The son of Walter & Emma Southey, Walter Alfred Southey joined the army in February 1916. He was promoted to temporary 2nd Lieutenant (on probation) with the Royal Flying Corps on 5 August 1916. In 1917 he joined 48 Squadron as a Bristol Fighter pilot. He scored no victories until he was reassigned to 84 Squadron in April 1918. Becoming a flight commander during the summer of 1918, he narrowly escaped capture when he inadvertently landed his aircraft behind enemy lines. Flying the S.E.5a, Southey was credit with twenty victories. He died as the result of an unknown accident which fractured his skull.
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Lieut. (T./Capt.) Walter Alfred Southey.
A gallant and skilful officer. On the 9th August, observing a large body of enemy troops and artillery on a road, he descended to 50 feet and bombed them, causing heavy casualties; he then engaged them with machine-gun fire, inflicting further loss and scattering them in all directions. He displays great courage in the air, having accounted for seven enemy aircraft.
Supplement to the London Gazette, 2 November 1918 (30989/12973)
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) Bar
Lt. (A./Capt.) Walter Alfred Southey, D.F.C. (FRANCE)
An officer of ready resource whose skilful leadership is of the greatest value to his squadron. Since 23rd August Captain Southey has destroyed five enemy kite balloons and three machines, while he has also driven down two aircraft completely out of control.
Supplement to the London Gazette, 8 February 1919 (31170/2034)