James Martin Child, the son of Sydney and Constance Child, moved to Canada where he worked in banking and mining. When the war began, he enlisted in the Canadian militia but was unable to deploy with the Canadian contigents and returned to England at his own expense. He served with the Manchester Regiment before transferring to the Royal Flying Corps. 2nd Lieutenant Child received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 2377 on 31 January 1916. After serving with 4 Squadron, he was posted to 19 Squadron in July 1916. With this unit Child scored three victories flying SPADs in 1917. Later that year, he joined 84 Squadron as a captain and downed five more enemy aircraft flying the S.E.5a. In February 1918, he returned to England and whilst serving as an instructor at Turnberry, he was killed when he tried to rescue a fellow airman from the wreckage of a crashed plane.
Great Britain, Royal Aero Club Aviators' Certificates, 1910-1950
British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920
Military Cross (MC)
Lt. (T./Capt.) James Martin Child, Manch.
R. and R.F.C.
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to
duty. While leading a patrol he encountered
four enemy scouts, one of which he
destroyed. On another occasion he
attacked one of two enemy two-seater
machines which he encountered over the
enemy's lines. He disabled the machine,
and skilfully turned it towards our lines,
where the enemy pilot was forced to land
and he and his observer were taken prisoner.
On another occasion he attacked five enemy
scouts, one of which he destroyed. He
showed the greatest judgment and determination.