10 February 2010, 01:54 PM
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Sussex by the Sea
Third picture seems to be FE2D. Serial number A3 served with 20 squadron, but I am not aware of it being lost east of the lines. Serial numbers A31 and A38 were also 20 squadron and were lost east of the lines 6th February 1917: In ‘A-31’ Lt’s Lucas & Gibbon were both killed. In the other ‘A38’ Lt. M.E. Woods POW, unwounded,but Lt. E.B. Maule was killed.
I think A31 is prime candidate: the guy 3rd from right has his right arm partly obscuring what could be the number 1 as in A'31: do you know the number for sure?
If it is either A31 or A38 here's an interesting fact: the Germans dropped a message over the lines the following day which reads as follows:
“We inform you …that on 6th February out of a squadron of three ‘Vickers’ DD*’ (260 Rolls Royce) 2 machines were shot down. In one of them, ‘A-31’, Lt’s Gibbon and Lucas dead. In the other ‘A38’ Lt. M.E. Woods unwounded, in captivity. Lt. E.B. Maule dead. Be good enough to forward enclosed letter from Lt. Woods.
We express our sympathy.
Lt. C. Traeger.”
The Germans also enclosed a photograph of Maule's grave, attached. Not sure why they got the date wrong on the cross, unless that was simply the date they found and buried him. The German letter is held at the National Archives at Kew, but Woods' letter has not survived.
I think the German letter makes for a valuable lesson in chivalry.
BTW: Guessing now: First pic a Nieuport 17? Second a SE5?
Driver T2/10816 G Tester, born Kirkcaldy, Fifeshire: A.S.C. & Aerial Gunner 20 Squadron RFC - my maternal grandfather: Killed in aerial combat 28.09.1917: Pont du Hem Military Cemetery, France.
Able Seaman J McCullagh, born Co. Wicklow, Ireland: my Great Uncle: Killed in action, SS Mavisbrook, 17th May 1918.
Captain R A Sellwood, born London: 44th Bn C.E.F. - My paternal Grandfather - Survived
The Union Flag runs in my veins.