Skip to content

William Rapley (1888 – 18 September 1915)

William Rapley’s birth was registered in the Oct – Dec quarter of 1888 in Chobham, Surrey. His parents were James Henry Rapley (1847 – 1893) and Sarah Ann Herbert (1860 – 1942). He was baptised on Sunday 19 May 1889 at the Holy Trinity Church of England Parish Church, West End, Chobham, Surrey. His father is shown as a Labourer, and they were living within the Parish boundaries.

The 1891 Census shows William to be living with his parents and siblings at The Folly(1), Lightwater Rd, West End Bagshot, Chobham. In 1893 William’s father James died, leaving Sarah Ann a widow with eight children to care for. By the 1901 she was cohabiting with George Hill, a 29 year old General Labourer, also living with Sarah and George was William and two sons of George and Sarah (Sarah is shown as George’s wife). It wasn’t until 1910 that they married, (registered in the first quarter of 1911).

The 1911 Census shows that William was still living at The Folly with Sarah Ann and George and he was working as a Garden Labourer and was single.

On Sunday January 7, 1912 William married Florence Drew (8 Apr 1888 – ) at the Parish Church in Chobham(2).

William joined the Army to serve in World War I, unfortunately his service records did not survive the Blitz during the World War II, so I have attempted to put together details of his service, using available information, and making a number of assumptions along the way.

William was a member of the 6th (Service) Battalion Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment. The 6th Queen’s was one of the first of the New Army Units to be raised(3). The Battalion was posted to the 37th Infantry Brigade of the 12th (Eastern) Division(4).

The New Army was established to cover the necessity for a considerable increase in the size of the Army, but there was current methodology for the increase in the Regular Army. On August 8, Field Marshall Kitchener asked for 100,000 men, and within 14 days they were in Camp, on one day 30,000 enlisted, the men were coming in quicker than arms, clothing and equipment could be provided for them.

The recruits were able to choose which regiment and unit they went to, they did need to meet the same physical criteria as the regulars, however, men up to the age of 45 who had previously served in the Army would now be accepted.

After his attestation, completing any necessary paperwork and examinations, the process concluded with William going home, and receiving his joining instructions – where to go, who to see, how to get there – and travel warrant a day or two later.

On joining the Battalion at Purfleet(5), William would have started his training, the principle of which being the Field Service Regulations, and would have begun with basic training for physical fitness, drill, march discipline, essential field craft, etc. William’s training was completed near Aldershot from February 20, 1915, with the cavalry, machine gun battery and other sections joining the Division(6).

At the end of May 1915, after at least 9 months training, the 6th Queen’s received orders to proceed overseas(7). The Battalion travelled in two sections to France, the Transport and Machine gun sections leaving Farnborough Station for Southampton on May 31 at 01:00, and Southampton for Le Havre at 16:30.

The last section of the Battalion left the Aldershot Military Siding for Folkestone at 16:45 on June 2(8), and then embarked on the SS Invicta bound for Boulogne, arriving at 22:35. The Battalion then marched to the rest camp at Ostrohove near St Omer, where they were accommodated under canvas.

At 18:30 on June 3, the entire Battalion marched out of Camp to Pont a Brique Railway Station, a distance of four miles, and joined the Transport and Machine Gun Section aboard the train in from Le Havre. The journey aboard the train continued at 20:20, arriving at Wizernes at 00:30 on the 4th.

As soon as the Battalion had alighted from the train, it marched approximately seven miles to the Billets at Ouve Wirquin and Wirquin arriving at 03:45. The transport ‘offloading’ was delayed by a lack of ramps at the station and arrived at the billets at about 04:30. Billeting was in barns and stables, with the Battalion Headquarters in the Chateau.

June 4 was spent resting in the Billets, orders for the march to Lynde were received at 03:45 on the 5th. The Battalion left the Billets at 07:00, marching via the Clety – Herbeville – Inghew Ecques – Quiestede –Wittes Blaringe to Lynde, a distance of 16 miles, arriving at 14:40. The Battalion bivouacked for the night at Lynde.

The next day the Battalion left Lynde at 06:00 marching the twelve miles to Meteren via Sercus – Hazebruck – Borre Strazele to Meteren. The heat was oppressive on this twelve mile march, and was felt by the men with four being admitted to hospital during the march. This is unsurprising when one considers that they would have been marching with full kit, which would weigh approximately 60lbs(9).

When they arrived at Meteren, the Battalion was accommodated in Billets (Farms and Barns), their prior condition on the march, exacerbated by a bad source of water. June 7, was spent settling into the billets.

Whilst at Meteren, training recommenced, with musketry practice and bayonet fighting on the 8th. The weather remained hot, with thunder in the evening. A routine set in of training, route marches and equipment distribution. On the 16th orders were received to be prepared to move at short notice. On the 19th, the orders to move were received; the Battalion were to proceed to Armetieres on the 20th for attachment to 80th Brigade.

The Battalion left Meteren at 05:30 and marched to Armentieres via Baileul and Nieppe, arriving at 09:00. Accommodation was in billets in the Railway Goods Yard and surrounding factories.

“A” Company went into the trenches on June 21, attached to the King’s (Shropshire Light Infantry) [K.S.L.I.], “B” Company was attached to the 3rd King’s Royal Rifle Corps (K.R.R.C.), and “C” and “D” Companies were placed under the instruction of the 4th K.R.R.C. and Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (P.P.C.L.I.) during the day and at 21:00 each Company sent 100 men with the respective Battalions to dig Communication Trenches. “C” and “D” Companies proceeded to trenches with the 2nd K.S.L.I. and 3rd K.R.R.C. respectively, on the 22nd relieving “A” and “B” Companies who returned to the billets at 01:00 on the 23rd.

“A” Company was employed, between 08:00 and 11:00 on the 23rd, with the 4th K.R.R.C. digging dugouts at “Asylum”, and were relieved by “B” Company from 11:00 till 14:00. In the evening they went with the 4th K.R.R.C. and 4th Rifle Brigade (R.B.) to relieve the 2nd K.S.L.I. and 2nd K.R.R.C. The following day “A” and “B” Companies returned from the trenches and the first casualty in the Battalion was reported, No. 6744 Lance Corporal Bully, who had been wounded in the head(10).

On the 25th the Battalion left Armentieres at 19:00 and were met by guides of the 5th Royal Warwick Regiment at Chapelle Romple at 20:30, beginning the relief of the latter Regiment. Each Company of the 6th Queen’s relieved the corresponding Company of the R. Warwick, with the being completed by 00:00. The trenches taken over were:

“A” Company    1 – 5 & Fort Paul

“B” Company    6 – 10 & Fort Dudley

“C” Company    11 – 14

“D” Company    15 – 19 & Lancashire Support Farm

“A” Company of the Royal West Kent Regiment was at Reserve Farm in reserve. Reserve Farm was also Battalion Headquarters.

Map showing the trench system taken over by the 6th Surreys  on 25th June 1915. Also shown in the bottom right corner is Le Touquet.

Map showing the trench system taken over by the 6th Surreys on 25th June 1915. Also shown in the bottom right corner is Le Touquet.

For the next four days the Battalion stayed in the trenches, work being carried out to improve the trenches each day. The Battalion lost one man to a sniper on the 26th(11), on the 27th Lieutenant H.F. Orpen was wounded at night whilst mending the wire in front of the trenches, two other men were also wounded.

The Battalion line was shortened on the 28th, with the 6th Buffs taking over trenches 18 & 19 on the left at 16:00, and the 9th Royal Fusiliers of the 30th Brigade taking over trenches 1 – 6 at 21:00. “A” Company who had been occupying trenches 1 – 5 went back to Reserve Farm and relieved the Company of Royal West Kents who returned to the subsidiary line. “A” Company had two sections in both Fort Paul and Fort Dudley. Two other ranks were killed(12,13), and five were wounded on the 28th. June 29, saw the Battalion experience 6 wounded, five of whom returned to duty after being dressed.

The Battalion was relieved by the 7th East Surrey Regiment on June 30, commencing at 14:00, completing at 17:30. The Battalion moved back to Billets at Ploegsteert, and was held in a constant state of readiness to occupy a subsidiary line of trenches, two other ranks were wounded on this day.

July started with quiet days and with the Battalion remaining in their billets and finding working parties to work in the trenches. On the 1st 260men went to bathe in the Pont De Nieppe Baths. The working parties on the 2nd were at Observation Park.

On July 4, the Battalion was relieved by the Essex Regiment (35th Brigade), and proceeded to Armentieres where it took one of the Billets occupied by the 5th Berkshire Regiment, at the Blue Blind Factory, Rue Jules Lebleu. The entire was accommodated on the ground floor, which was still working.

Armentieres showing the Blue Blind Factory in red.

Armentieres showing the Blue Blind Factory in red.

The Battalion remained in the Billets, their time being taken up with route marches, Drill Parades and Bathing Parades. On the 7th, the Battalion were designated the Divisional Reserves and was confined to the Billets. On the 9th, a draft of 60 other ranks arrived from Base, twenty-two of which were men who had been left behind sick at various places since the Battalion had left England, the rest from the 3rd Battalion.

The Battalion relieved the 7th Royal Sussex Regiment on July 10, leaving the Billets at 04:00. The Companies left in platoons at 200pace intervals, and were met by Guides at Motor Car Corner, and were conducted by them to the trenches, the relief was completed by 08:00. The Companies were deployed such that “A”, “C”, less two platoons, and “D” Companies were in the fire trenches. “B” Company, less two platoons, were at Lys Farm. The two platoons from each of “B” and “C” Companies were in the support trench.

Rations were brought up at 21:30 to the Battalion Headquarters and from there issued to Companies. A Water Cart was also brought up to the Battalion Headquarters, and left there. Transport had also moved on the 10th, to Pontceau, could not come up to Headquarters by day, so they used a handcart which had proved useful for bringing baggage and stores up from Motor Car Corner.

Ration distribution to the Companies was found more convenient early in the morning rather than during the night. The Communications trenches were clogged by the nightly Work Parties moving to and from the Subsidiary Fire Trenches, which were under construction. Rations, then, were dumped at the Battalion Headquarters by night, divided into Company Messes by the Company Quartermaster Sergeant and fetched by Companies about 03:30.

On July 14, at 03:45 a Trench Howitzer opened fire on the German barricade on the Le Touquet Road from 92 Trench (where “A” Company were located), doing some damage. The Germans replied with Hand Grenades, Mortars and Trench Howitzers at about 05:00 wounding Captain G.H. Higgings, Captain Rolls (Slightly) and seven men, two of those slightly. It was later reported that one of the hostile grenades fell into the Bomb Store in 92 trench causing an explosion, and was assumed to be the cause of the casualties. The rest of the day was quiet, as was the 15th.

The Germans fired Trench Mortars into 94 Trench (“D” Company), wounding three men. The Battalion was relieved by the 7th East Surrey Regiment commencing from Motor Car Corner at 21:00, and was completed by 00:30. There was heavy rain during the relief, making the trenches very muddy and slippery, delaying the relief. On relief the Battalion marched to Billets at Le Bizet, the last platoon relieved arriving at 03:30.

Over the next five days in Le Bizet, the Battalion remained in Billets, and provided working parties of about 600men each day to work on the Subsidiary Fire Trenches. On the 22nd the Battalion returned to the trenches at Le Touquet, relieving the 7th East Surreys. The 23rd and 24th are recorded as quiet days with work continuing on the trenches.

The morning of July 25 is described as ‘lively’ in the War Diary, with, at 10:45, the enemy firing about 14 cylinder bombs into Barkenham House and the Communication Trench around old Snipers House. This was replied to with Trench Mortars and Rifle Grenades. The Germans again opened fire on 93 and 94 Trenches with Rifle grenades, Cylinder Bombs and 15lb High Explosive shells, which were relied to with the Gunners assistance, who fired Shrapnel. No damage was done to the trenches, and the tit for tat closed about noon with the Battalion having the last shot. The rest of the day was quiet.

Following a quiet morning, at 14:00 on July 26, the British Artillery heavily bombarded the Crater, which adjoined the Brewery and the enemy trenches in the area, there was no reply. The 27th and 28th saw the Germans firing High explosive shells in the late morning, with the rest of the days being quiet. The Battalion was relieved on the 28th by the 7th East Surrey Regiment, commencing at 20:00, and completing by 22:30 returning to Billets at Le Bizet.

The Battalion days in Billets were quiet, although, once again Working Parties were found of approximately 600men to work on the Subsidiary Firing Trenches. August 2, is recorded as a quiet day, without Working Parties.

On August 3, the Battalion returned to the trenches, relieving the 7th East Surreys, commencing once again from Motor Car Corner at 20:30 and completing by 22:45. The return to the trenches mostly consisted of quiet days. On the 4th a draft of 40 men arrived from the Base, on the 5th the enemy’s working parties were evident in the early morning.

George Gillbank Service No:31 Date of Death:06/08/1915 Grave Reference: I. B. 22. Cemetery: TANCREZ FARM CEMETERY

George Gillbank
Service No:31
Date of Death:06/08/1915 Grave Reference: I. B. 22.
Cemetery: TANCREZ FARM CEMETERY

Although the 6th is recorded as being a quiet day, the Germans fired 15ib shells into the trenches, doing no damage but killing Sergeant Gillbank(14) and wounding three other ranks. The interesting situation with the latter three is that they were reported to have been hit by the same bullet as they walked in a Communication Trench – the first in the eye, the second in the chest and the third in the thigh.

Over the next three days the Battalion came under fire from the Germans, doing little damage, but on the 8th making two direct hits on Surrey Farm (formerly Headquarter Farm) with High explosive shells, which detonated on the roof. On the 9th, commencing at 03:50, the Germans heavily bombarded the trenches to the right of the Battalion across the River Lys, also firing a considerable number of shells into the Battalion Communication Trenches and Le Touquet Road. A number of shells fell close to Battalion Headquarters. The bombardment lasted for nearly two hours.

At 20:30 on the 9th relief of the Battalion by the 7th East Surreys was started, completing at 22:45, with the Battalion returning to the Billets in Le Bizet.

The next five days were a repeat of the previous periods in Billets throughout July and August, remaining in Billets, and resting or finding Work Parties to work on the Subsidiary Fire Trenches by night. On August 15, the Battalion relieved the 7th east Surreys commencing at 20:00 from Motor Car Corner, completing at 22:30, once again there was rain. A German working party was silenced in front of Trench 92 by the Battalion machine gun.

From their arrival in the trenches on the 15th and on the 16th, German snipers had been active. The Battalion’s own snipers claimed to have hit ‘a man looking through a large and obvious loophole’. This loophole was removed during the night of August 18. This period in the trenches to August 21 had snipers active on both sides. The German snipers were generally observed in the houses in Le Touquet, and use the following method of firing:

‘They remove one brick from the wall & fire through loophole thus made – On our snipers firing at them they replace the brick & take another out elsewhere.’

On the 18th the British Howitzers were fired at the houses in Le Touquet in an attempt to find the snipers but unfortunately did no damage. That night was ‘lively’ with hostile machine gun and rifle fire. The 19th was quite with enemy snipers being inactive, but during the night German working Parties were active around the Brewery.

The Battalion returned to Billets in Le Bizet after being relieved by the 7th East Surreys between 20:00 and 22:05 on August 21. Once again after a day of rest, on the 22nd, the Battalion remained in Billets finding Work Parties each day until a second rest day on the 26th. The 27th saw the battalion return to the trenches, again relieving the 7th East Surreys.

This return to the trenches was a quiet time, with some sniper activity, it seems the Battalion were settling into a routine with time in the trenches and relief in Le Bizet. The next relief from the 3rd to 8th September was more of the previous reliefs – a day of rest for the first and last days and finding work parties on the other three. The Battalion returned to the trenches relieving the 7th East Surreys between 19:30 and 21:30 on the 8th, and had a quiet night.

A Patrol went out in front of Trench 92 on September 9 and found grass in front of the German wire for a considerable distance. On the 10th after another quiet day, an Officer’s Patrol located a German machine gun in a strongly fortified house, the Patrol also examined the wire in front of Pond House, finding no trip wires but a row of low knife rests about 50yards from the enemy lines, the wire was very thick and heavily backed.

German sniper activity increased on the 11th, particularly from the houses of Le Touquet, the Battalions own sniper activity accounted for two members of a working party and a periscope.

Another Officer’s Patrol went out on the evening of September 12 and located three German machine guns, and examined the wire near Pond House, bringing back samples. Battalion snipers hit two Germans who were working near Black Redoubt and the machine guns scattered a working party near the Red Tile House.

Both September 13 & 14 were quiet days, with the Battalion relieved in the trenches by 7th East Surreys. The relief commenced at 19:30 from Motor Car Corner and was completed at 21:40, the Battalion returned to Billets at Le Bizet.

The routine of rest and Working Parties started again, the 15th was a day of rest and the 16th, 17th and 18th saw Work Parties of about 700men working on the trenches. September 18 was marked by the death of two other ranks, and it is here that our story ends – William Rapley was one of the men, the other was Private 557 Alfred Dewey.

William and Alfred were buried next to each other in Tancrez Farm Cemetery which stands behind a rebuilt farm house, used during the war as an aid post(15). I think it safe to assume they were taken to the aid post on being wounded, where they subsequently died.

William Rapley Service No:1085  Grave Reference: I. A. 22. Cemetery: TANCREZ FARM CEMETERY

William Rapley
Service No:1085
Grave Reference: I. A. 22.
Cemetery: TANCREZ FARM CEMETERY

Alfred Dewey Service No:557 Grave Reference: I. A. 23.

Alfred Dewey
Service No:557
Grave Reference: I. A. 23.
Cemetery: TANCREZ FARM CEMETERY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. The Folly was a gravel pit which lay on the boundary between the parishes of West End and Windlesham. (http://www.adiebarrett.co.uk/wecc/local/westend2.htm)
  2. Record was provided to Surrey Archives by St Lawrence Church, Chobham.
  3. History of the Queen’s Royal (West Surrey) Regiment in The Great War; Wylly, H.C., Gale & Polden (N&M Press Reprint), p. 188
  4. Wylly, p. 189
  5. http://www.wartimememoriesproject.com/greatwar/allied/queensroyalwestsurrey6.php
  6. http://www.wartimememoriesproject.com/greatwar/allied/queensroyalwestsurrey6.php
  7. The majority of what follows is based upon the Battalion War Diary found at http://www.queensroyalsurreys.org.uk/war_diaries/local/1_6Bn_Queens.shtml.
  8. William’s Medal Index Card contradicts the Battalion War Diary, with his arrival in France being shown to be June 4, 1915. This could be due to one of two things, the clerk completing the records made a mistake or he did not arrive until the 4th. For the sake of ease, I am assuming William arrived with the Battalion and a mistake was made by the overworked clerk.
  9. Field Service Pocket Book (1914)
  10. William Bulley, (1896 – 1919), was born in Heilford Heath, and at the time of his enlistment was working as a Footman. He enlisted in Guildford on the 11th August, 1914. After being wounded, he returned to duty on July 15, 1915. William is shown in his Casualty form as being wounded a further two times; April 20, 1916 when he suffered shell shock and deafness, and Jul 3 1916 when he was severely wounded in the neck and groin. On April 23, 1917 William was discharged from the Army as he was considered no longer fit for active service, and received a pension. He died on October 1, 1919 and is buried in the Little Amwell (Holy Trinity) Churchyard.
  11. George Carell, G/1882, commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial
  12. Albert John Leat, L/10670, I.N.3 Calvaire (Essex) Military Cemetery
  13. Alfred Walker, G/597 I.N.2 Calvaire (Essex) Military Cemetery 
  14. George Gillbank Sergeant, G/31, I.B.22 Tancrez Farm Cemetery
  15. http://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/55805/TANCREZ%20FARM%20CEMETERY

NOTE: The area in which the 6th Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment) were operating is shown on Google Maps at this link: Map

Horace John Daborn (10 February 1887 – 18 September 1914)

Horace John, the son of William Daborn (1844 – 1920) a ‘general agricultural worker’ (Census 1891, 1901) and Fanny (nee Cowdrey, 1845 – 1901) was born on Wednesday 10 February, 1887. He was baptised at St John the Baptist, Woking on Sunday 3 April the same year. William is shown on the baptismal record as being a labourer, and the family was residing at Poole Road, Woking.

The 1891 and 1901 Census documents show Horace John living with his mother and father and siblings; Minnie (1879 – 1918), Florence (1881 – ), Ernest Arthur (1883 – 1949) and Frank George (1885 – 1941). In 1891 they were residing at 3 Sherry Terrace, Woking and in 1901 at Westfield Square, Woking.

On Tuesday, 9 December, 1902 Horace enlisted in the Militia, in the 3rd Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment, in Guildford. He gave his age as 17years 9months, adding two years to his age. He was resident at 25 Rosebank Cottages, Woking and he was working for a Mr Whitfield, a Woking Coal Merchant as a Labourer. He signed his name ‘Horice John Daborn’ in a very shaky hand. He was given the Regimental Number 2831.

His description in the Militia Attestation forms show he was 5′ 4″ tall, weighing 105lbs, of a dark complexion, with brown eyes and brown hair with ‘no marks’. His religion is shown as Church of England.

On Friday, November 6, 1903, Horace enlisted in the Regular Army, his age shown as 18years 8months. He had performed a total of 90days drill whilst in the militia; 49 days drill on enlistment, 14 days preliminary drill and 27days in 1903 (probably at the annual training camp). His enlistment in the Regular Army was approved by the Adjutant of the 3rd Queen’s on Saturday 7 November.

Horace was given the Regimental Number 7933 and the rank of Private. His medical assessment form shows he had grown 21/2inches since his medical for the militia the year before. He had also had tattoos done on his left hand – a dot on the back of his hand, and a ring on his ring finger. Strangely his eyes are listed as grey and his hair black. He was considered fit for the Army and subsequently on April 8, 1904, posted to the Depot of the Queen’s, which was at Shorncliffe Camp, Kent, for basic training.

On June 7, 1904, he was posted to the 2nd Battalion of The Queen’s. The following year on February 5, Horace went ‘absent from tattoo until 6.40pm, 6 February, off furlough (20hrs 40mins)’ he was reported by Sergeant Pascoe and the next day received 8 days confinement to barracks from Lt. Col. Robson, which started immediately, expiring on 14 February.

Four days later, Horace was aboard His Majesty’s Transport ‘Sicilia’ bound for India, where he arrived on 23 March, and was posted with the 1st Battalion Queen’s Royal Regiment at Sialkot. According to the Regimental History, it was:

(a)t this station in April, it was successful in the competition for the trophy, a silver statue of himself, presented by Lord Kitchener, the Commander-in-Chief, to be awarded, after due test, to the Battalion in India found to be most efficient in every sense.(1)

On May 2, Horace’s service records show he was posted to Thobba, arriving on May 8. This would have been due to the hot weather, the posting was with:

Headquarters and five companies – “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” and “E,” strength 14 officers and 546 warrant and non-commissioned officers and men – were accommodated at Thobba in the Murree Hills, returning early in November to Sialkot.(2)

Horace’s service records suggest this was on November 4. Wylly notes:

the Battalion, 907 all ranks, proceeded by rail on the 29th to Rawal Pindi, moving out from there to a concentration camp prior to taking part in manœuvres before His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales. On December 4th a guard of honour, composed of 4 officers and 136 other ranks, was found by the Battalion for duty at the camp of the Commander-in-Chief during the stay there of Their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Wales. (3)

Manoeuvre at Rawal Pindi 1905

Manoeuvre at Rawal Pindi 1905

Following the conclusion of the manœuvres and the review which followed, the Battalion returned to Sialkot by train arriving on December 11th.

The summer of 1906 was spent at Barian. During this period Horace contracted a ‘severe’ case of enteric fever. He was hospitalised at Amritsar on May 29 and discharged on July 15. He was back in hospital on 19 July, this time in Murree, and on August 4 was transferred to Barian, from where he was discharged on August 14 to the Commandant, Enteric Camp, ‘The Queen’s’, Barian.

The reason for being ‘discharged to the Commandant’, that on July 12, Horace was disobedient “of hospital rules in being out of bed at 12midnight”. For this he was awarded on August 15, 8days confined to barracks by Colonel Pink. Horace finished this punishment on August 22.

The last entry in the Defaulters register shows that Horace was cited by Sgt. Collins for ‘slackness when a sentry’ on November 20, 1906. Once again he was brought before Colonel Pink, and was given an extra guard.

From here there is a hole in Horace’s records, he is shown as being posted home on January 11, 1907, but nothing is shown of his posting to a transport for the month voyage home. He did arrive home, and was transferred to the Army Reserve on January 14, 1907 in Gosport, Hampshire. He had served a total of three years and seventy days towards his limited engagement. The reason for his transfer to the Reserve was given as ‘on expiration of his period of Army Service’. Colonel Pink had signed his discharge papers on December 15, 1906, so it could be assumed that this is possibly the date of Horace’s departure from India.

On his return from India, and his transfer to the Reserve, Horace intended to live at 25 Rosebank Cottages, Woking, his home address at the time of his enlistment, and his occupation Gardener.

Horace married Kate Baker (1890 – 1975) on December, 26, 1908 at the Guildford Registry Office, the two witnesses listed in his service records (copied from his marriage licence) were Rosina Dyer (his sister) and F. Daborn (probably his mother). By April 2, 1911, in the 1911 Census, Horace and Kate are shown to be living at Bungalow Cottage, Prey Heath, Worplesdon. Horace is still working as a gardener, the enumerator classifying him as a nurseryman.

On August 4, 1914, a Royal Proclamation(4) was issued in London calling out the Army Reserve and announcing the embodiment of the Territorial Force, the same day the British Government demanded an unequivocal assurance of Belgian neutrality, expecting a satisfactory reply to be returned by midnight. By the early morning of Wednesday, August 5, all men knew that Germany had refused to give such an assurance and the two countries were at war, subsequently Horace was mobilised. On August 6, Horace was posted to the 1st Battalion The Queen’s, which at the time was at Bordon(5). Horace’s records are silent regarding his posting on mobilisation, possibly due to water damage(6), as there are illegible notations, but it can be assumed he did join the Battalion at Bordon.

According to the Regimental History, by the “7th mobilisation was completed, and a report made to Brigade Headquarters, the Battalion being the first in the Brigade to be ready.” On August 8th, the Battalion went to the rifle range where “all members fired a modified course, and next day marching out to Oxney to practise an attack”. The next two days were passed in a similar manner (7).

On August 12th, the Battalion paraded in two parties and travelled by train from Bordon Station to Southampton, where they embarked on board the ss Braemer Castle. Horace may have travelled with the Battalion, but did not embark for travel to France until August 21st when he boarded the Mombasa. He possibly sailed with the 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (8), setting sail for France on the night August 21st/22nd, arriving in Le Havre on the 23rd.(9)

Until we get to September 5th, it is conjecture what Horace was doing, and even then it is an assumption he was part of the first reinforcement which reached the Battalion on this date, following the Battle of the Mons and the Retreat from Mons. (10) This reinforcement was of 90 non-commissioned officers and men under the command of Lieutenant W.A. Phillips, and met the Battalion at Rozoy.(11)

The withdrawal of von Kluck's Right.

The Marne, Spetember 6th

On September 6th, the Battalion marched off at 7.00a.m. as the advanced guard of the 3rd Brigade. “D” Company forming the point under Captain C.E. Watson. The march had only been in progress for about an hour when Les Hautes Crés Farm was reached. The Battalion halted here, and placed it in a ‘state of defence’, because the advancing cavalry had encountered a body of German infantry with guns which had been checked two miles east of Rozoy.

Sir John French, the British Commander-in-Chief, at 3.30p.m., ordered I Corps, of which 3rd Brigade was a part, to advance to a line just short of the Grand Morin, from Mariolles to Les Parichets, and then at 4.30p.m. the 3rd Brigade was directed to move forward again and take the village of Vaudoy, which was captured without opposition before dusk, the Queen’s taking up an outpost position on the north of it.

The Marne, 7th September

The Marne, 7th September

Between September 7th and the 14th, the Battalion marched from Vaudoy to Bourg without notable opposition. When the River Aisne was reached, the Battalion, and the rest of 1st Division, crossed via a partially destroyed aqueduct which carried the Aisne Canal.

The Battle of the Aisne. September 14th, 1914

The Battle of the Aisne. September 14th, 1914

September 14 saw the Battalion march off at 7.10a.m. via Moulins to Paissy after being detached from the remainder of the 3rd Brigade, to act as an escort for the divisional Artillery on the right flank. The Battalion was deployed north-east of Paissy and “advanced across the Chemin de Dames and through a small wood about 150yards north of the road. We were held up on the northern edge of the wood, and could see the enemy’s trenches facing us.” (12)

The Battalion War Diary(13) states:

Here our left consisting of B and C Coys encountered serious opposition and came under heavy rifle and M.G. fire. A Coy now reinforced this flank wile D Coy held the front edge of the wood. The Battn. machine guns were at the outset brought up on the right flank, but finding an inadequate field of fire, Lieut PRINGLE moved them across to the left flank to assist A, B & C Companies. To our front the enemy were advancing across towards the right flank where the French were, and a considerable amount of casualties were caused at a range of 1100yards. A wide valley separated our position from the enemy’s main line of trenches, D Company, on the N edge of wood were well concealed from view and had few casualties. At about 3p.m. the Commanding Officer ordered a counter attack to be made against the enemy’s flank as the advanced onto the French.

Captain HUNTER with 2 Platoons of D Company proceeded to this flank, but it was found impossible to carry out this attack, the enemy being at this time in considerable numbers and the French fallen back to the line of the CHEMIN DES DAMES.

On our left a much more serious attack was made against A, B & C Coys. (No officers now remain of these companies and details cannot be given as to the movements on this flank).

At about 4.30p.m. the Commanding Officer directed that a retirement should be carried out to the line of the CHEMIN DES DAMES. D Coy fell back first, in well extended formation, followed by A & B Coys the C Company bringing up the rear.

Captain LONGBOURNS commanded the latter Company and brought several of our wounded officer and men. The Battn. lay about 50yds in front of our own Arty. and under heavy shell fire from the enemy until darkness came on.

Wylly, in the History, goes into more detail;

“D” Company was well concealed from view, and the Germans could not bring much aimed fire to bear on us. We caused quite a considerable number of casualties among them, even at a range of 700-800 yards. Captain Stanley Creek was himself hit on the forehead by a bullet and stunned, but only for a few minutes. At about 3p.m. the Commanding Officer directed that a counter-attack should be made on our extreme right so as to assist the French Zouaves who were there. Captain Hunter, with two platoons of “D” Company, proceeded to this flank, but found it impossible to carry out the attack, the enemy being by this time in considerable numbers and the French having fallen back to the Chemin des Dames. Meanwhile on our left things were more serious, and it was this flank that we suffered our chief casualties. At about 4p.m. the Colonel gave the order to retire to the Chemin des Dames, where we could carry out our role of escort to the artillery equally well. “D” Company fell back first, and was followed by the remaining companies, with Captain Longbourne bringing up the rear and supervising the carrying in of Captains Heath and Mathew-Lannowe, both of whom had been wounded. We lined the Chemin de Dames for four hours under enemy artillery fire; they were searching for our artillery, which was just in rear of us and had the road which we were lining pretty accurately taped. Our guns were only 30yards behind us, and nearly blew our heads off each time they fired. The Zouaves retired early from to-days battle and did not put in an appearance again before dark, so our left was unpleasantly in the air. Eventually we held the road all night with “D” and “C” Companies in the line and “A” and “B” Companies in support. (14)

The situation at Paissy 14 - 18th September, 1914

The situation at Paissy 14 – 18th September, 1914

The Battalion did not advance on September 15th and 16th, and had two companies entrenched all night on the line of the Chemin des Dames Road, with two companies remaining in support in a hollow about 800yards in the rear. The trenches were under intermittent fire from snipers and artillery both days – in fact the long-enduring period of trench warfare seems, from the diary, to have begun on September 16th – with the trenches being “improved by hollowing out under the parapet for protection against shell fire”.

“A” and “B” Companies relieved “C” and “D” Companies at dawn on September 17th, who returned to the hollow 800yards in the rear in support. At 11.30a.m. the French on the right of the Battalion retired, leaving the Artillery exposed, “C” and “D” Companies came up filling the gap, sustaining severe casualties. This was the situation until 7.15p.m. when the French reoccupied the position assisted by the Battalion, which occupied a further 50yards of frontage.

“C” and “D” Companies relieved “A” and “B” Companies before dawn the following morning, and work occurred to further improve the trenches. The trenches were shelled from 6.00a.m. till 3.15p.m. without respite, the casualties were not heavy except for one platoon where the trenches had not been deepened through lack of time. Horace John Daborn was one of these casualties.

The Queen's Panel on the La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial.

The Queen’s Panel on the La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial.

Horace has no known grave, and so is commemorated on the memorial at La Ferte-sous-Jouarre, which is a small town, 66 kilometres to the east of Paris. The La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial commemorates nearly 4,000 officers and men of the British Expeditionary Force who died in August, September and the early part of October 1914 and who have no known grave. The Memorial is situated in a small park on the south-western edge of the town, on the south bank of the River Marne, just off the main road to Paris. The monument consists of a rectangular block of stone, 62 feet by 30 feet and 24 feet high, with the names of the dead engraved on stone panels on all sides of the monument. The monument is surmounted by a sarcophagus and a trophy carved in stone. At the four corners of the pavement are stone piers with urns, carved with the coats of arms of the four constituent nations of the United Kingdom. The memorial was designed by George H. Goldsmith, a decorated veteran of the Western Front, and unveiled by Sir William Pulteney, who had commanded the III Corps of the BEF in 1914, on 4 November 1928.

  1. History of the Second Queen’s Royal Regiment, Volume 5; Davis, John; Wylly, H.C; Foster, R.C.G. p. 210
  2. History of the Queen’s Royal (West Surrey) Regiment in The Great War; Wylly, H.C., Gale & Polden (N&M Press Reprint), p.1
  3. Wylly, p.1
  4. A PROCLAMATION FOR CALLING OUT THE ARMY RESERVE AND EMBODYING THE TERRITORIAL FORCE

    GEORGE R.I.
    WHEREAS by the Reserve Forces Act, 1882, it is amongst Other things enacted that in case of imminent national danger or of great emergency it shall be lawful for Us by Proclamation, the occasion having first been communicated to Parliament, to order that the Army Reserve shall be called out on permanent service; and by any such Proclamation to order a Secretary of State from time to time to give and when given to revoke or vary such directions as may seem necessary or proper for calling out the forces or force mentioned in the Proclamation or all or any of the men belonging thereto :
    And Whereas the present state of public affairs and the extent of the demands on Our Military Forces for the protection of the interests of the Empire do in Our opinion constitute a case of great emergency within the meaning of the said Act, and We have communicated the same to Parliament :
    And Whereas by the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act, 1907, it is, amongst other things, enacted that immediately upon and by virtue of the issue of a Proclamation ordering the Army Reserve to be called out on permanent service it shall be lawful for Us to order Our Army Council from time to time to give and when given to revoke or vary such directions as may seem necessary or proper for embodying all or any part of the Territorial Force, and in particular to make such special arrangements as they think proper with regard to units or individuals whose services may be required in other than a Military capacity :
    Now, Therefore, We do in pursuance of the Reserve Forces Act, 1882, hereby order that Our Army Reserve be called out on permanent service, and We do hereby order the Right Honourable HERBERT HENRY ASQUITH, one of Our Principal Secretaries of State, from time to time to give and when given to revoke or vary such directions as may seem necessary or proper for calling out Our Army Reserve or all or any of the men belonging thereto :
    And We do hereby further order Our Army Council from time to time to give and when given to revoke or vary such directions as may seem necessary or proper for embodying all or any part of the Territorial Force, and in particular to make such special arrangements as they think proper with regard to units or individuals whose services may be required in other than a Military capacity.
    Given at Our Court at Buckingham Palace, this Fourth day of August, in the year of our Lord One thousand nine hundred and fourteen, and in the Fifth year of Our Reign. At the Court at Buckingham Palace, the 4th day of August 1914.
    (Sourcehttp://www.1914-1918.net/reserves_tf_mobilised.html) 

  5. Wylly, p.8; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bordon
  6. Wylly, p.8;
  7. The British Army World War One Service Records are War Office (WO) records also known as the WO363 records and the ‘Burnt Documents.’ In 1940 there was a World War Two bombing raid on the War Office in London where the records were held. During this raid, a large portion (approximately 60 percent) of the 6.5 million records was destroyed by fire. The surviving service records have become known as the ‘Burnt Documents’, many of these records suffered water damage following the bombing raid.
  8. British Battalions in France & Belgium 1914; Westlake, Ray; Leo Cooper, 1977. P. 139.
  9. The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in The World War; Fox, Sir F.; Constable & Co, 1926 (N & M Press Reprint)
  10. Horace could have been a part of the 10% reinforcement which reached the Battalion on August 8th.
  11. Wylly, p.14
  12. Wylly, p.17
  13. 1st Battalion Royal West Surrey Regiment WO/95/1280, National Archives. (http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/SearchUI/s/res?_col=2&_q=WO%2F95%2F1280&_sd=1914&_ed=1914&_cr1=WO+95&_cr2=&_cr3=)
  14. Wylly, p.17

Eric John Fuller (1 Mar 1918 – Apr 1945)

On the February 14th 1945, 12 kilometres west of the Celo River, North Borneo, three Australian prisoners of the Japanese, Private Ken Molde (NX78229), 2/30th Battalion (Infantry), Gunner Eric John Fuller (NX34384), 2/15th Field Regiment and one other, dropped out of Group 7 on the forced march from Sandakan Prisoner of War camp to Ranau. With them were two English soldiers, Gunner Bois Roberts and Leading Air-Craftsman Herbert Beardshaw from Group 6, which had been overtaken by Group 7.

Molde and Fuller fled to the east, and Roberts and Beardshaw towards the Labuk River. The two Australians were seen by the guards, who fired on them hitting Molde in the elbow. They were found by Hussen, a tall Dyak, who after finding the two Englishmen, was searching the jungle looking for them. They were taken to Kemansi from Telupid, Hussen’s home village, where he handed them over to the care of headsman, Orang Tuan Onsi. They were built a small hut in the jungle, where they stayed due to the deteriorating physical condition, which was exacerbated by their diet of tapioca and a small amount of rice. The villagers did all they could with limited resources, Roberts died in early March, Molde at the end of the month, Eric Fuller five days later and Beardshaw in May.

Eric John Fuller is my 1st Cousin once removed.Image from Eric's service paybook.

OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK No. 151 (Fighter) Squadron – October 1939

North Weald 1 Oct 1939

0900 Twelve pilots of the Squadron flew down to Weymouth and fired their guns on the ranges at Tyme Bay. Sea markers were used and ball ammunition. They were despatched at different times in fours and fired in pairs.

North Weald 2 Oct 1939

1400 The Squadron carried out an interception exercise. Two sections acted as bombers and two sections as fighters. Only one of the fighter sections made an interception. The weather was fine, cloud 5/10 at 3000feet.

North Weald 3 Oct 1939

1015 Sergeant Trice posted to No. 615 Squadron at Croydon.

North Weald 4 Oct 1939

1300 Sgt Muirhead detailed to shoot down a drifting barrage balloon which was reported over Hertford. On landing he reported that he was unable to find the balloon owing to cloud and high wind.

Appendix:

0001hrs 1 Oct 1939 to 2359 4 Oct 1939

Hurricane L1764 F/Lt Thompson Practice 1050 1300 Firing Practice on sea markers at West Bay, Weymouth. 1/10/39

Hurricane L1749 P/O Hamar Practice 1050 1300 Firing Practice on sea markers at West Bay, Weymouth. 1/10/39

Hurricane L1758 P/O Milne Practice 1050 1300 Firing Practice on sea markers at West Bay, Weymouth. 1/10/39

Hurricane L1748 Sgt Muirhead Practice 1050 1300 Firing Practice on sea markers at West Bay, Weymouth. 1/10/39

Hurricane L1850 P/O Newton Practice 1050 1300 Firing Practice on sea markers at West Bay, Weymouth. 1/10/39

Hurricane L1606 Sgt Currant Practice 1050 1300 Firing Practice on sea markers at West Bay, Weymouth. 1/10/39

Hurricane L1755 S/Ldr Donaldson Practice 0900 1045 Firing Practice on sea markers at West Bay, Weymouth. 1/10/39

Hurricane L1768 F/O Todd-White Practice 0835 1110 Firing Practice on sea markers at West Bay, Weymouth. Refuelled at Brooklands 1/10/39

Hurricane L1746 P/O Lovell Practice 0835 1110 Firing Practice on sea markers at West Bay, Weymouth. Refuelled at Brooklands 1/10/39

Hurricane L1767 P/O Allen Practice 0900 1045 Firing Practice on sea markers at West Bay, Weymouth. 1/10/39

Hurricane L1788 P/O Wright Practice 0835 1110 Firing Practice on sea markers at West Bay, Weymouth. Refuelled at Brooklands 1/10/39

Hurricane L1799 P/O Courtney Practice 0835 1110 Firing Practice on sea markers at West Bay, Weymouth. Refuelled at Brooklands 1/10/39

Magister P2496 F/Lt Thompson 1440 1450 To Hornchurch to examine new satellite aerodrome suite.

Magister P2496 F/Lt Thompson 1540 1550 From Hornchurch to North Weald

Hurricane L1764 F/Lt Thompson Training 1850 1905 “A” Flight Formation practice 1/10/39

Hurricane L1758 P/O Milne Training 1850 1905 “A” Flight Formation practice 1/10/39

Hurricane L1748 P/O Hamar Training 1850 1905 “A” Flight Formation practice 1/10/39

Hurricane L1606 Sgt Currant Training 1850 1905 “A” Flight Formation practice 1/10/39

Hurricane L1850 P/O Newton Training 1850 1905 “A” Flight Formation practice 1/10/39

Hurricane Sgt Muirhead Training 1850 1905 “A” Flight Formation practice 1/10/39

Hurricane L1755 S/LDR Donaldson Training 1830 1840 “B” Flight Formation practice 1/10/39

Hurricane L1746 P/O Wright Training 1830 1840 “B” Flight Formation practice 1/10/39

Hurricane L1799 Sgt Badger Training 1830 1840 “B” Flight Formation practice 1/10/39

Hurricane L1757 F/O Todd-White Training 1830 1840 “B” Flight Formation practice 1/10/39

Hurricane L1747 P/O Lovell Training 1830 1840 “B” Flight Formation practice 1/10/39

Hurricane L1798 Sgt Trice Training 1830 1840 “B” Flight Formation practice 1/10/39

Hurricane L1758 F/O Walch Ops 1440 1515 No1 Red Section as fighters for exercise Interception carried out 2/10/39

Hurricane L1758 P/O Milne Ops 1440 1515 No3 Red Section as fighters for exercise Interception carried out 2/10/39

Hurricane L1748 P/O Hamar Ops 1440 1515 No2 Red Section as fighters for exercise Interception carried out 2/10/39

Hurricane L1850 P/O Newton Ops 1500 1535 No1 Yellow section as bombers for exercise 2/10/39

Hurricane L1764 P/O Wright Ops 1500 1535 No2 Yellow section as bombers for exercise 2/10/39

Hurricane L1606 Sgt Currant Ops 1500 1535 No3 Yellow section as bombers for exercise 2/10/39

Hurricane L1746 P/O Ward Ops 1435 1505 No1 Green section as fighter for exercise. Interception not carried out. 2/10/39

Hurricane L1794 Sgt Badger Ops 1435 1505 No2 Green section as fighter for exercise. Interception not carried out. 2/10/39

Hurricane L1798 P/O Courtney Ops 1435 1505 No3 Green section as fighter for exercise. Interception not carried out. 2/10/39

Hurricane L1755 S/LDR Donaldson Ops 1455 1535 No1 Green section as fighter for exercise. Interception not carried out. 2/10/39

Hurricane L1747 P/O Lovell Ops 1455 1535 No2 Green section as fighter for exercise. Interception not carried out. 2/10/39

Hurricane L1757 Sgt Trice Ops 1455 1535 No3 Green section as fighter for exercise. Interception not carried out. 2/10/39

Magister P2496 F/Lt Thompson – 1445 1510 To Hornchurch & return

Magister P2496 F/Lt Healy Ops 1145 1215 Training for ground machine gun crews

Magister P2496 F/Lt Healy – 1400 1445 Training for ground machine gun crews

Magister P2496 F/O Coe & F/Lt Frank Peter Test 1430 1530 To Heston & Return 3/10/39

Hurricane L1784 Sgt Muirhead Ops 1300 1350 Shooting down drifting barrage balloon. Not sighted. 4/10/39

North Weald 5 Oct 1939

2000 Sgt Trice posted to this Squadron from No. 615 Squadron Croydon.

North Weald 6 Oct 1939

Nothing to Report.

North Weald 7 Oct 1939

1025 An interception exercise was carried out. One section acting as bombers and one section as fighters. The fighters section was sent up twice and on each occasion intercepted successfully. Visibility was poor 1000yards with 6/10 cloud at 3000feet.

1100 P/O P.G.M. Hancox posted to this Unit and drafted to “A” Flight.

1130 Squadron call sign Cresy changed to Milna.

North Weald 8 Oct 1939

1100 The Squadron Hurricanes have now all been equipped with new improved Browning Guns and M.G.S. Reflector sights.

1500 Twelve machines took off led by S/Ldr Donaldson to practice various attacks and also ascents through cloud in Squadron formation. The cloud ascents were made with sections in line astern. Many useful hints were picked up. The weather was fine with 8/10 at 5000feet.

The Squadron dispersal point was visited by Sir John Simon and Sir Kingsley Wood. Both were very interested in everything and shook hands and talked with all Pilots. The visit lasted about 15 minutes and was enjoyed by everyone.

North Weald 9 Oct 1939

1000 No flying took place today as the weather has been very bad. The dispersal point is getting very boggy and conditions for living under canvas are not good. The Station Commander has issued orders that 75% of the airmen are to sleep in the barrack blocks.

North Weald 10 Oct 1939

1330 The new pilot P/O Hancox carried out his first solo flight in a Hurricane successfully. Training of all the other new Sergeant Pilots is proceeding with all possible speed.

Appendix:

0001hrs 5 Oct 1939 to 2359hrs 10 Oct 1939

Hurricane L1724 P/O Newton Exercise 1050 1125 No. 1 Fighter section for interception exercise. Interception carried out. 7/10/39

Hurricane L1758 P/O Hamar Exercise 1050 1125 No. 2 Fighter section for interception exercise. Interception carried out. 7/10/39

Hurricane L1748 Sgt. Muirhead Exercise 1050 1125 No. 3 Fighter section for interception exercise. Interception carried out. 7/10/39

Hurricane L1724 P/O Newton Exercise 1130 1155 No. 1 Fighter section for interception exercise. Interception carried out. 7/10/39

Hurricane L1758 P/O Hamar Exercise 1130 1155 No. 2 Fighter section for interception exercise. Interception carried out. 7/10/39

Hurricane L1748 Sgt. Muirhead Exercise 1130 1155 No. 3 Fighter section for interception exercise. Interception carried out. 7/10/39

Hurricane L1756 F/Lt Thompson Test 1200 1215 Test after fitting new engine 7/10/39

Magister P2496 P/O Milne Co-op 1130 1235 Co-operation with A.A.

Hurricane L1747 P/O Allen Exercise 1025 1150 No. 1 Section acting as bombers for interception exercise 7/10/39

Hurricane L1799 P/O Ward Exercise 1025 1150 No. 2 Section acting as bombers for interception exercise 7/10/39

Hurricane L 1798 P/O Lovell Exercise 1025 1150 No. 3 Section acting as bombers for interception exercise 7/10/39

Hurricane L1755 S/LDR Donaldson Test 1055 1110 Test 7/10/39

Magister P2496 F/Lt Thompson & P/O Hancock Training 1745 1815 Experience on type for P/O Hancock 8/10/39

Magister P2496 Sgt Muirhead & P/O Hancock Training 1820 1845 Experience on type for P/O Hancock 8/10/39

Magister P2496 P/O Milne & P/O Hancock Training 1030 1100 Experience on type 8/10/39

Magister P2596 P/O Hancock First solo on type for P/O Hancock 8/10/39

Magister P2496 P/O Hancock & Cpl Russel Training 1630 & 1700 Local Flying 8/10/39

Magister P2496 P/O Hancock Ferry 1350 1435 To Hornchurch & return 8/10/39

Magister P2496 P/O Hancock Training 1505 1600 Local flying 8/10/39

Hurricane L1758 Sgt Atkinson Training 1050 1150 Local flying & sector recco 8/10/39

Hurricane L1764 Sgt Saville Training 1625 1725 Local flying & general practice 8/10/39

Hurricane L1756 F/Lt Thompson Practice 1445 1555 Red 1 Squadron formation Practice cloud ascertain sections line astern 8/10/39

Hurricane L1748 P/O Hamar Practice 1445 1555 Red 2 Squadron formation Practice cloud ascertain sections line astern 8/10/39

Hurricane L1850 P/O Newton Practice 1445 1555 Red 3 Squadron formation Practice cloud ascertain sections line astern 8/10/39

Hurricane L1749 F/O Walch Practice 1445 1555 Yellow 1 Squadron formation Practice cloud ascertain sections line astern 8/10/39

Hurricane L1758 P/O milne Practice 1445 1555 Yellow 2 Squadron formation Practice cloud ascertain sections line astern 8/10/39

Hurricane L1764 Sgt. Currant Practice 1445 1555 Yellow 3 Squadron formation Practice cloud ascertain sections line astern 8/10/39

Hurricane L1755 S/Ldr Donaldson Practice 1450 1550 Blue 1 Squadron formation Practice cloud ascertain sections line astern 8/10/39

Hurricane L1769 P/O Ward Practice 1450 1550 Blue 2 Squadron formation Practice cloud ascertain sections line astern 8/10/39

Hurricane L1799 Sgt. Badger Practice 1450 1550 Blue 3 Squadron formation Practice cloud ascertain sections line astern 8/10/39

Hurricane L1798 F/Lt Ives Practice 1450 1550 Green 1 Squadron formation Practice cloud ascertain sections line astern 8/10/39

Hurricane L1747 P/O Allen Practice 1450 1550 Green 2 Squadron formation Practice cloud ascertain sections line astern 8/10/39

Hurricane L1766 Sgt. Trice Practice 1450 1550 Green 3 Squadron formation Practice cloud ascertain sections line astern 8/10/39

Hurricane L1799 Sgt. Aslin Training 1110 1220 Local flying % sector E reccs 8/10/39

Hurricane L1798 F/Lt Ives Training 1705 1735 No. 1 Formation Practice 8/10/39

Hurricane L1766 P/O Courtney Training 1705 1735 No. 2 Formation Practice 8/10/39

Hurricane L1747 P/O Allen Training 1620 1655 No. 1 Formation Practice 8/10/39

Hurricane L1798 P/O Wright Training 1620 1655 No. 2 Formation Practice 8/10/39

Hurricane L1766 P/O Lovell Training 1620 1655 No. 3 Formation Practice 8/10/39

Hurricane L1756 F/Lt Thopmson Test 1100 1110 Weather test 10/10/39

Hurricane L1758 P/O Hancock Training 1330 1405 First solo on type & local flying 10/10/39

Hurricane L1758 P/O Hancock Training 1445 1545 Local flying & landings 10/10/39

Hurricane L1748 Sgt. Saville Training 1500 1545 Local flying 10/10/39

Hurricane L1748 Sgt. Muirhead 1720 1750 Local flying 10/10/39

Hurricane L1850 P/O Hancock Training 1720 1755 Local flying & landings 10/10/39

Hurricane L1746 P/O Ward Test 1600 1610 Test after 30xx inspections 10/10/39

Hurricane L1746 Sgt. Aslin Training 1630 1730 Local flying & landings 10/10/39

North Weald 11 Oct 1939

Nothing to report.

North Weald 12 Oct 1939

Nothing to report. Squadron released.

North Weald 13 Oct 1939

1400 An interception exercise was to have been carried out by the Squadron, but was cancelled owing to bad weather.

North Weald 14 Oct 1939

1400 Owing to the heavy rain and high wind the dispersal point has become uninhabitable the ground is too soft to park or taxy machines and tents are continually being blown down. The Squadron has therefore been forced to return to the Hanger. Machines are parked on the tarmac and Pilots sleep in the rest room.

North Weald 15 Oct 1939

1230 The Squadron was visited by Lord Trenchard, who after chatting and shaking hands with the officers had a brief look round. No Flying done, weather remains very wet.

North Weald 16 Oct 1939

Nothing to Report.

North Weald 17 Oct 1939

0800 P/O Hancock has been granted a weeks leave due to the fact that he injured his arm in a Rugby match and is unable to fly. The Squadron is still quartered in the hanger while the work of building huts and aircraft shelters and roads at the dispersal Point proceeds with all speed. The Squadron had maintained a very alert state of readiness all day because owing to the air raids in Scotland, we expect raids here at any moment.

North Weald 18 Oct 1939

1500 One of the five Command Reserve Hurricanes held by the Squadron was flown to France via Tangmere by a Pilot from the Ferry Flight at Felton. Nothing further to report. Squadron released.

North Weald 19 Oct 1939

Nothing to report. No flying carried out. Weather again very wet and windy.

North Weald 20 Oct 1939

1000 F/Lt Thompson and F/O Walch have been detailed by the Station Commander to carry out silhouette detection trials in co-operation with a system of floodlights covering an area of 20 x 10 miles in the Hornchurch and North Weald sectors.

1900 Twelve pilots of the Squadron carried out a short night flying practice. This was the first time for several of the pilots to fly under “black-out” conditions. The night was one giving ideal night flying weather conditions with a good moon and little or no cloud.

North Weald 21 Oct 1939

0001 F/Lt Thompson and F/O Walch each put in two hours night flying commencing the silhouette detection trials. The weather was fairly fine, but no moon, and a ground mist came up later on.

1400 Twelve pilots were detailed by S/Ldr. Donaldson to take off and carry out some attacks on each other at low altitude. These attacks were carried out at a minimum height of 500 feet and it turned out a very useful practice as very few of the pilots have had much chance of practicing low attacks. S/Ldr. Donaldson led “B” Flight but only one section of “A” Flight were able to take off due to the R/T on F/O Walch’s machine going u/s. There was 10/10 cloud at 2000feet, visibility 2 miles.

Appendix:

0001hrs 11 Oct 1939 to 1300hrs 21 Oct 1939

 

Hurricane L1749 F/O Walch Training 1130 1210 No.1 Formation practice for Sgt. Saville 11/10/39

Hurricane L1758 Sgt. Saville Training 1130 1210 No.2 Formation practice for Sgt. Saville 11/10/39

Hurricane L1724 Sgt. Muirhead Training 1410 1510 No.1 Formation practice for Sgt. Atkinson 11/10/39

Hurricane L1850 Sgt. Atkinson Training 1410 1510 No.2 Formation practice for Sgt. Atkinson No 2 Lost leader in Cloud and returned home. 11/10/39

Magister P2496 F/O Atkinson & F/Lt Ranson Training 1510 1540 Local Flying 12/10/39

Hurricane L1798 F/Lt Ives Training 11:30 1215 No.1 Formation Practice for Sgt. Aslin 11/10/39

Hurricane L1769 Sgt Aslin Training 11:30 1215 No.2 Formation Practice for Sgt. Aslin 11/10/39

Magister P2496 F/O Atkinson & F/Lt Ranson Training 1510 1540 Local Flying 12/10/39 (Duplicate entry)

Magister P2496 P/O Hamar Ferry 1010 1045 To Northolt. Had to land at Radlett, Northolt under mist. 16/10/39

Magister P2496 P/O Hamar Ferry 1225 1240 From Radlett to Northolt.  16/10/39

Magister P2496 P/O Hamar & P/O Lovell Ferry 1310 1335 From Northolt to North Weald.  16/10/39

Hurricane L5937 P/O Lovell Ferry 1010 1045 Ferry machine left here to Northolt. Landed at Radlett. 16/10/39

Hurricane L5397 P/O Lovell Ferry 1225 1250 From Radlett to Northolt. 16/10/39.

Hurricane L1859 P/O Herrick Training 1130 1250 Sector Flying 16/10/39

Hurricane L1764 F/Lt Thompson Test 1645 1705 Test after engine repairs ^ fitting new airscrew. 17/10/39

Magister P2496 F/Lt Healy Co-op 1430 1515 Ground defence Co-op 18/10/39

Hurricane L1789 P/O Ward A.O. 1155 1225 As ordered by Sector Controller Sector E 16/10/39

Hurricane L1757 P/O Lovell A.O. 1540 1650 Sector patrol as ordered by Sector Controller. 17/10/39

Magister P2496 F/Lt Healey  & F/O Lee Co-op 1430 1515 Ground defence Co-op 20/10/39

Magister P2496 P/O Courtney 2ndLt Copern(?) Local flying 20/10.39

Hurricane L1758 P/O Milne Test 1450 1515 Night flying tests 20/10/39

Hurricane L1758 F/Lt Thompson Test 1525 1600 Night flying tests 20/10/39

Hurricane L1754 P/O Newton Test 1450 1515 Night flying tests 20/10/39

Hurricane L1606 Sgt Currant Test 1540 1555 Night flying tests 20/10/39

Hurricane L1748 Sgt Muirhead Test 1515 1535 Night flying tests 20/10/39

Hurricane L1749 F/O Walch Test 1530 1550 Night flying tests 20/10/39

Hurricane L1749 P/O Hamar Test 1555 1620 Night flying tests 20/10/39

Hurricane L1755 S/Ldr Donaldson Test 1540 1605 Night flying tests 20/10/39

Hurricane L1798 F/Lt Ives Test 1530 1540 Night flying tests 20/10/39

Hurricane L1769 F/O Todd-White Test 1455 1505 Night flying tests 20/10/39

Hurricane L1799 Sgt. Badger Test 1455 1505 Night flying tests 20/10/39

Hurricane L1746 P/O Ward Test 1505 1515 Night flying tests 20/10/39

Hurricane L1766 P/O Allen Test 1515 1535 Night flying tests 20/10/39

Hurricane L1757 Sgt Trice Test 1530 1540 Night flying tests 20/10/39

Hurricane L1755 S/Ldr Donaldson Practice 1900 1930 Night Flying. 2 landings & local flying. 1st landing using flood light. 2nd landing glowing lamps only. 20/10/39

Hurricane L1798 F/Lt Ives Practice 1935 2010 Night Flying. 2 landings & local flying. 1st landing using flood light. 2nd landing glowing lamps only. 20/10/39

Hurricane L1769 F/O Todd-White Practice 1905 1925 Night Flying. 2 landings & local flying. 1st landing using flood light. 2nd landing glowing lamps only. 20/10/39

Hurricane L1799 Sgt Badger Practice 1905 1925 Night Flying. 2 landings & local flying. 1st landing using flood light. 2nd landing glowing lamps only. 20/10/39

Hurricane L1746 P/O Ward Practice 1945 2015 Night Flying. 2 landings & local flying. 1st landing using flood light. 2nd landing glowing lamps only. 20/10/39

Hurricane L1766 P/O Allen Practice 1940 2010 Night Flying. 2 landings & local flying. 1st landing using flood light. 2nd landing glowing lamps only. 20/10/39

Hurricane L1765 Sgt Trice Practice 1903 1935 Night Flying. 2 landings & local flying. 1st landing using flood light. 2nd landing glowing lamps only. 20/10/39

Hurricane L1764 P/O Newton Practice 1945 2025 Night Flying. 2 landings & local flying. 1st landing using flood light. 2nd landing glowing lamps only. 20/10/39

Hurricane L1606 Sgt Currant Practice 2015 2050 Night Flying. 2 landings & local flying. 1st landing using flood light. 2nd landing glowing lamps only. 20/10/39

Hurricane L1748 Sgt Muirhead Practice 2020 2050 Night Flying. 2 landings & local flying. 1st landing using flood light. 2nd landing glowing lamps only. 20/10/39

Hurricane L1764 F/Lt Thompson Trials 0005 0200 Silhouette Detection Trials 21/10/39

Hurricane L1764 F/O Walch Trials 0020 0215 Silhouette Detection Trials 21/10/39

North Weald 22 Oct 1939

According to programme the squadron should have been released today, but all pilots were recalled to the station at 1300hours and for a short while “A” Flight were at readiness. The squadron was then released until 1700hours and afterwards took over the night duties.

North Weald 23 Oct 1939

0800 The duties to be carried out by the squadron have been intensified due to the fact that another squadron on this station have been posted away on other duties. Squadron Leader Donaldson and the flight commanders have made the best possible arrangements for pilots to get as much leave as possible.

1200 F/O Todd-White has been posted to Northolt for ten days to attend an “Air firing instructors course.

1430 Twelve machines took off led by Squadron Leader Donaldson to get some more practice in at low flying attacks. This is considered very necessary by the C.B. due to the fact that the enemy have adopted these low flying tactics on nearly every raid they have made.

North Weald 24 Oct 1939

0800 P/O Lovell attached to Royal Navy at Harwich for 5 days. He is to carry out aircraft recognition on board a convoy destroyer.

F/Sgt. Phillips, “A” Flight posted to Fleet Air Arm Pool Lee-on-Solent with effect from 1/11/39. As he will probably be granted leave and Sgt. Weeks will take over “A” Flight, “B” Flight are released today under the new programme while “A” Flight provide and emergency section for aerodrome defence duties.

North Weald 25 Oct 1939

0800 F/Lt Thompson takes over duties as Parachute Officer with effect from 25/10/39 vice. F/O Todd-White.

P/O Hancocks reported back to the squadron but as his collar bone is still u/s. he has been granted further sick leave.

1430 Twelve machines took off to practice attacks. “A” Flight led by F/Lt Thompson made several attacks on “B” Flight who were led by Squadron Leader Donaldson. On landing the C.O. said he had observed and was well satisfied with “A” Flight’s attacks.

North Weald 26 Oct 1939

“A” Flight released.

1030 F/Lt Ives flew the Battle Aircraft to Aston Down Maintenance Unit and was flown back in a Blenheim from 604 Squadron. Sergeant Muirhead promoted to the rank of Flight Sergeant w.e.f. 24/10/39.

No flying done.

Appendix:

1500hrs. 21 Oct 1939 to – hrs. 27 Oct 1939

 

Hurricane L1758 P/O Hamar Training 1525 1535 Should have carried out Squadron formation but did not continue as Section Leaders R/T U/S 21/10/39

Hurricane L1704 P/O Newton Training 1505 1545 Yellow 1 Squadron Formation minus Red Section. Low flying attacks carried out at 500ft. 21/10/39

Hurricane L1764 P/O Herrick Training 1505 1545 Yellow 2 Squadron Formation minus Red Section. Low flying attacks carried out at 500ft. 21/10/39

Hurricane L1748 Sgt. Muirhead Training 1505 1545 Yellow 3 Squadron Formation minus Red Section. Low flying attacks carried out at 500ft. 21/10/39

Hurricane L1755 S/Ldr Donaldson Training 1505 1545 Blue 1 Squadron Formation minus Red Section. Low flying attacks carried out at 500ft. 21/10/39

Hurricane L1798 F/Lt Ives Training 1505 1545 Green 1 Squadron Formation minus Red Section. Low flying attacks carried out at 500ft. 21/10/39

Hurricane L1769 F/O Todd-White Training 1505 1545 Green 2 Squadron Formation minus Red Section. Low flying attacks carried out at 500ft. 21/10/39

Hurricane L1757 P/O Allen Training 1505 1545 Green 3 Squadron Formation minus Red Section. Low flying attacks carried out at 500ft. 21/10/39

Hurricane L1766 P/O Ward Training 1505 1545 Blue 2 Squadron Formation minus Red Section. Low flying attacks carried out at 500ft. 21/10/39

urriHHurricane L1799 Sgt Badger Training 1505 1545 Blue 3 Squadron Formation minus Red Section. Low flying attacks carried out at 500ft. 21/10/39

Magister P2496 Sgt Wren & S/LDR Cleary Ferry 1515 1539 To Hornchurch

Magister P2496 Sgt Wren & S/LDR Cleary Ferry 1645 1700 Hornchurch section North Weald

 

Hurricane L1749 F/O Walch Practice 1425 1555 Yellow 1 Squadron formation & Low flying attacks. 22/10/39

Hurricane L1758 P/O Milne Practice 1425 1555 Yellow 2 Squadron formation & Low flying attacks. 22/10/39

Hurricane L17606 Sgt Currant Practice 1425 1555 Yellow 3 Squadron formation & Low flying attacks. 22/10/39

Hurricane L1748 Sgt Muirhead Practice 1425 1550 Red 3 Squadron formation & Low flying attacks. 22/10/39

Hurricane L1830 P/O Hamar Practice 1425 1550 Red 2 Squadron formation & Low flying attacks. 22/10/39

Hurricane L1724 F/Lt Thompson Practice 1425 1550 Red 1 Squadron formation & Low flying attacks. 22/10/39

Hurricane L1755 S/LDR Donaldson Practice 1420 1550 Blue 1 Squadron formation & Low flying attacks. 22/10/39

Hurricane L1766 P/O Ward Practice 1420 1550 Blue 2 Squadron formation & Low flying attacks. 22/10/39

Hurricane L1799 Sgt Badger Practice 1420 1550 Blue 3 Squadron formation & Low flying attacks. 22/10/39

Hurricane L1798 F/Lt Ives Practice 1420 1550 Green 1 Squadron formation & Low flying attacks. 22/10/39

Hurricane L1757 P/O Allen Practice 1420 1550 Green 2 Squadron formation & Low flying attacks. 22/10/39

Hurricane L1769 Sgt Trice Practice 1420 1550 Green 3 Squadron formation & Low flying attacks. 22/10/39

Hurricane L1766 P/O Courtney Co-op 1500 1615 A/A Co-operation – Low flying attacks 23/10/39

Hurricane L1757 F/Lt Ives Test 0925 0940 Flap Test after repairs 25/10/39

Hurricane L1766 P/O Wright Co-op 1110 1240 Searchlight Co-operation 25/10/39

Hurricane L1755 S/LDR Donaldson Training 1445 1540 Blue 1 Squadron formation & practice fighter attacks 25/10/30

Hurricane L1746 P/O Ward Training 1445 1540 Blue 2 Squadron formation & practice fighter attacks 25/10/30

Hurricane L1769 Sgt. Badger Training 1445 1540 Blue 3 Squadron formation & practice fighter attacks 25/10/30

Hurricane L1798 F/Lt Ives Training 1445 1540 Green 1 Squadron formation & practice fighter attacks 25/10/30

Hurricane L1747 P/O Allen Training 1445 1540 Green 2 Squadron formation & practice fighter attacks 25/10/30

Hurricane L1724 F/Lt Thompson Training 1445 1545 Red 1 Squadron formation & practice fighter attacks 25/10/30

Hurricane L1749 P/O Hand Training 1445 1545 Red 2 Squadron formation & practice fighter attacks 25/10/30

Hurricane L1748 Sgt Muirhead Training 1445 1545 Red 3 Squadron formation & practice fighter attacks 25/10/30

Hurricane L1764 P/O Newton Training 1445 1545 Yellow 1 Squadron formation & practice fighter attacks 25/10/30

Hurricane L1758 P/O Milne Training 1445 1545 Yellow 2 Squadron formation & practice fighter attacks 25/10/30

Hurricane L1606 Sgt Currant Training 1445 1545 Yellow 3 Squadron formation & practice fighter attacks 25/10/30

Hurricane L1748 Sgt Aslin Test 1620 1715 Flying in sector with fixer equipment working 25/10/39

Hurricane L1756 F/Lt Thompson Test 1715 1745 Engine Test 24/10/39

Magister L8164 P/O Herrick Test 1145 1150 Test after engine repairs 25/10/39

Magister L8164 P/O Herrick Ferry  To Hartlesham 25/10/39

Magister L8164 P/O Herrick Ferry From (space) to North Weald 25/10/39

Hurricane L1798                P/O Courtney Test 1630 1700 Sector flying for Controller 25/10/39

Hurricane L1798 F/Lt Ives Ferry 1125 1145 To Mildenhall (No Date given – assume it is 25/10/39)

Hurricane L 1798 F/Lt Ives Ferry 1630 1645 From Mildenhall to North Weald (No Date given – assume it is 25/10/39)

Battle K7678 S/LDR Donaldson Test 1700 1725 Brake & Air Test (No Date given – assume it is 25/10/39)

Battle K7678 F/Lt Ives Ferry 0950 1040 Ferry to Acton Down 26/10/39

Hurricane L1757 F/Lt Ives Test 1705 1710 Flap Test (Assumed 26/10/39)

North Weald 27 Oct 1939

1450 “A” Flight took off led by F/Lt Thompson to practice fighter attacks.

1530 P/O. Newton and Sgt. Atkinson took off to practice formation flying.

North Weald 28 Oct 1939

“B” Flight released. No flying done. Nothing to report.

North Weald 29 Oct 1939

Flight Sergeant Philips’ posting cancelled by Officer i/c Records on the 26/10/39. Sergeant Weeks who took over “A” Flight on F/Sgt Philips posting has now been posted to Hendon w.e.f. 30/10/39

North Weald 30 Oct 1939

1200 It had been arranged for twelve pilots to fire on the ranges at Sutton Bridge today but the programme had to be cancelled owing to men working on the ranges.

1400 P/O Newton led a section to do formation air drill and F/O Walch took up Sergeant Atkinson for formation practice.

1400 F/O Atkinson flew one of “B” Flight’s machines to Brooklands for the Hawker people to inspect it. This machine has given a lot of trouble with what we term “creeping flaps”. This means that after the flaps have been fully lowered they tend to creep back into the up position.

North Weald 31 Oct 1939

0800 F/Lt. Thompson has been granted three days leave and F/O. Walch has taken over “A” Flight in his absence. P/O. Milne has been detailed to take over the duries of Squadron Adjutant while F/O. Atkinson is away at Brooklands.

1200 The Emergency Section (Yellow) was brought to “Stand By” from Readiness, but at 1215 was ordered to revert to Readiness.

Flight Sergeant Muirhead has been granted three days leave owing to personal reasons. This has made “A” Flight one operational pilot short so P/O Courtney has been posted to “A” Flight until Friday to fill the gap.

Appendix:

0001hrs 27 Oct 1939 to 23:59hrs 31 Oct 1939

Hurricane 1850 P/O Newton Training 1555 1645 Red 1 Formation practice for Sgt. Atkinson. (Assumed 27/10/39)

Hurricane 1758 Sgt. Atkinson Training 1555 1645 Red 2 Formation practice for Sgt. Atkinson. (Assumed 27/10/39)

Hurricane L1606 Sgt. Saville Training Flight Cancelled.

Hurricane L1764 F/Lt. Thompson Training 1455 1540 Red 1 “A” Flight Practice Fighter Attacks. 27/10/39

Hurricane L1850 P/O Herrick Training 1455 1540 Red 2 “A” Flight Practice Fighter Attacks. 27/10/39

Hurricane L1748 F/Sgt Muirhead Training 1455 1540 Red 3 “A” Flight Practice Fighter Attacks. 27/10/39

Hurricane L1749 F/O Walch Training 1455 1540 Yellow 1 “A” Flight Practice Fighter Attacks. F/O Walch forced to land due to the cowling aft of the air intake coming adrift.  27/10/39

Hurricane L1758 P/O Milne Training 1455 1540 Yellow 2 “A” Flight Practice Fighter Attacks. 27/10/39

Hurricane L1606 Sgt. Currant Training 1455 1540 Yellow 3 “A” Flight Practice Fighter Attacks. 27/10/39

Hurricane L1756 F/Lt Thompson Test 1320 1345 Test after engine repairs

Hurricane L1756 F/Lt Thompson Training 1650 1730 Red 1 Formation practice for Sgt. Atkinson 29/10/29

Hurricane L1748 Sgt. Atkinson Training 1650 1730 Red 2 Formation practice for Sgt. Atkinson 29/10/29

Hurricane L1830 P/O Newton Training 1650 1730 Red 3 Formation practice for Sgt. Atkinson 29/10/29

Hurricane L1756 F/Lt Thompson Practice 1200 1220 Red 1 Four machines started for Sutton Bridge but were recalled by R/T because men were working on the Ranges. 30/10/39

Hurricane L1748 Sgt. Muirhead Practice 1200 1220 Red 2 Four machines started for Sutton Bridge but were recalled by R/T because men were working on the Ranges. 30/10/39

Hurricane L1758 P/O Milne Practice 1200 1220 Red 3 Four machines started for Sutton Bridge but were recalled by R/T because men were working on the Ranges. 30/10/39

Hurricane L1850 P/O Herrick Practice 1200 1220 Red 4 Four machines started for Sutton Bridge but were recalled by R/T because men were working on the Ranges. 30/10/39

Hurricane L1850 P/O Newton Training 1400 1500 Red 1 Formation Air Drill 30/10/39

Hurricane L1758 P/O Herrick Training 1400 1500 Red 2 Formation Air Drill 30/10/39

Hurricane L1748 Sgt Muirhead Training 1400 1500 Red 3 Formation Air Drill 30/10/39

Hurricane L1749 F/O Walch Training 1405 1505 Yellow 1 Formation practice for Sgt. Atkinson 30/10/39

Hurricane L1764 Sgt. Atkinson Training 1405 1505 Yellow 2 Formation practice for Sgt. Atkinson 30/10/39

Hurricane L1769 Sgt Aslin Training 1410 1510 Sector E Recco 30/10/39

Hurricane L1757 F/O Atkinson Ferry 1455 1515 To Brooklands 30/10/39

Hurricane L1755 S/LDR Donaldson Practice 1455 1535 Blue 1 Formation Air Drill 30/10/30

Hurricane L1746 P/O Ward Practice 1455 1535 Blue 2 Formation Air Drill 30/10/30

Pre-War OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK No. 151 (Fighter) Squadron 1936 – 2 Sep 1939

North Weald 4 Aug 1936

No. 151 (Fighter Squadron formed on 4/8/36 from No. 58 (Fighter) Squadron.

The following pilots were posted to the Squadron on formation:- Pilot Officer J.M. Thompson, Pilot Officer D.M.H. Craven, Pilot Officer K.H. Savage, Sergeants Harvey and Danes.

 

North Weald 16 Aug 1936

Acting Pilot Officers C.D. Tomlin, R.A. Weeks, D.R. Stanley-Adams posted to this Unit for flying duties from No.8 F.T.S. Montrose.

 

North Weald 26 Aug 1936

Squadron commenced to be equipped with Gauntlet II Aircraft with Mercury VIS Engines – Five aircraft being delivered from the Gloster Aircraft Company on this date.

 

North Weald 31 Aug 1936

Squadron Leader W.V. Ryde posted from Air Armament School, Eastchurch to command Squadron.

 

North Weald 19 Oct 1936 

Three Gauntlet II Aircraft delivered to Squadron.

 

North Weald 27 Oct 1936

One Gauntlet II Aircraft delivered to Squadron.

 

North Weald 1 Nov 1936

Strength of the Squadron as at this date was 7 Officers, 5 Sergeant Pilots and 51 other ranks.

 

North Weald 15 Dec 1936

Five Gauntlet II Aircraft delivered to Squadron.

 

North Weald 16 Dec 1936             

One Gauntlet II Aircraft delivered to Squadron.

 

North Weald 20 Dec 1936

Acting Pilot Officers F.A. Ives and A.T.B. Campling posted to this Unit for flying duties from No.2 F.T.S. Digby.

 

North Weald 20 Feb 1937

Acting Pilot Officer S.H. Cruise posted to this Unit for flying duties from 9 F.T.S.

 

North Weald 10 Mar 1937

One Gauntlet II Aircraft delivered to Squadron.

 

North Weald 19 Apr 1937 

“M” Flight No. 151 (Fighter) Sqdn. attached to No. 503 (County of Lincoln) (Bomber) Sqdn. until 26/4/37.

 

North Weald 18 May 1937            

One Gauntlet II Aircraft delivered to Squadron.

 

North Weald 22 May 1937

Acting Pilot Officer G.H. John posted to Unit for flying duties from No. 11 F.T.S.

 

North Weald 25 May 1937

Pilot Officer A.T.B. Campling died as a result of accident to civil aircraft.

 

North Weald 23 Jun 1937

No. 151 (Fighter) Squadron attached to R.A.F. Station Duxford – R.A.F. Display.

 

North Weald 1 Jul 1937

Strength of Squadron at this date was:- 9 Officers, 7 Sergeant Pilots, 85 Other Ranks.

 

North Weald 30 Jun 1937

Pilot Officer J.D. Ronald posted this Unit for Flying duties from No.5 F.T.S. Sealand.

 

North Weald 31 Jul 1937

Pilot Officer C.F. Atkinson posted to this Unit for Flying duties from R.A.F. College.

 

North Weald 7 Aug 1937

Acting Pilot Officers Lang, Weaver and Horne posted to this Unit for flying duties from No. 8 F.T.S. Montrose.

 

North Weald 13 Sep 1937

Acting Pilot Officers Lang, Weaver and Horne posted to No. 56 (Fighter) Squadron.

 

North Weald 30 Nov 1937

Flying Officer J. M. Thompson, granted acting rank of Flight Lieutenant w.e.f. 18/9/37.

 

North Weald 4 Dec 1937

P/O W.A. Sykes posted to this Unit for flying duties from School of Air Navigation Manston.

 

North Weald 12 Dec 1937

Pilot Officer G.F. Graham posted to this Unit for flying duties from No. 10 F.T.S. Turn Hill.

 

North Weald 8 Jan 1938

Pilot Officer S.C. Walch and Acting Pilot Officer E. H. Dean posted to this Unit for flying duties from No.11 F.T.S. Wittering.

 

North Weald 10 Feb 1938

One Gauntlet II Aircraft transferred from No. 111 (Fighter) Sqdn to this Squadron.

 

North Weald 11 Feb 1938

Pilot Officer J.D. Ronald promoted Flying Officer w.e.f. 19/4/37, seniority of 19/1/37.

North Weald 18 Feb 1937

One Gauntlet II Aircraft transferred from No. 111 (Fighter) Sqdn to this Squadron.

 

North Weald 19 Feb 1937

Action Pilot Officer T.H. Davison posted to this Unit for flying duties from No. 7 F.T.S. Farnborough.

 

North Weald 1 Mar 1938

Strength of Squadron at this date was:- 15 Officers, 7 Sergeant Pilots, 98 Other Ranks. 19 Aircraft.

 

North Weald 4 Mar 1938

17 Pilots qualified in Night Flying.

 

North Weald 23 Mar 1938

Sergeant Morris posted to No. 80 (Fighter) Squadron.

 

North Weald 24 Mar 1938

F/Sergeant Danes posted to No. 2 F.T.S. Brize Norton.

 

North Weald 26 Mar 1938

Acting Pilot Officer T.W. Gillen posted to the Unit.

 

North Weald 28 Mar 1938

Pilot Officers Graham and Dean posted to No.80 (Fighter) Squadron.

 

North Weald 31 Mar 1938

Strength of Squadron at this date was:- 14 Officers, 5 Sergeant Pilots, 86 Other ranks, 19 Aircraft.

 

North Weald 30 May 1938

Acting Pilot Officer T.W. Gillen posted to Class “A” Reserve.

 

North Weald 1 Jun 1938

Pilot Officer J.H. White posted to No. 7 F.T.S. Peterborough.

 

North Weald 10 Jun 1938

Acting Pilot Officer A.A.M. Dawbarn posted from No. 7 F.T.S.

 

North Weald 15 Jun 1938

Pilot Officers D.W. Ward and K.E. Newton posted from Uxbridge.

 

North Weald 30 Jun 1938

Strength of Squadron at this date was: 18 Officers, 5 Segt. Pilots, 98 Other ranks and 19 Aircraft.

 

North Weald 9 Jul 1938

Acting Pilot Officers J.C. Holman, R, Bell and H.W. Kirk posted from No. 8 F.T.S.

 

North Weald 23 May 1938

Mass Flight over London for Empire Air Day.

 

North Weald 24 May 1938

Mass Flight over London for Empire Air Day.

 

North Weald 25 May 1938

“A” Flight, flight aerobatics for Empire Air Day (also 28/5/38).

 

Exeter 29 Jul 1938

“A” Flight, flight aerobatics at opening of Exeter Airport.

 

North Weald 7 Aug 1938

Pilot Officer A.A.M. Dawbarn posted to C.F.S. Upavon.

 

North Weald 25 May 1938

Pilot Officer C.D. Tomalin promoted to Flying Officer.

 

North Weald 17 Aug 1938

Pilot Officer F.A. Ives promoted to Flying Officer.

 

North Weald 29 Aug 1938

Pilot Officer B.R. Stanley-Adams transferred to Air Branch, Royal Navy.

 

North Weald 23 Sep 1938

Acting Pilot Officers J.C. Holman, R. Bell and H.B. Kirk transferred to class “A” Reserve.

 

North Weald 30 Sep 1938

Strength of Squadron at this date was:- 13 Officers, 6 Sergt. Pilots, 108 Other Ranks, 19 Aircraft

 

Sutton Bridge 27 Sep 1938

Recalled from No. 3 A.T.S. for National Emergency.

 

North Weald 19 Oct 1938

Unit televised by BBC

 

North Weald 29 Oct 1938

A/P/O. R.W.H. Courtney Posted from No. 8 F.T.S.

 

North Weald 1 Nov 1938

Squadron Leader, W.V. Hyde promoted to Wing Commander.

 

North Weald 11 Nov 1938

Wing Commander W.V. Hyde posted to Henlow.

 

North Weald 14 Nov 1938

Flight Lieutenant E.M. Donaldson posted from No. 7 F.T.S. to command Squadron.

 

North Weald 21 Nov 1938

Flying Officer R.D.N. Todd-White posted from 79 (F) Sqdn Biggin Hill.

North Weald 1 Dec 1938

Flight Lieutenant E.M. Donaldson promoted to Squadron Leader.

 

North Weald 1 Dec 1938

First Hurricane received from Hawker Aircraft Co.

 

North Weald 15 Dec 1938

P/O. H.B. Kirk granted S.S.C. from Class “A” Reserve and posted to this Unit.

 

North Weald 17 Dec 1938

A.P/O. H.A. Lovell posted to this Unit from No. 6 F.T.S.

 

North Weald 17 Dec 1938

A.P/O. P. Phillips posted to this Unit from No. 2 F.T.S.

 

North Weald 14 Jan 1939

P/O. G.H. John resigned Short Service Commission.

 

North Weald 17 Jan 1939

A.P/O. R.N.H. Courtney granted Short Service Commission.

 

North Weald 26 Jan 1939

P/O. R.N. Milne posted to this Unit from No. 8 A.T.S. Evanton.

 

North Weald 5 Feb 1939

13 Gauntlet Aircraft allotted and flown to No. 602 (F) Sqdn. Abbottsinch.

 

North Weald 13 Feb 1939

P/O. Allen posted to this Unit from S. of N.C. Ford.

 

North Weald 14 Feb 1939

Strength of Squadron at this date was:- 20 Hurricane Aircraft, 2 Gauntlet Aircraft, 18 Officers, 5 N.C.O. Pilots and 114 Other Ranks.

 

North Weald 3 Mar 1939

Completed re-arming with Hurricane Aircraft.

 

North Weald 6 Mar 1939

A/P/Os. Hamer, Wright and Herrick (Class “A” Reserve) and Sergts. Mussett, Moody and Fokes (R.A.F.V.R.) attached to this Unit for training.

 

North Weald 19 Apr 1949

A/F/Lt. Ronald promoted to F/Lt. with seniority 19/1/39.

 

North Weald 2 May 1939

P/O. J.F. Pettigrew posted to the Unit from 74 Squadron.

 

North Weald 6 Mar 1939

P/O. R. Herrick granted Short Service Commission from Class “A” Reserve.

 

North Weald 16 May 1939

P/O. H.B. Kirk and T.H. Davison posted to Middle East Command.

 

North Weald 3 May 1939

P/O. S.H. Cruise posted to No. 8 F.T.S.

 

North Weald 16 Mar 1939

P/Os. J.R. Hamar and L. Wright granted S.S.C. from Class “A” Reserve.

 

North Weald  23 Jul 1939

P/O. C.D. Tomalin posted to C.F.S.

 

Goring 4 Aug 1939

P/O. P. Phillips killed in Flying accident. P/O. Pettigrew seriously injured.

 

North Weald 27 Aug 1939

F/Lt. J.D. Ronald posted to No. 1 A.A.S. Mamby.

 

North Weald 2 Sep 1939

Book closed on Mobilization of Royal Air Force.

 

OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK No. 151 (Fighter) Squadron – September 1939

North Weald 2 Sep 1939

New book opened on Mobilization of Royal Air Force.

1100 151 Sqdn was detailed to shoot down a drifting barrage balloon with ball ammunition. The balloon could be seen at approx. 6000ft due West. S/Ldr. Donaldson and F/O Ives took off and intercepted the balloon at 9500ft. shooting it down near Harlow.

 

Appendix:

0001hrs 2 Sep 1939 to 2359hrs 2 Sep 1939

Hurricane L1755 S/Ldr. Donaldson Operations 1100 1125 Shooting down drifting barrage balloon

Hurricane L1787 F/O Ives Operations 1100 1125 Shooting down drifting barrage balloon

 

North Weald 3 Sep 1939

1115 A state of war was declared to exist against Germany. The strength of the Squadron at this time was:- 16 Officers, 4 N.C.O. pilots and 138 other ranks

S/Ldr. E.M. Donaldson – Commanding Officer

F/O. C.F. Atkinson – Sqdn Adjutant

“A” Flight

F/Lt J.M. Thompson (Flt. Commander)

F/O S.C. Walch (Sub Flt Leader)

P/O K.E. Newton

P/O R.M. Milne

P/O J.R. Hamar

P/O R. Herrick

P/O L. Wright

Sergt. I.J. Muirhead

Sergt. C.F. Currant

“B” Flight

F/O F.A. Ives (Flt. Commander)

F/O R.N. Todd-White (Sub Flt Leader)

P/O J.H.L Allen

P/O D.H. Ward

P/O R.H. Courtney

P/O J,H, Lovell

P/O J.F. Pettigrew (in hospital)

Sergt. I.J. Badger

Sergt. A.N. Trice

 

The Squadron was equipped with Hurricane aircraft with fixed pitch wooden airscrews.

 

“A” Flight had a Magister and “B” Flight a Battle aircraft which were used for training purposes. The allocation of duties was as follows:-

Armament Officer – F/O R.N. Todd-White

Signals Officer – F/O S.C. Walch

Parachute Officer – F/O R.N. Todd-White

Navigation Officer – P/O J.H.L. Allen

Recording Officer – P/O J.R. Hamar

 

1300 Sergeant Pilots Atkinson and Aslin posted to this Unit from Manby for flying duties.

Sgt Atkinson was posted to “A” Flight, and Sgt. Aslin to “B” Flight.

The Squadron was dispersed on the South West Corner of North Weald aerodrome.

 

1210 P/O R.M. Milne was detailed to shoot down a drifting barrage balloon which was intercepted at 24000ft nad shot down near Stradishall.

 

1225 Sgt. Muirhead was ordered to shoot down a similar balloon which he intercepted at 17000ft and shot down near Newmarket.

 

Appendix:

0001hrs 3 Sep 1939 to 2359hrs 3 Sep 1939

Hurricane L1747 P/O Allen Operations 1120 1230 Shooting down drifting barrage balloon

 

Hurricane L1758 P/O Milne Operations 1210 1330 Shooting down drifting barrage balloon

 

Hurricane L1748 Sgt. Muirhead Operations 1225 1325 Shooting down drifting barrage balloon

 

Hurricane L1606 P/O Ward Operations 1415 1515 Patrolling Aerodrome for stray balloons

 

North Weald 4 Sep 1939

1220 The Squadron was ordered to patrol North Weald beneath the base of the cloud, which was 7/10ths at 3000ft. Twelve machines took off, led by S/Ldr. Donaldson and formed up quickly over the aerodrome, but were ordered to land at 1235hrs.

 

Appendix:

0001hrs 4 Sep 1939 to 2359 4 Sep 1939

Hurricane L1756 F/Lt Thompson Operations 1220 1235 Patrol Squadron formation

Hurricane L1764 F/O Walch Operations 1220 1235 Patrol Squadron formation

Hurricane L1850 P/O Newton Operations 1220 1235 Patrol Squadron formation

Hurricane L1758 P/O Milne Operations 1220 1235 Patrol Squadron formation

Hurricane L1748 Sgt. Muirhead Operations 1220 1235 Patrol Squadron formation

Hurricane L1606 Sgt. Currant Operations 1220 1235 Patrol Squadron formation

 

Hurricane L1753 S/Ldr Donaldson Operations 1225 1240 Patrol Squadron formation

Hurricane L1769 F/O Ives Operations 1225 1240 Patrol Squadron formation

Hurricane L1769 F/O Todd-White Operations 1225 1240 Patrol Squadron formation

Hurricane L1747 P/O Allen Operations 1225 1240 Patrol Squadron formation

Hurricane L1746 P/O Ward Operations 1225 1240 Patrol Squadron formation

Hurricane L1724 Sgt. Trice Operations 1225 1240 Patrol Squadron formation

Hurricane L1799 Sgt. Badger Operations 1225 1240 Patrol Squadron formation

 

North Weald 6 Sep 1939

0500 Squadron ordered to “Readiness”

0615 “B” Flight ordered to take off on patrol. Six machines led by S/Ldr. Donaldson took off. The weather was fine with little cloud but a slight ground mist.

0625 “A” Flight ordered on to patrol. Six machines led by F/Lt Thompson took off.

0730 “A” Flight landed and F/Lt Thompson reported that no engagements were made and all machines sighted were friendly. He also stated that he nearly attacked a Squadron of friendly fighters due to their flying in Squadron “Vic” instead of Sections Line Astern formation.

0735 “B” Flight landed and S/Ldr. Donaldson also reported that all machines encountered on patrol were friendly.

0805 1 section of “B” Flight was ordered to investigate some skywriting that was appearing very high and due North of the aerodrome.

0840 “B” Flight section landed and S/Ldr. Donaldson reported that he climbed to 17000ft. and discovered that the alleged skywriting was a quickly forming cloud formation which almost formed around the aircraft as it flew along.

1810 “A” Flight was ordered to patrol North Weald at 5000ft. Six machines took off led by F/Lt Thompson but were ordered to land almost immediately.

1815 “B” Flight ordered to patrol Chelmsford at 15000ft. Six machines took off led by F/O Todd-White but were ordered to land almost immediately.

Squadron Leader Donaldson assumed temporary command of R.A.F. Station, North Weald. F/Lt. Thompson assumed temporary Command of 151 Squadron.

 

Appendix:

0001hrs 6 Sep 1939 to 2359hrs 6 Sep 1939

Hurricane L1755 S/Ldr Donaldson Operation 0630 0730 “B” Flight Patrol Prot Coast No Enemy Sighted

Hurricane L1757 F/O Ives Operation 0630 0730 “B” Flight Patrol Prot Coast No Enemy Sighted

Hurricane L1769 F/O Todd-White Operation 0630 0730 “B” Flight Patrol Prot Coast No Enemy Sighted

Hurricane L1747 P/O Allen Operation 0630 0730 “B” Flight Patrol Prot Coast No Enemy Sighted

Hurricane L1746 P/O Ward Operation 0630 0730 “B” Flight Patrol Prot Coast No Enemy Sighted

Hurricane L1799 Sgt. Badger Operation 0630 0730 “B” Flight Patrol Prot Coast No Enemy Sighted

 

Hurricane L1756 F/Lt Thompson Operation 0630 0730 “A” Flight Patrol Prot Coast No Enemy Sighted

Hurricane L1765 F/O Walch Operation 0630 0730 “A” Flight Patrol Prot Coast No Enemy Sighted

Hurricane L1850 P/O Newton Operation 0630 0730 “A” Flight Patrol Prot Coast No Enemy Sighted

Hurricane L1758 P/O Milne Operation 0630 0730 “A” Flight Patrol Prot Coast No Enemy Sighted

Hurricane L1748 Sgt. Muirhead Operation 0630 0730 “A” Flight Patrol Prot Coast No Enemy Sighted

Hurricane L1606 Sgt. Currant Operation 0630 0730 “A” Flight Patrol Prot Coast No Enemy Sighted

 

Hurricane L1755 S/Ldr Donaldson Operation 0810 0840 Section Patrol Investigation of alleged sky writing

Hurricane L1766 P/O Ward Operation 0810 0840 Section Patrol Investigation of alleged sky writing

Hurricane L1799 Sgt. Badger Operation 0810 0840 Section Patrol Investigation of alleged sky writing

 

Hurricane L1850 P/O Newton Operation 1815 1825 Squadron ordered to patrol North Weald. Received orders to land before section was airborne.

Hurricane L1758 P/O Milne Operation 1815 1825 Squadron ordered to patrol North Weald. Received orders to land before section was airborne.

Hurricane L1748 Sgt. Muirhead Operation 1815 1825 Squadron ordered to patrol North Weald. Received orders to land before section was airborne.

Hurricane L1766 P/O Ward Operation 1815 1825 Squadron ordered to patrol North Weald. Received orders to land before section was airborne.

Hurricane L1799 Sgt. Badger Operation 1815 1825 Squadron ordered to patrol North Weald. Received orders to land before section was airborne.

Hurricane L1757 Sgt. Trice Operation 1815 1825 Squadron ordered to patrol North Weald. Received orders to land before section was airborne.

Hurricane L1769 F/O Todd-White Operation 1815 1825 Squadron ordered to patrol North Weald. Received orders to land before section was airborne.

Hurricane L1747 P/O Allen Operation 1815 1825 Squadron ordered to patrol North Weald. Received orders to land before section was airborne.

Hurricane L1766 P/O Courtney Operation 1815 1825 Squadron ordered to patrol North Weald. Received orders to land before section was airborne.

 

North Weald 7 Sep 1939

Squadron Leader Donaldson assumed Command of 151 Squadron.

 

0001hrs 7 Sep 1939 to 2359 7 Sep 1939

Magister P2496 Sgt Currant & Pass Ferrying 10:30 11:00 To Kenly Ferrying wireless crystals

Magister P2496 Sgt Currant & Pass Ferrying 11:30 11:40 Kenly to Croydon Ferrying wireless crystals.

Magister P2496 Sgt Currant & Pass Ferrying 15:20 15:50 Croydon to North Weald Ferrying wireless crystals.

 

North Weald 8 Sep 1939

1830 P/O Hamar was ordered to shoot down a drifting balloon which was reported to be at 10000ft. over Burnham-on-Crouch. He landed at 19.30hrs and reported he climbed to stated height over Burnham-on-Crouch and was then ordered to proceed to Colchester at 8000 feet. After searching for 5minutes, however he was ordered to land as the balloon had apparently developed a leak and descended at Chelmsford.

 

Appendix:

0001hrs 8 Sep 1939 to 2359hrs 8 Sep 1939

Magister P2496 P/O Herrick & Pass Test 0600 0630 Weather test. Stapleford aerodrome.

 

Hurricane L1758 P/O Hamar Operations 1830 1930 Attacking balloon. Balloon not attacked.

 

North Weald 9 Sep 1939

Nothing to report.

 

North Weald 10 Sep 1939

Nothing to report.

 

North Weald 11 Sep 1939

Nothing to report.

 

Appendix:

0001hrs 11 Sep 1939 to 2359hrs 11 Sep 1939

Hurricane L1756 F/Lt Thompson Training 1055 1130 “A” Flight. Fighter Attack Training.

Hurricane L1748 Sgt. Muirhead Training 1055 1130 “A” Flight. Fighter Attack Training.

Hurricane L1850 P/O Newton Training 1055 1130 “A” Flight. Fighter Attack Training.

Hurricane L1764 F/O Walch Training 1055 1130 “A” Flight. Fighter Attack Training.

Hurricane L1758 P/O Milne Training 1055 1130 “A” Flight. Fighter Attack Training.

Hurricane L1606 Sgt. Currant Training 1055 1130 “A” Flight. Fighter Attack Training.

 

Hurricane L1757 F/O Ives Training 1145 1220 “B” Flight. Fighter Attack Training.

Hurricane L1746 P/O Wright Training 1145 1220 “B” Flight. Fighter Attack Training.

Hurricane L1799 Sgt. Trise Training 1145 1220 “B” Flight. Fighter Attack Training.

Hurricane L1766 P/O Courtney Training 1145 1220 “B” Flight. Fighter Attack Training.

Hurricane L1747 P/O Allan Training 1145 1220 “B” Flight. Fighter Attack Training.

 

Hurricane L1749 F/O Walch Test 1210 1220 Test after fitting new flap gear.

 

North Weald 12 Sep 1939

Nothing to report.

 

North Weald 13 Sep 1939

1830 S/Ldr Donaldson took off to test two lights which he had placed at each end of the sector patrol line. These lights were designed in such a way that they were only visible from certain angles and would enable pilots to keep accurately on their patrol lines when flying in “black-out” conditions. On landing S/Ldr Donaldson reported that the lights were satisfactory, as far as he could ascertain under the weather conditions which prevailed at the time. There was heavy mist and low clouds at approx. 10/10ths at 800feet. A further test would be made.

 

Appendix:

0001hrs 13 Sep 1939 to 2359 13 Sep 1939

Hurricane L1755 S/Ldr Donaldson Test 1855 1925 Test of sector patrol line lights

 

 

North Weald 14 Sep 1939

Nothing to report.

 

North Weald 15 Sep 1939

Nothing to report.

 

North Weald 16 Sep 1939

The Squadron took off led by S/Ldr Donaldson to practice all the various attacks which will be used against the enemy. This time they were carried out by visual signals to prepare for the event R/T failure. Upon landing the pilots held a discussion and it was decided that the arranged visual signals would be a success. Many other useful hints were picked up from this practice.

 

Appendix:

0001hrs 16 Sep 1939 to 2359 16 Sep 1939

Hurricane L1755 S/LDR Donaldson Training 1455 1525 Squadron formation practicing squadron flight & section attacks by visual signal to prepare for the event of R/T failure.

Hurricane L1757 F/O Ives Training 1455 1525 Squadron formation practicing squadron flight & section attacks by visual signal to prepare for the event of R/T failure.

Hurricane L1769 F/O Todd-White Training 1455 1525 Squadron formation practicing squadron flight & section attacks by visual signal to prepare for the event of R/T failure.

Hurricane L1747 P/O Allen Training 1455 1525 Squadron formation practicing squadron flight & section attacks by visual signal to prepare for the event of R/T failure.

Hurricane L1746 P/O Ward Training 1455 1525 Squadron formation practicing squadron flight & section attacks by visual signal to prepare for the event of R/T failure.

Hurricane L1799 Sgt. Badger Training 1455 1525 Squadron formation practicing squadron flight & section attacks by visual signal to prepare for the event of R/T failure.

Hurricane L1766 P/O Newton Training 1455 1525 Squadron formation practicing squadron flight & section attacks by visual signal to prepare for the event of R/T failure.

Hurricane L1764 F/LT Thompson Training 1455 1525 Squadron formation practicing squadron flight & section attacks by visual signal to prepare for the event of R/T failure.

Hurricane L1748 Sgt. Muirhead Training 1455 1525 Squadron formation practicing squadron flight & section attacks by visual signal to prepare for the event of R/T failure.

Hurricane L1749 F/O Walsh(sic) Training 1455 1525 Squadron formation practicing squadron flight & section attacks by visual signal to prepare for the event of R/T failure.

Hurricane L1758 P/O Milne Training 1455 1525 Squadron formation practicing squadron flight & section attacks by visual signal to prepare for the event of R/T failure.

Hurricane L1606 Sgt. Currant Training 1455 1525 Squadron formation practicing squadron flight & section attacks by visual signal to prepare for the event of R/T failure.

 

Hurricane L1757 F/O Ives Test 1105 1110 Time test on pumping up of bling flying instruments

Hurricane L1850 F/LT Thompson Test 1105 1110 Time test on pumping up of bling flying instruments

 

Hurricane L1850 P/O Newton Training 1455 1500 Returned to aerodrome owing to leek in hydraulic system.

 

North Weald 17 Sep 1939

Nothing to report.

 

North Weald 18 Sep 1939

Nothing to report.

 

North Weald 19 Sep 1939

Nothing to report.

 

North Weald 20 Sep 1939

0830 Flying Officer F.A. Ives O.C. “B” Flight Promoted to the Rank of Acting Flight Lieutenant w.e.f. 27/8/39.

 

North Weald 21 Sep 1939

Nothing to report.

 

North Weald 22 Sep 1939

Nothing to report.

 

North Weald 23 Sep 1939

Nothing to report.

 

North Weald 24 Sep 1939

Nothing to report.

 

Appendix:

0001hrs 17 Sep 1939 to 2359hrs 24 Sep 1939

Hurricane L1850 P/O Herrick Test 1350 1400 Test after repairs to hydraulic system. 17/9/39

 

Magister P2496 P/O Herrick 0930 1000 Reporting to Halton for medical examination. 18/9/39

Magister P2496 P/O Herrick 1430 1500 from Halton to North Weald 18/9/39

 

Hurricane L1764 P/O Thompson Test 1015 1030 Test after fitting new engine. 19/9/39

Hurricane L1748 P/O Lovell Training 1445 1515 Local flying and general practice. 19/9/39

Magister P2496 Sgt Muirhead & Sgt Aslin Training 1600 1630 Dual instruction on type for Sgt Aslin 19/9/1939

Magister P2496 Sgt Muirhead & Sgt Atkinson Training 1635 1795 Dual instruction on type for Sgt Atkinson 19/9/1939

 

Magister P2496 Sgt Muirhead & Sgt Atkinson Training 1120 1155 Dual instruction on type for Sgt Atkinson 20/9/1939

Magister P2496 Sgt Muirhead & Sgt Aslin Training 1155 1230 Dual instruction on type for Sgt Atkinson 20/9/1939

 

Hurricane L1764 F/Lt Thompson Training 1915 1935 Squadron formation practise Take-off, forming up general formation & landing 21/9/39

Hurricane L1850 P/O Newton Training 1915 1935 Squadron formation practise Take-off, forming up general formation & landing 21/9/39

Hurricane L1748 Sgt Muirhead Training 1915 1935 Squadron formation practise Take-off, forming up general formation & landing 21/9/39

Hurricane L1749 F/O Walch Training 1915 1935 Squadron formation practise Take-off, forming up general formation & landing 21/9/39

Hurricane L1758 P/O Milne Training 1915 1935 Squadron formation practise Take-off, forming up general formation & landing 21/9/39

Hurricane L1606 Sgt. Currant Training 1915 1935 Squadron formation practise Take-off, forming up general formation & landing 21/9/39

Hurricane L S/Ldr Donaldson Training 1915 1935 Squadron formation practise Take-off, forming up general formation & landing 21/9/39

Hurricane L P/O Ward Training 1915 1935 Squadron formation practise Take-off, forming up general formation & landing 21/9/39

Hurricane L Sgt. Badger  Training 1915 1935 Squadron formation practise Take-off, forming up general formation & landing 21/9/39

Hurricane L F/Lt Ives Training 1915 1935 Squadron formation practise Take-off, forming up general formation & landing 21/9/39

Hurricane L F/O Todd-White Training 1915 1935 Squadron formation practise Take-off, forming up general formation & landing 21/9/39

Hurricane L P/O Allen Training 1915 1935 Squadron formation practise Take-off, forming up general formation & landing 21/9/39

 

Hurricane L1758 P/O Newton Training 1145 1220 No1 Formation Air Drill 22/9/39

Hurricane L1748 P/O Hamar Training 1145 1220 No2 Formation Air Drill 22/9/39

Hurricane L1850 P/O Herrick Training 1145 1220 No3 Formation Air Drill 22/9/39

 

Hurricane L1757 F/Lt Ives Training 1130 1200 No1 Formation Air Drill 22/9/39

Hurricane L1746 P/O Courtney Training 1130 1200 No2 Formation Air Drill 22/9/39

Hurricane L1799 Sgt. Trice Training 1130 1200 No3 Formation Air Drill 22/9/39

 

Magister P2496 F/Lt Ives & F/Lt Lintaker Training1400 1445 Air experience for F/Lt Lintaker 22/9/39

 

Hurricane L1757 P/O Wright Test 1630 1645 Testing flap gear 22/9/39

 

Hurricane L1746 P/O Ward Test 1725 1740 Engine Test 22/9/39

 

Hurricane L1798 S/Ldr Evans Test 1510 1540 Engine Test 22/9/39

 

Hurricane L1798 P/O Lovell Training 1650 1710 Local flying and general practice. 22/9/39

 

Hurricane L1757 F/Lt Ives Training 1405 1450 No1 Formation Air Drill 23/9/39

Hurricane L1798 P/O Wright Training 1405 1450 No2 Formation Air Drill 23/9/39

Hurricane L1769 Sgt Courtney Training 1405 1450 No3 Formation Air Drill 23/9/39

 

Hurricane L1606 Sgt Currant Training 1900 1920 Squadron formation practice 24/9/39

Hurricane L1748 Sgt Muirhead Training 1900 1920 Squadron formation practice 24/9/39

Hurricane L1749 F/O Walch Training 1900 1920 Squadron formation practice 24/9/39

Hurricane L1764 F/Lt Thompson Training 1900 1920 Squadron formation practice 24/9/39

Hurricane L1850 P/O Newton Training 1900 1920 Squadron formation practice 24/9/39

Hurricane L1758 P/O Milne Training 1900 1920 Squadron formation practice 24/9/39

Hurricane L1757 F/Lt Ives Training 1900 1920 Squadron formation practice 24/9/39

Hurricane L1769 F/O Todd-White Training 1900 1920 Squadron formation practice 24/9/39

Hurricane L1747 P/O Allen Training 1900 1920 Squadron formation practice 24/9/39

Hurricane L1755 S/Ldr Donaldson Training 1900 1920 Squadron formation practice 24/9/39

Hurricane L1746 P/O Ward Training 1900 1920 Squadron formation practice 24/9/39

Hurricane L1799 Sgt Badger Training 1900 1920 Squadron formation practice 24/9/39

 

North Weald 25 Sep 1939

Nothing to Report.

 

North Weald 26 Sep 1939

1400 The Squadron was detailed to provide 4 sections of aircraft, two of which were to act as Bombers in an operational exercise for the purpose of training sector controllers. S/Ldr Donaldson and F/O Walch led the Bomber sections and F/Lt. Thompson and F/Lt Ives the Fighter sections. The weather was fine, visibility 10-15 miles, with cloud 5/10ths at 5000feet.

 

 

Appendix:

0001hrs 25/9/39 to –hrs 26/9/39

Magister P2496 Sgt Badger & Sgt Aslin Training 1100 1130 Experience on type for Sgt Aslin 25/9/39

Magister P2496 Sgt Badger & Sgt Atkinson Training 1130 1200 Experience on type for Sgt Atkinson 25/9/39

Magister P2496 Sgt Badger & Sgt Saville Training 1200 1230 Experience on type for Sgt Saville 25/9/39

Magister P2496 S/Ldr Donaldson & F/Lt Lintaker  Training 1500 1515 Experience on type for F/Lt Lintaker 25/9/39

Magister P2496 F/Lt Lintaker 1515 1530 Local Pracitice 25/9/39

 

Hurricane L1758 P/O Milne Training 1500 1535 No1 Formation Air Drill 25/9/39

Hurricane L1850 P/O Herrick Training 1500 1535 No2 Formation Air Drill 25/9/39

Hurricane L1748 P/O Hamar Training 1500 1535 No3 Formation Air Drill 25/9/39

 

Hurricane L1764 Sgt Saville Training 1500 1545

 

Hurricane L1764 F/Lt Thomson Training 1800 1850 Squadron formation practise 25/9/39

Hurricane L1850 P/O Newton Training 1800 1850 Squadron formation practise 25/9/39

Hurricane L1748 Sgt Muirhead Training 1800 1850 Squadron formation practise 25/9/39

Hurricane L1749 F/O Walch Training 1800 1850 Squadron formation practise 25/9/39

Hurricane L1758 P/O Milne Training 1800 1850 Squadron formation practise 25/9/39

Hurricane L1606 Sgt Currant Training 1800 1850 Squadron formation practise 25/9/39

Hurricane L1755 S/Ldr Donaldson Training 1800 1850 Squadron formation practise 25/9/39

Hurricane 1769 F/O Todd-White Training 1800 1850 Squadron formation practise 25/9/39

Hurricane L1747 P/O Allen Training 1800 1850 Squadron formation practise 25/9/39

Hurricane L1746 P/O Ward Training 1800 1850 Squadron formation practise 25/9/39

Hurricane L1799 Sgt Badger Training 1800 1850 Squadron formation practise 25/9/39

 

Hurricane L1757 F/Lt Ives Training 1105 1145 No1 Formation Air Dill 25/9/39

Hurricane L1769 F/O Todd-White Training 1105 1145 No2 Formation Air Dill 25/9/39

Hurricane L1747 F/O Lovell Training 1105 1145 No3 Formation Air Dill 25/9/39

 

Hurricane L1769 F/Lt Ives Training 1500 1530 No1 Local formation 25/9/39

Hurricane L1799 P/O Lovell Training 1500 1530 No2 Local formation 25/9/39

 

Magister P2496 P/O Hamar & W/Cdr Collarpie Transport 0945 1005 Transport to Debden 26/9/39

Magister P2496 P/O Hamar Transport 1015 1035 Transport Debden to North Weald 26/9/39

 

Hurricane L1749 F/O Walch Operation 1450 1550 No1 Section acting as bombers for operational exercise. 26/9/39

Hurricane L1759 P/O Milne Operation 1450 1550 No2 Section acting as bombers for operational exercise. 26/9/39

Hurricane L1606 P/O Hamar Operation 1450 1550 No3 Section acting as bombers for operational exercise. 26/9/39

Hurricane L1764 F/Lt Thompson Operation 1445 1525 No1 Section of fighters for interception duties during exercise 26/9/39

Hurricane L1850 P/O Newton Operation 1445 1525 No2 Section of fighters for interception duties during exercise 26/9/39

Hurricane L1748 P/O Herrick Operation 1445 1525 No3 Section of fighters for interception duties during exercise 26/9/39

Hurricane L1755 S/Ldr Donaldson Operation 1440 1525 No1 Section acting as bombers for operational exercise. 26/9/39

Hurricane L1746 P/O Ward Operation 1440 1525 No3 Section acting as bombers for operational exercise. 26/9/39

Hurricane L1799 Sgt Badger Operation 1440 1525 No3 Section acting as bombers for operational exercise. 26/9/39

Hurricane L     F/Lt Ives Operation 1500 1520 No1 Section of fighters for interception duties during exercise 26/9/39

Hurricane L     P/O Courtney Operation 1500 1520 No2 Section of fighters for interception duties during exercise 26/9/39

Hurricane L     P/O Lovell Operation 1500 1520 No3 Section of fighters for interception duties during exercise 26/9/39

 

Not Posted

 

North Weald 27 Sep 1939

Nothing to report.

 

North Weald 28 Sep 1939

0830 One of the new Pilots Sgt Aslin carried out his first solo flight in a Hurricane satisfactorily.

1600 The Squadron again carried out a tactical exercise. Two sections were used for interception purposes and were led by F/O. Walch and P/O Allen. Both sections carried out ther interception successfully.

 

North Weald 29 Sep 1939

1500 Another new Pilot Sgt Atkinson carried out his first solo flight in a Hurricane successfully.

 

North Weald 30 Sep 1939

Nothing to report.

 

Appendix:

0001hrs 27 Sep 1939 to 2359hrs 30/9/39

Hurricane L1749 F/O Walch Training 1445 1545 Section for interception exercise. Interception carried out. 28/9/39

Hurricane L1758 P/O Hamar Training 1445 1545 Section for interception exercise. Interception carried out. 28/9/39

Hurricane L1850 P/O Herrick Training 1445 1545 Section for interception exercise. Interception carried out. 28/9/39

 

Hurricane L1749 F/O Walch Training 1605 1620 Ordered to patrol North Weald for further exercise but afterwards ordered to land. 28/9/39

Hurricane L1758 P/O Hamar Training 1605 1620 Ordered to patrol North Weald for further exercise but afterwards ordered to land. 28/9/39

Hurricane L1850 P/O Herrick Training 1605 1620 Ordered to patrol North Weald for further exercise but afterwards ordered to land. 28/9/39

 

Hurricane L1798 Sgt Aslin Training 1210 1240 First solo on type for this pilot. Circuits & landings.

 

Hurricane L1747 P/O Allen Training 1500 1545 No1 Section for interception exercise. Interception carried out. 28/9/39

Hurricane L1798 P/O Wright Training 1500 1545 No2 Section for interception exercise. Interception carried out. 28/9/39

Hurricane Sgt Trice Training 1500 1545 No3 Section for interception exercise. Interception carried out. 28/9/39

 

Hurricane L1758 Sgt Atkinson First solo on type. Local flying & landings. 29/9/39

 

Magister P2496 S/Ldr Donaldson Test 1710 1810 Testing & positioning of sector lights. 29/9/39

 

Hurricane L1746 P/O Lovell Test 1430 1515 Test range etc. of “pup squeak” 29/9/39

Hurricane L1746 Sgt Aslin Test 1430 1515 Test range etc. of “pup squeak” 29/9/39

 

Hurricane L1755 S/LDR Donaldson Test 1800 1820 Test 29/9/39

 

Magister P2496 P/O Hamar Ferry 1200 1215 To Debden

Magister P2496 P/O Hamar Ferry 1240 1300 From Debden to North Weald

 

 

Stuart Crosby Walch

Stuart Crosby Walch, was born on 16 Aug 1917 in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, to parents Percival Bell Crosby Walch and Florence Esther Jane Pigdon, he was the youngest of three children and the only male. His youngest sister, Brenda Jane Clelland Walch, served as a driver in the Women’s Australian Air Force. He was educated at The Hutchins School, Hobart, between 1927 and 1934, winning the Head of the River cup in Launceston in 1934.

Following his leaving school, Stuart obtained employment at the Family business, J Walch & Sons, which had been established by his great-great-grandfather, James William Henry Walch in 1846.

He left there in 1936, and enlisted in the Royal Australian Air Force, at Point Cook, Victoria, and in 1937 transferring to the Royal Air Force. On 26 August of the same year, he was “granted a short service commission as Pilot Officer for five years on the active list,” (Gazetted: 10 September 1937).

There is more to come about the career of Stuart prior to the outbreak of World War II as I am yet to purchase his records from the National Archives of Australia, (what there is), but in July 1940 he was serving with 238 Squadron at Middle Wallop as a Flight Lieutenant.

He was involved in a number of sorties. The first, for which I can find an action report was on the 11 July, 1940, what is now considered to be the second day of The Battle of Britain:

“B” Flight detailed to patrol Warmwell 1140hrs Diverted to Portland at 1155hrs. E/A reported over Portland at 4,000′. Saw A/A fire about 5000′. At this time my flight was 10000′ I ordered A/C line astern. Climbed towards combat taking place ahead (south) & above about 3 mls distant.

One ME. 110 observed diving towards ship off P.Bill at 10000′. I ordered Green Section to stay above in case of escort fighters. Blue 1, 2 & 3 attacked in order. E/A turned towards me & I fired 2/3 sec bursts from o/h (range about 300-200yds) Again attacked after pt 3 from beam closing to line astern (?)fire. 250yds and closed to 50yds. E/A straightening out. White and black smoke coming from (?) engine. E/A has black X’s on fus & m/planes & was of black colour on upper surface under surface not observed. Confirmed by Bl 2 & 3.”

The next action report, located, is for 20 July:

Blue Section 238 Squadron were ordered to patrol convoy 15 miles South East of Portland. We arrived over convoy at 1220 hours flying at about 8,000ft. At 1300hrs. at a height of 6,000ft. having lost my 2 & 3 and having twice investigated aircraft which turned out to be Hurricanes, I had turned on my reserve tank and decided to return to base. I flew towards Swanage climbing to 8,000ft and at about 5 miles from Swanage I observed 15 aircraft flying in formation towards the convoy on N. course at approx. 12,000ft. I was too far away to identify A/C but from the direction they were taking presumed they were hostile. I endeavoured to contact Ground Station to find out if the relief section was on its way but received no reply.

I turned and headed for convoy climbing to get into sun. When about 5 miles from convoy I saw bombs explode around escorting destroyer. I pulled the plug and went after the E/A which had turned Southwards. When I got to the S.E. side of convoy at 10,000ft I saw three ME109’s flying in wide VIC at about 9,000ft. I dived and attacked the port machine, opened fire at 200yds quarter closing to astern at approx. 50 yards. 2 two second bursts were fired. Black smoke poured from under the engine of the E/A and he turned right and made vertical dive towards sea. I did not follow as the other aircraft were trying to get astern of me. I pulled up in a steep stall turn and made for home as petrol was very low. Visibility perfect – no cloud. Rounds fired approximately 800.”

The next day he was back in action:

“Blue Section ordered to patrol Portland at 15.15 at 12,000 feet, vectored 100° at 15.40. When approaching the Needles saw convoy being attacked by 15 Me. 110’s/ These a/c were flying from the Northern side. I put my section in line astern and gave the order to Blue 2 & 3 to select a target each and to attack independently. I dived down from 12,000feet to 8,00feet following the last aircraft in the enemy formation, which was now flying away from the convoy south east, apparently returning to France. I closed to about 500 yards before I was sighted. The formation then went into a righthand turn, aircraft still in line astern. The aircraft I was following swung out on the turn and was on the outside of the circle. I opened fire at 250 yards closing to 50. No.2 attacked the enemy aircraft on my right. The aircraft I attacked tightened his turn and dived towards the sea, I broke off the attack and the starboard engine of the enemy aircraft was emitting black and white smoke.

I lost sight of the enemy aircraft in the dive. As I pulled away in a left hand turn. A few seconds later I saw and Me.1? flying at sea level. It went straight for about a mile then dived straight into the sea. I cannot say whether this was the enemy aircraft which I attacked or the one which Blue 2 attacked. I then saw three Me 109’s in line astern formation coming towards me on the beam at about 10,000feet. They did not attack me but turned away in a S.E. direction and dived. I started to follow but saw an aircraft I thought to be an Me. 109 flying at sea level towards the convoy. I broke off following the 3 Me. 109 and dived to attack the aircraft which I had just seen. On getting within range it turned out to be Blue 2. By the time I had climbed up to 10,000 feet again all hostile aircraft had disappeared.”

The next available report is for 26 July:

“I was Blue Leader.

Squadron ordered to patrol Swanage at 10,000feet. Time up 1142, down 1230. I arrived on patrol flying at 10,000feet with section on left of C.O. (Green Section). Squadron received order that bandits S.W. of Portland at 12,000feet. I saw 3 ME.109’s about 25-30miles S of Portland at about 14,000feet. I put Section in line astern and climbed behind. 2 ME.109’s in Vic. formation and one loose on right. I took loose one and fired one short burst (1 sec.) from a shallow quarter deflection. ME. Half rolled then dived vertically down, then went into spin and broke up, the wings dropping off and fuselage going into sea.

Both Blue 2 (P/O CONSIDINE) and Yellow 1 (Sgt MARSH) confirmed.

Rounds fired 40 per gun, 320 total.”

I found further reference to Stuart being involved in action, on 8th August, on the website:forum.12oclockhigh.net, in an excerpt from the privately published memoirs of Squadron Leader ‘Jimmy’ Fenton:

” On the 8th, as usual, we were at readiness at first light. After breakfast, my adjutant Noel David, fetched me to the office for a rare spell of administration. As soon as I left dispersal, the Squadron was scrambled – led by Stuart Walch, and went into action over a shipping convoy a few miles south of the Isle of White intercepting a big raid.”

On 11 August, 1940, at about 1030 hours, 5 raids totalling approximately 200 aircraft approached Portland and Weymouth Bay on a 20 mile front and of these about 150 crossed the coast and caused considerable damage to Portland. The attack was made both from high level and by dive bombers. These raids were met by 7 fighter squadrons which shot down 23 (plus 22 unconfirmed) enemy aircraft against our losses of 16. Of these 16 losses one was Stuart, who was originally posted as being ‘Missing in Action’ but later as ‘killed in action’, he was shotdown whilst flying a Hurricane Mk I (R4097) off Weymouth.

His ‘presumed’ death was announced in The Mercury on 21 May 1941:

“Death presumed of Acting Flight-Lieut Stuart
Walch, formerly of Hobart, who had been reported missing as the result of air operations against the enemy over the English Channel on August 10 last year, has been announced.
Acting Flight-Lieut. Walch was the only son of Mr. and Mrs. Percy Walch, of Hobart. He was educated at the Hutchins School, where he was prominent in sport, particularly football and cricket. He was a member of the Hutchins School crew which won the Head-of-the-River race at Launceston in 1934, and participated also in tennis and athletics.
After leaving the Hutchins School he continued his sporting activities as a member of the Old Boys’ football and cricket teams until he left the State in 1936 to join the Royal Australian Air Force. He transferred to the Royal Air Force in 1937.
Acting Flight-Lieut Walch had a brilliant record of achievement with the R.A.F., as an instructor and pilot. For the greater part of his service in England he was stationed with No. 151 Fighter Squadron at North Weald, in Essex, and after the outbreak of war saw service in several other stations. He was regarded as being particularly skilful and fearless at night flying. He was the first member of his squadron to fly a Hurricane fighter, and was highly regarded by his senior officers.”

He is remembered on Panel 5 of the Runneymede Memorial.