The son of Fred W. Saunders, Hugh William Lumsden Saunders enlisted in the Witwatersrand Rifles in August 1914 and served with the South African Horse before he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in 1917. Cadet Saunders was promoted to temporary 2nd Lieutenant (on probation) on 2 August 1917. Posted to 84 Squadron in November 1917, he scored fifteen victories flying the S.E.5a in 1918. Post-war, Sir Hugh Saunders remained in the Royal Air Force and, following a very distinguished career, retired with rank of Air Marshal in 1953.
Military Cross (MC)
T./2nd Lt. Hugh William Lumsden Saunders, M.M., Gen. List, attd. R.A.F.
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. During recent operations he destroyed five enemy machines and shot down four out of control. He showed great courage and skill in engaging enemy aircraft, and did splendid service.
Lieut. (T./Capt.) Hugh William Lumsden Saunders, M,C., M.M.
An officer of exceptional courage, who, since he was awarded the M.C., has destroyed five enemy aircraft and shot down two balloons in flames. While on patrol he observed a formation of seven hostile scouts below him. Diving to attack he engaged the leader and firing shoot bursts at close range shot him down nose foremost; the remainder of the formation scattered in all directions.