roberts (13668), 11th Bn, Manchester Regiment - kia 18.05.18
Bombardier John Hesford (70065), 147th Heavy Battery, RGA dow - 04.09.18
Pte Sidney Lee (4131324), 8th Bn, Cheshire Regiment -  kia 12.03.41

Offline PhilipG

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Re: Transfers of Manchester Regiment Officers to RFC/RAF
« Reply #179 on: May 19, 2015, 07:24:15 AM »
Pete,

Thanks for that info. I shall see if I can find anything at this end. Philip.