The Forum is administered separately from the rest of the website - please log in below to post
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - WW1 DFM(Egypt) Research Help Requested
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

WW1 DFM(Egypt) Research Help Requested

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  123>
Author
FZ1 View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie


Joined: 07 Oct 2012
Location: Cambridgeshire
Status: Offline
Points: 21
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FZ1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: WW1 DFM(Egypt) Research Help Requested
    Posted: 07 Oct 2012 at 17:33
Dear all,
 
I've posted this request on a couple of other forums, but Andy suggested that the membership of C&C might be able to help with this research query.
 
William Kimberley Foster won the DFM in 1918 and was Gazetted on 1.1.19 along with several others with no citation. He's listed in Tavender's DFM recipients book, I have his RNAS service record and RAF service recordfrom the National Archives (links to images at the foot of this message) but I can get no further with searching the National Archives for any indication of location, Squadron or a recommendation for the award. The RAF Museum also drew a blank.

I assume that the rank of AM3 on the medal means that he won it between 3/6/18 (institution of the DFM) and October when the authority for his promotion to 2AM is noted.

His service record shows him as a Wireless Operator and drawing flying pay with the from 1 April 1918 until early 1919 and earlier than that with the RNAS.

From the service record, I can see Eastern Mediterranean and Egypt as locations (and reference to 63 Wing in his promotion "authority" column) but I can't get any further with useful research.

I trawled the records of 144 Sqn (a "two seater" squadron linked to 63 Wing) but there's no mention of him in their records, so I have discounted that option. The National Archive records for 220 and 226 Sqn are minimal, so no joy there.
I believe that there might be a section in the National Archives (part of AIR 1) that holds recommendations, but I've not managed to find anything yet. Irrespective of the recommendation itself, I'm really keen to find out which unit/Sqn Foster served on and to find out more about the operations that unit was engaged in.

If anyone can help me progress or give me any pointers about identifying a unit/squadron and/or locating a recommendation, I would be very grateful.

Thanks in advance,

Jon
 
 
 
 
 
 
Back to Top
FZ1 View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie


Joined: 07 Oct 2012
Location: Cambridgeshire
Status: Offline
Points: 21
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FZ1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Oct 2012 at 00:56
Sorry, last link goes to wrong image.  Correct link for RNAS record is:


Jon

Back to Top
Jonathan Saunders View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie


Joined: 17 Apr 2009
Status: Offline
Points: 37
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jonathan Saunders Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Oct 2012 at 09:06
If you know what village/town/area he or his parents lived, then have you tried local newspapers?  These are a really useful resource and where I obtain a lot of minutae details relating to both general service and gallantry awards.
 
Regards,
 
Jonathan S
Back to Top
FZ1 View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie


Joined: 07 Oct 2012
Location: Cambridgeshire
Status: Offline
Points: 21
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FZ1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Oct 2012 at 15:21
Thanks Jonathan.
 
His next of Kin address is in Hampstead, so that's a start.  I've tried searching the British Newspaper Archive site without success.  Camden council have an archive of the Hampstead and Highgate Express from 1875 to date, so I might see if I can take a day-trip to their archive.
 
Jon
 
Back to Top
NickForder View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 01 Jun 2009
Location: Bolton
Status: Offline
Points: 1369
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickForder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Oct 2012 at 16:40
144 Squadron was a DH9 unit, so I would check the Air-Britain File on the DH4/9/9A.
 
As Foster has 'previous' in the RNAS, I would check the Air-Britain book on RNAS Serials also.
 
According to the RAF website,"No 144 Squadron, RFC, was formed at Port Said, Egypt, on 2Oth March 1918. On 14th August it came under the orders of the Palestine Brigade, Royal Air Force, and by the end of the month it had been fully equipped as a bombing squadron with DH9s at Junction Station.

On the opening of the final offensive in Palestine, No 144 Squadron was with the 4Oth (Army) Wing and had 13 DH9s on charge. There was no special air activity before the offensive so that the enemy should not be warned of our intentions, but No. 144 Squadron made two important bombing raids on Der'a station in conjunction with the operations of the Arab Northern Army under Sherif Feisal and Colonel TE Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) in the eastern area on the 16th and 17th September. When the offensive began on the coastal sector on 19th September an initial bombing offensive was directed against the main Turkish telegraphic and telephonic centres whose positions were known from intelligence sources and from air photographs. No 144 Squadron bombed the central telephone exchange at El 'Affule and the headquarters and telephone exchange of the Turkish Seventh Army at Nablus, and (it seems) effectively cut the enemy's telephone communications at a vital time.

By 20th September the enemy was in headlong retreat. In the west the Turkish Eighth Army had been shattered and its remnants, together with the Seventh Army in the centre, were retiring to their doom. On the following day they were trapped in the Wadi el Far'a and completely wiped out by air attack with all RAF squadrons being concentrated in the attack. No 144 Squadron then co-operated in the advance east of the Jordan, which resulted in the capture of the Turkish Fourth Army.

At the end of September a flight of No 144 Squadron was stationed at Haifa to co-operate with the XXI Corps during its advance on Beirut, but elsewhere, with the rapid pursuit of the enemy, the opportunities and facilities for bombing had diminished. In October the squadron moved to Mudros, Greece, but by the end of the year it had returned to England. It was disbanded at Ford Junction on 4th February 1919."

Back to Top
FZ1 View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie


Joined: 07 Oct 2012
Location: Cambridgeshire
Status: Offline
Points: 21
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FZ1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Oct 2012 at 17:10
Thanks for the pointers Nick. 
 
I had a good look through the war diary and all the daily routine orders, etc, for 144 Sqn at the National Archive but could find no mention of my man in there which is why I discounted that as my man's unit.  Other possible Squadron papers at TNA (220, 226, etc) were non-existant and the Wing records didn't go into the level of detail of naming other ranks.
 
Regarding the reference materials you mention, I have found a copy of the DH4/9 file on the Web, but can't find the RNAS serials one that you mention.  Do you have any more info please? (Full Title? Author? ISBN, etc?)
 
Many thanks for the help.
 
Jon
 
 
Back to Top
NickForder View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 01 Jun 2009
Location: Bolton
Status: Offline
Points: 1369
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickForder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Oct 2012 at 17:57
Jon
Go to the Air-Britain website, and I think that you will find both books in the 'reduced' section !!
 
Royal Navy Aircraft Serials 1911-1919 by Sturtivant, Ray & Page, Gordon
 
Both books are absolute bargains (even at full price). Alternatively, you can wait until Monday and I'll search through them instead.
Nick
Back to Top
FZ1 View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie


Joined: 07 Oct 2012
Location: Cambridgeshire
Status: Offline
Points: 21
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FZ1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Oct 2012 at 18:35
Nick - Got it, thanks.
 
Have ordered both because, as you say,  they are a really good price and I can never have enough reference books (my Mrs would disagree strongly on that one though!)
 
Jon
 
Back to Top
NickForder View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 01 Jun 2009
Location: Bolton
Status: Offline
Points: 1369
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickForder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Oct 2012 at 09:03
Jon,
I note from the RNAS papers that Foster was an electrical engineer from Brighton, and a Boy Mechanic before he reached his majority on 19 January, 1918.
 
So, would this make him a volunteer below the age of conscription when he joined, on 2 July, 1917 ?
 
As his 'occupation' was electrical engineer on enlistment, aged 17, I do wonder if he was actually an apprentice electrical engineer ?
 
He isn't in the British Westinghouse apprentice register, but there are lots of other companies, such as BTH in Rugby.
 
However, the Institute of Electrical Engineers might be worth approaching.
 
The naval service record notes Daedalus (Cranwell) and then a second 'ship' "E'churete" (?!?) ~ any idea what that is ?
 
As his trade is 'wireless operator' he may not be aircrew at all; he would be attached to an artillery battery to be the ground communication link for art obs. There were 'listening posts' for radio traffic set up along the UK coastline, and at least one in the Dardanelles, listening to German naval and airship communications, so he may have been involved with that. Also, he might have been operating with the Navy, spotting for warship guns.  
 
A final thought is that awards tended to come under two categories :  immediate and periodic. The first category as for distinct acts (or series of acts) and have the impressive citations. The periodic are for outstanding work over a period of time, and often do not have specific citations. They are the Birthday and New Year's Honours Lists, and doesn't Foster appear to be on the latter ?
 
There is some evidence of a 'medal allocation' to units at the end of the war, though this does seem to take the form more of MSMs (perhaps because there was a pension attached) and it may be that Foster's name came out of the hat ?
Nick
Back to Top
NickForder View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 01 Jun 2009
Location: Bolton
Status: Offline
Points: 1369
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NickForder Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Oct 2012 at 11:36
Looks like I may have sold you a 'pup' re the Air-Britain books, as I can't find any reference to WK Foster (or near possible) in either of them or 'The Sky Their Battlefield'.
 
However Ken Beuchamp's IEE book 'The History of Telegraphy' notes that Marconi set up a wireless training school at Brooklands. One of the trainers there was RD Bangay, who had worked for American Marconi in 1911 on a series of air-to-ground trials with his own design of spark transmitter. These trails had been carried out with JDA McCurdy, in a Curtiss biplane, over long Island. Later the school was taken over by the military and the Marconi employees were comissioned. Major CE Price, a Marconi engineer from Chelmsford, was put in charge. The school trained 36 'bomber pilots' (sic ~ observers ?) a week. "At about the same time the RNAS initiated the formation of 'boy mechanics for wireless tuition' in 1915. Entrants at the age of seventeen were trained as aircraft wireless operators, and were promoted as uniformed air mechanics upon successful completition of their probation. The course included instruction in electricity and magnetisim and service equipment. This was similar to the RN training for seagoing telegraphists and wireless mechanics. By the end of the war the RAF had 600 aircraft fitted with various types of wireless equipment and the gun batteries of the army were provided with nearly two thousand ground stations, all capable of communicating with RAF aircraft, and manned by a force of seven thousand officers and wireless operators."
 
This seems to fit what is known about Foster, and so I'd be inclined to look for him on a boat with wireless equipped aircraft, based in Egypt....
 
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  123>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 10.03
Copyright ©2001-2011 Web Wiz Ltd.
find us on Facebook Follow us on TwitterGrab our news feed