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2/A.M. Henry Daniel Beet D.C.M.

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    Posted: 23 Nov 2015 at 22:54

2/A.M. Henry Daniel Beet No.2763

No.9 Squadron Royal Flying Corps


THE BIRMINGHAM DAILY MAIL, FRIDAY, APRIL 16, 1915
REPAIRS UNDER FIRE
FIRST “D.C.M.’S” IN THE ROYAL FLYING CORPS
BIRMINGHAM MAN’S DISTINCTION
The experiences of a number of old St. Mark’s scholars now serving with the colours have already been recounted in the “Mail”, and it is pleasing to be able to record that another member on the school’s roll of honour has now gained the D.C.M.  His name is Harry Beet. The only St. Mark’s boy attached to the Royal Flying Corps, Beet is only 20 years of age, and is serving with the 16th Squadron of the Corps. Naturally the headmaster (Mr. S.S. Saunders) and the teachers and scholars of his old school are proud of the young hero.
Writing to his parents at 118 Anderton Street, Ladywood, on April 4th, Beet mentions that he has gained the coveted distinction and describes how, by the merest chance, he met his own brother and other men from Birmingham out at the front. He says: -
 “Well mother, you say that our Fred is out here. A few days ago some of his regiment came on our aerodrome, and while I was asking if anybody of the name of Private Beet came over with them, who should I see walking alongside the hedge but our Fred and Bill Leaver and quite a crowd of the boys from Brum. That was the first intimation I’d had that he was out here at all. He looks a picture of health. We were not together long, worse luck; he had only about half an hour to spare, as they were moving that day and we were doing the same. Still, I’m glad I met him, if only for a few minutes.”
“I’m now going to tell you a few words that will no doubt please you and all at home. Three others and I have won the D.C.M. over that job I told you about, when we went out to the machine that was under shell fire. We are the first to win this medal in the Royal Flying Corps, according to what the colonel said to us when he congratulated us.”
In the previous letter referred to, Beet mentioned the incident in connection with which he won the medal, but only in a very casual manner, as follows: -
“I had a wee bit of an experience the other night, for the plane that I’m on was brought down by German aircraft guns, and five of us were sent to repair the petrol tank, which had a hole in it as big as your fist. While we were working on it the shells were screaming over our heads all the time, and then two burst within about 15 yards of us, and we had to clear out of it pretty slick, for it was getting a bit warm there. We got her away at dawn alright, although she had a dozen or two holes in her. None of us were hit.”


Edited by ROBPUGH - 27 Nov 2015 at 14:36
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Morris Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Nov 2015 at 20:12
In a supplement to the "Gazette" appeared a list of warrant officers, non-commissioned officers, and men, to whom his Majesty the King has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the Distinguished Conduct Medal for acts of gallantry and devotion to duty. Among them, the following appear :
2763 Second Class .Air Mechanic H. D. Beet, Royal Flying Corps.
2152 Second Class .Air Mechanic H. Dewhurst, Royal Flying Corps.
2761 Second Class .Air Mechanic J. H. Dollittle, Royal Flying Corps.
354 Cpl. S. C. Griggs, Royal Flying Corps.
2008 Second Class .Air Mechanic J. E. Prance, Royal Flying Corps.
To each of these names is appended the following note :
For gallant conduct and valuable service on the night of March 10-11, 1915, in assisting to repair one of our aeroplanes which had been forced to descend near the firing line whilst being heavily shelled by the enemy. The machine was enabled to fly away by the following morning,

The Aeroplane June 9th 1915.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ROBPUGH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Nov 2015 at 21:37
London Gazette, 3 June, 1915
Distinguished Conduct Medals
2763 2nd Class Air Mechanic Beet, H.D., Royal Flying Corps.
2152 2nd Class Air Mechanic Dewhurst, H., Royal Flying Corps.
2761 2nd Class Air Mechanic Dollittle, J.H., Royal Flying Corps.
2008 2nd Class Air Mechanic Prance, J.E., Royal Flying Corps.
For gallant conduct and valuable services on the night of 10 – 11 March, 1915, in assisting to repair one of our aeroplanes which had been forced to descend near the firing line whilst being heavily shelled by the enemy. The machine was enabled to fly away by the following morning.
 
354 Corporal Griggs, S.C., Royal Flying Corps.
For gallant conduct and exceptionally good work on 10 – 11 March, 1915, in assisting to repair one of our aeroplanes close to the front line of trenches, under heavy shell fire.


Edited by ROBPUGH - 08 Dec 2015 at 14:32
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ROBPUGH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Nov 2015 at 23:04

Records of Service with No.9 (Wireless) Squadron
GHQ 3rd Echelon Daily Orders Part II
HQ R.F.C. (France) Daily Routine Orders
Cross & Cockade International Journal
Service Records
No.4 Squadron Field Returns
 
No.2763 Beet, Henry Daniel
(2/A.M.) Posted from Home Unit to No.9 (Wireless) Sqn, 27 Jan 1915.
(2/A.M.) Transferred from ‘C’ Flight, No.9 (Wireless) Sqn to No.16 Sqn on dis-establishment, 22 Mar 1915.
(2/A.M.) Awarded the “D.C.M.” (Authy. “Rewards etc.” issued by Field Marshall, Commanding in Chief dated 27 Mar 1915 List No.20).
H.D. Beet, Flight, July 2, 1915
 
No.2152 Dewhurst, Herbert
(2/A.M.) Posted from Home Unit to No.9 (Wireless) Sqn, 18 Jan 1915.
(2/A.M.) Transferred from ‘C’ Flight, No.9 (Wireless) Sqn to No.16 Sqn on dis-establishment, 22 Mar 1915.
(2/A.M.) Awarded the “D.C.M.” (Authy. “Rewards etc.” issued by Field Marshall, Commanding in Chief dated 27 Mar 1915 List No.20).
H. Dewhurst, Flight, July 2, 1915
 
No.2761 Dollittle, John Henry
(2/A.M.) Posted from Home Unit to No.9 (Wireless) Sqn, 27 Jan 1915.
(2/A.M.) Awarded 1 days F.P. No.2, 9 Feb 1915 for “Absence”.
(2/A.M.) Appointed 1st Class Air Mechanic, 1 Mar 1915.
(1/A.M.) Transferred from ‘C’ Flight, No.9 (Wireless) Sqn to No.16 Sqn on dis-establishment, 22 Mar 1915.
(1/A.M.) Awarded the “D.C.M.” (Authy. “Rewards etc.” issued by Field Marshall, Commanding in Chief dated 27 Mar 1915 List No.20).
J.H. Dollittle, Flight, July 2, 1915
 
No.2008 Prance, John Edward
(2/A.M.) Posted from Home Unit to No.9 (Wireless) Sqn, 18 Jan 1915.
(2/A.M.) Appointed 1st Class Air Mechanic, 1 Mar 1915 (Service Record states with No.16 Sqn at this date).
(1/A.M.) Transferred from ‘C’ Flight, No.9 (Wireless) Sqn to No.16 Sqn on dis-establishment, 22 Mar 1915.
(1/A.M.) Awarded the “D.C.M.” (Authy. “Rewards etc.” issued by Field Marshall, Commanding in Chief dated 27 Mar 1915 List No.20).
J.E. Prance, Flight, July 2, 1915
 
No.354 Griggs, Sidney Charles
(1/A.M.) With 'C' Flight, No.4 Squadron, arrived for duty, 20 Sept 1914.
(1/A.M.) Posted from No.4 Sqn to Headquarters Wireless Telegraphy Unit, 8 Nov 1914.
(1/A.M.) Promoted Corporal, 20 Nov 1914.
(Cpl) Posted from Headquarters Wireless Telegraphy Unit to No.9 (Wireless) Sqn, 8 Dec 1914.
(Cpl) Transferred from ‘C’ Flight, No.9 (Wireless) Sqn to No.16 Sqn on dis-establishment, 22 Mar 1915.
S.C. Griggs with D.C.M. ribbon
 S.C. Griggs, Flight, July 2, 1915
 
Appointments, Commissions, Rewards etc.
Honours and Rewards
The following is an extract from a list of Appointments, Commissions, Rewards etc. approved by the Field Marshal Commanding in Chief, The Forces in the Field, dated 27 March 1915 –
Under authority granted by His Majesty the King to the Field Marshal Commanding in Chief, the undermentioned Officers, Non Commissioned Officers and Men have been awarded decorations as shown –
The Distinguished Conduct Medal
2763 Air Mechanic Beet.
2761 Air Mechanic Dollittle.
2152 Air Mechanic Dewhurst.
2008 Air Mechanic Prance.
 
Honours and Rewards
The following is an extract from a list of Honours and Rewards etc. approved by the Field Marshal Commanding in Chief, The Forces in the Field, dated 10 April 1915 –
Under authority granted by His Majesty the King to the Field Marshal Commanding in Chief, the undermentioned Officers, Warrant Officers, Non Commissioned Officers and Men have been awarded decorations as shown –
Distinguished Conduct Medal
Royal Flying Corps
354 Corporal S. C. Griggs.


Edited by ROBPUGH - 03 Dec 2015 at 19:18
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ROBPUGH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Nov 2015 at 23:24

1/A.M. John Edward Prance No.2008
No.9 Squadron Royal Flying Corps

J.E. Prance, Flight, July 2, 1915

THE NORTH DEVON JOURNAL, MARCH 25, 1915
BIDEFORDIAN’S EXPERIENCES IN NEUVE CHAPELLE FIGHT
Capt. S. Prance, Bideford Harbour Master, has received from Pte. J. Prance, Royal Flying Corps, the eldest of his four sons who joined the Forces on the outbreak of War, a letter in the course of which he says: -
“I have been very busy this week, but I have some good news for you. I expect you will have heard of the great success which has been gained by our troops; you will watch with interest the list of those mentioned in despatches. On the 10th, during the great battle, one of our machines was shot down by the Germans, and four of us went out to see what could be done to it. We found that it was badly holed in the tank, so we started to work, but could not do anything because the Germans were shelling it for all they were worth. They soon had the range, because the machine was in front of our guns, which they had been shelling all the morning, but did little damage to them. However, the shells were falling around us, and one came so close to me that the mud came all over me. We still kept to work, but things got so hot that we were told to leave it until night came on, and then we went out again and repaired it. We then got the machine away safely and the Germans did not get it after all. It was the grandest thing you could see in a lifetime to see all our guns firing. The Germans were leaving their trenches like rats. I am pleased to say I have been promoted to my first class, and am enjoying the best of health.”


Edited by ROBPUGH - 27 Nov 2015 at 23:27
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ROBPUGH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Dec 2015 at 20:05
Thanks Morris for your 'The Aeroplane' post. Sorry for the delay, I have been waiting for a post to be approved (hopefully soon) of their London Gazette entries.

Does anyone know which aircraft, shot down by German ground fire on 10 March 1915, these brave gentlemen repaired under fire?
I would assume it was a 'C' Flight, No.9 (Wireless) Squadron aircraft, and the crew were not injured?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ROBPUGH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Dec 2015 at 18:34

The Aeroplane

Wednesday, June 16, 1915

 A subaltern in the British Army, who has contributed to the “English Review” several most graphic sketches of what active service really means, makes an interesting reference to aircraft in his description of the incidents connected with [the] capture of Neuve Chapelle published in the issue for June, 1915: -

“Again and again the squat, black howitzers, peeping from their screen of leaves, belch forth flame, jerk up their heads, and are immediately surrounded by their little crowd of attendant gunners. Ceaselessly overhead the aeroplanes, English and French, pass to and fro. Suddenly, without warning, a wailing shriek rends the air. A 16-inch German shell coming! We look up, No! We are petrified. For one appalling second we watch an aeroplane, crumpled, disintegrating, hurtle five hundred feet through the air – fall like a stone to the ground.

“Half an hour later another little procession passes along the road. Two stretchers, four bearers to each, two bodies cased in leather, inconceivably torn and battered. So the two aviators, Irving and Morgan, had died. We walked along the road and there, three hundred yards away, in a rickyard, was the shapeless, twisted mass of canvas, wood, and steel that once had been an aeroplane. Hard hit by the German guns, it had flown painfully down to our lines, only to crumple up at safety’s door.

“And presently, a few fields off, another aeroplane descends. This time safety has been reached by a hair’s breadth. The two aviators show us their machine, smiling calmly the while. The petrol tank has a hole large enough to put your arm in. All the way from La Bassee, where the German shrapnel burst around it for half an hour on end, it had been leaking furiously. A narrow shave – but that is the sort of thing our aviators regard as a joke.”

[It is generally understood in the R.F.C. that Mr. Morgan’s machine was hit by one of our own shells while going out low down in the fog, which prevented the pilot from reaching a safe altitude before starting out from behind our guns. – Ed.]
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ROBPUGH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Dec 2015 at 14:24
London Gazette, 3 June, 1915
Distinguished Conduct Medals
2763 2nd Class Air Mechanic Beet, H.D., Royal Flying Corps.
2152 2nd Class Air Mechanic Dewhurst, H., Royal Flying Corps.
2761 2nd Class Air Mechanic Dollittle, J.H., Royal Flying Corps.
2008 2nd Class Air Mechanic Prance, J.E., Royal Flying Corps.
For gallant conduct and valuable services on the night of 10 – 11 March, 1915, in assisting to repair one of our aeroplanes which had been forced to descend near the firing line whilst being heavily shelled by the enemy. The machine was enabled to fly away by the following morning.
 
354 Corporal Griggs, S.C., Royal Flying Corps.
For gallant conduct and exceptionally good work on 10 – 11 March, 1915, in assisting to repair one of our aeroplanes close to the front line of trenches, under heavy shell fire.


Edited by ROBPUGH - 08 Dec 2015 at 14:31
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 354 Griggs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 2016 at 11:47
From my visit to RAF Hendon archives. They have photos and clippings donated by Sidney Charles Griggs daughter. They also have his medals, including the DCM. SC Griggs is my GG Uncle.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 354 Griggs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Jun 2016 at 19:23
ROBPUGH, can you tell me how you got hold of the info on movements for these men? I have SC Griggs service record from the RAF archive but it does not include movements prior to 1/4/1918, just details of promotions.
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