The son of Alfred and Harriet Newnham, Maurice Ashdown Newnham joined the Royal Flying Corps, at age 17, as a dispatch rider. Assigned to 4 Squadron in France, he was sent back to England for flight training a year and a half later. Shot down by Josef Mai on 25 April 1918, Newnham survived and went on to score 18 victories flying the Sopwith Camel. His Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) citation credited him with 102 offensive patrols during the war.
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Lieut. Maurice Ashdown Newnham.
This officer has taken part in several night-bombing raids and in 102 offensive patrols, many of which he has led with ability and success. On the night of 23rd-24th September Lt. Newnham carried out a very successful long distance raid on an enemy aerodrome. Owing to heavy rain and a strong west wind he had difficulty in reaching his objective. Undeterred by this, he succeeded, and effectively bombed the aerodrome, obtaining two direct hits on a large Zeppelin shed. He then attacked other objectives, descending to ground level to do so. He returned to our lines after a 2½ hours flight.