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14 thoughts on “Your Comments

  1. Trevor,

    The revised edition is a marvel, and has revealed to me deaths which i failed to pick up and include in ‘Sweeping the Skies’, my history of 40 Squadron. For that many thanks.

    I think, on the other hand, there is a 40 squadron loss which you missed, that of 2/Lt Gilbert H E Rippon on 7 June 1916. He was flying DH2 6014, and crashed at Alverstoke. He is buried at Bath. The accident report attributed the crash to the engine cutting owing to ‘ improper adjustment of petrol supply’.

    Best wishes,

    David Gunby

    • Dear David,

      Very many thanks for your kind comments. I am pleased to hear my book has been of such use to you – and all the very best with “Sweeping The Skies”. And I’m doubly pleased to hear from you concerning 2Lt Gilbert Rippon, as I firmly had DH2 6014 with 40 Sqn at Gosport from the 23rd of May 1916, but I’ve never put its service together with this pilot. Many, many thanks. It is now in my master copy on my computer in one of my “bright green” entries to signify another new piece of information!

      Cross and Cockade will get around to a DH2 monograph before too long, and I’ll ensure it’s in there.

      Best regards,


  2. Dear Trevor,
    your book is one of the best books about World War I aviation.
    As an author I used your book and it is an excelletn source to identefy who was in combat with eache other.
    Thank you very much for sharing this information.
    Best regards


  3. I have an art project that involves recreating the journal of a ww1 pilot. I am looking for examples of official german documents like after action reports, delivery slips for new planes or casualty cards., just about anything. I noticed images of docs on your banner. Any suggestions of good places to start to find these linds of documents?

    • Hi Tom,
      Your project sounds interesting. Though by chosing the German side of events you’ve set yourself some challenges! Finding original German documents, certainly for someone based like I am in the UK, is very dififcult. Most of the German information is in rare published works and private research from the middle of last century. I could send you copies of a few pages of what I have. But they are lists – not reports etc.
      In terms of the British air effort the story is completely different – if you can get yourself to the National Archives at Kew in London you can hunt out thousands of documents of the kind you want in a series of files called AIR1. Email me via the contact page if you want. I’d be interested to hear more of your project.
      Best of luck with it.

  4. Trevor:

    Do you have an e-book versiion such as KINDLE? That is an advantage for those of us on the other side of the pond and also for those that like to take their research material with them when they travel.

    Richard CANADA

    • Hi Richard, Nice to hear from you. Unfortunately I don’t have a digital version available – it’s almost 600,000 words long… ! I’ve got one on my computer, but that’s another story! Get in touch if I can help with anything.

      • Trevor:

        I failed to follow up on this original question so as to let others know that I purchased your book in December 2015 and I now understand why it is not in an e-book version as of yet! As you know, I have been using your book on a regular basis to obtain details on Aviator deaths as part of the UNKNOWNS PROJECT here in Canada ( Your dedication to compile all those details and to condense them into such a fantastic resource just blows me away. I suspect that your work will result in dozens of UNKNOWN Commonwealth Aviators being matched to remains in the CWGC Cemeteries. Without your years of work they may have remained unknown forever.

        Congratulations and all the best from your “new fiends” in Canada!


  5. My Maternal Grandfather (Claude Reginald Mason service number 404500) joined the RFC on 24 July 1916 & was transfered to RAF on1 April 1918 he was an Aero Rigger rising to Sergeant Rigger. He was discharged on 3 Feb 1919 as being no longer physical fit. The reason was a plane took of from an airfield crash landed at the end of the field. The ground crew including my Grandfather rushed forward to rescue the air crew but the plane exploded killing many and taking out his left eye.
    Id like to know which squadron he served with and where they were posted.
    I have his cap badge and silver badge, I also have a photo of my Maternal family taken before he lost his eye, at this time he is a sergeant.

    • Hi Chris,
      Nice to hear from you, with your interesting and moving tale about your Grandfather. I’ve spent some time looking in all the usual places, and can find nothing definite about the event where he lost an eye. This is really odd, as you would expect there to be a Casualty Card, at least. But there isn’t!

      However, there are two events I know about which sound like what you’ve described. The first (slightly less likely to be it, I feel) was a 21 Sqn RE8 (D4932) crashing on take-off, and as the bombs exploded and a hangar burst into flames, a Leading Aircraftsman from 2 Sqn, W Harrison, worked through heavy flames to save the life of the Observer. This was on 28 Sept 1918, in France. He was awarded an MSM.

      Months later, on 31 Oct 1918, a 101 Sqn night bomber (FE2b A6518) crashed as it taxied on a test, and burst into flames. Another man, this time Equipment Officer 2 Lt TP Jones, went into the flames to rescue the pilot, but a 112lb bomb blew up in the fire and killed him. I am wondering if this is the event? Note that 101 Sqn had been in France from, I think, late 1917, but their FE2bs had been deployed by the RFC for 2 years by that time. His experience would have been invaluable, on the type.

      All I can think of is to explore more at Kew, in the National Archives. These great men who served in these squadrons as mechanics and non-flying personnel, were loved by their pilots, and they did a wonderful job keeping their crews in the air. If he was with 101 Sqn – and I am hoping he was, as I have a special interest in night bomber units and their men – then I know he worked hard and helped to achieve victory. It was a demanding job, in one of these night squadrons. Come back if I can help. I can’t think of much more specifically though. I wish I could have told you.

      Best regards, Trevor

  6. Dear Trevor
    I would like to contact you re my great Uncle Malcolm Begg MC. I would also like to purchase one of your books. I have some photos you may be interested in as well.
    Is it possible to call you?

    kind regards Robin Begg

  7. Trevor,
    I am currently researching RAF WW2 commander’s experiences during the First World War for a talk to be given to branches of the Western Front Association. Whilst looking for information about Arthur Tedder on 70 Squadron, last year before the lockdown, I photographed a Combat report for the 23rd of March 1917 for 70 Sqn whilst at the National Archives in which 6 Sopwith Strutters were engaged. This resulted in the loss of 3 aircraft with 2 heavily damaged. As a result an observer Lt HF Duncan was awarded the MC shortly after he died of wounds.
    Naturally, as in most cases, I used your outstanding book to get as much information as I could.
    I note, however, in your book on Page 74 that you have the date of the 24th of March to record these events.
    I can send you a copy of the Combat Report as an E mail attachment to confirm the evidence if you wish.

    Kind Regards

    Colin Buxton

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