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WW1 DFM(Egypt) Research Help Requested

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FZ1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Oct 2012 at 12:15
Hi Nick,
 
No worries about the books, always useful to have reference material!
 
Thanks very much for all your suggestions.  I think you're right about the New Year's honour rather than an "immediate" award because there are about 20 other awards all listed in the same Gazette, all without citations.
 
I'm fairly sure that Foster was a "flyer" (even if not an official observer, gunner or whatever) because the DFM was only awarded for flying duties in the face of the enemy (or words to that effect) and his RAF record shows him as receiving flying pay.
 
I can't de-cypher the second location either.  I asked TNA if I could see the orginal record because the scan is so poor, but they said I had to justify why the scan wasn't good enough, etc.  I didn't have time to argue, so I'll go early next time and try again!
 
The info about the wireless training scheme is really interesting and (as you say) seems to fit with his Wireless Operator trade and the other info we have.  Foster joined the RNAS in Jan 1918, so it'll be interesting to see if the training scheme was still running then - I'll try asking the Museum at Yeovilton about that one in case they have attendance rolls.
 
Thanks very much for all your time & effort Nick, its really appreciated.
 
Jon
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickForder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Oct 2012 at 17:59
I had a look for Foster on Ancestry today (a pleasant change from looking for railway workers) and note that he is recorded, variously, as 'Kimberley William Foster' and 'William Kimberley Foster', whereas the Royal Navy prefers 'Wm K Foster'...
 
Anyway, he was born at Steyning, Brighton, Sussex. His parents were Henry Charles T Foster (born St Aldgates, Oxfordshire & 38 in 1911) and Kate (34 in 1911). In 1901 they were living at 14 Boulter Street, Oxford, and Henry was employed as a Chemist (Manager). Also at that address in 1901 were Gladys May Cayersham Foster (6) and Cyril Harry Foster (3).
 
By 1911 things had gone a bit awry as the family was now living at 76 Furness Road, Harlesden N W (Parish of Willesden) and Henry was now a Chemist's assistant. Doris Mabel Foster (8) had been added to the family, and Kate Lillian Harris (28) was living with them also.
 
I couldn't find a marriage or a date of death, but time wasn't on my side...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FZ1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Oct 2012 at 13:05
Thanks for the ancestry/Census info Nick, I'll have a dig round for the marriage/death info.
 
I found the History of Telegraphy book on the net, but too pricey for me, so I'll get it through the library I think.
 
In the meantime, back to trying to suss out where he served!
 
Jon
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FZ1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Oct 2012 at 22:59
Dear all,
 
According to "The War in the Air", 63 Wing consisted of two squadrons of Short Type 184 seaplanes.  Anyone got any idea which two squadrons these were?
 
Thanks,
 
Jon
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickForder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 Oct 2012 at 08:25
Jon,
The second entry after 'Daedalus' on Foster's record of service is 'E'church' = 'Eastchurch'.
 
I note the Honours & Awards supplment for the April 1920 Air Force List notes him as "232634 AM3 WK Foster 1.1.1919" (i.e. transposing the first two digits of his service number).
 
Nick 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FZ1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Oct 2012 at 15:09
Thanks Nick - good "decode" on the location!
 
Having now received the RNAS "serials" book, I've been able to answer my own question about the two Squadrons - 269 and 270.
 
Jon
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FZ1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Feb 2013 at 22:49
Hi Folks,

A quick update on this research project ............. er, nothing!

To recap, we know that he:
  • enlisted in he RNAS as a Boy Mechanic in July 1917
  • was classed as a AM2 W/T on his 18th Birthday on 19/1/1918 
  • was posted to the Eastern Med on 12/2/1918
  • received flying pay from 12/2/1918 until 21/1/1919 (until 31/3/1918 with RNAS, thereafter, RAF)
  • flew as a wireless operator
  • was awarded a non-immediate DFM
  • his DFM is confirmed in several publications as well as the London Gazette

I've got some basic details of his pre-service life (Census, etc) from Ancestry, but very little on his service.

In summary, I've tried:
  • The National Archive (got service records, but no other mentions in Sqn or Wing records)
  • RAF Museum
  • Fleet Air Arm Museum
  • British Newpaper Archive
  • Marconi Association (Marconi Veterans)
  • DH4/DH9 book
  • RNAS Serials book

The FAA museum told me that the don't have records of ships companies, so looking for him via that route seems to be a blind alley.

Possibilities are that he was on Short 184 or Felixtowe F3 flying boats, but can't find any reference in the National Archive records (they're a bit sparce).  We know he was definitely engaged on operational flying because he won the DFM not AFM.

If anyone's got any other ideas or leads, I'd be most gratreful for any suggestions.

Thanks,

Jon



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FZ1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2016 at 14:23
Dear all,

Just thought I'd post a brief update to this research.  Publication of the 1939 register enabled me to find Foster working as an electrical switchgear draughtsman at English Electric in Stafford and that he was an ARP warden for the works.  I've even got a couple of photos of the drawing office team he worked with, but not sure which one he is!

I'm still trying to suss out which unit/location he flew with/from in 1918, so if anyone has any other ideas for souces, I'd be grateful for any more suggestions.

Thanks

Jon
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote nieuport11 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2016 at 23:32
Note that the TNA has indexed him as William Himberley Foster in AIR 79/2092/232634
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FZ1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2016 at 21:38
Looking at his service record, the handwritten capital K does indeed look like an H, so presumably that's why the indexing typo.
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