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Remembered Today:

2nd Lieut. Eustace Carlton Berry attd RFC


ianjonesncl

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Visiting Newcastle Jesmond Saint Andrew's Cemetery CWGC plot I came across a striking memorial of a Royal Flying Corps officer - 2nd Lieutenant Eustace Carlton Berry. The inscription on  his memorial detailed he was a Gunner officer attached to the RFC.

 

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Eustace Carlton Berry was born 21st December 1898 and attended Bedford Grammar School. He commissioned into the Royal Field Artillery 26th May 1916 (Royal Artillery 200th Anniversary), aged 17 years 5 months.  Berry transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and was posted to 58 Squadron RFC based in Cramlington, Northumberland for training.

 

58 Squadron RFC was a training unit formed on 8th June 1916 from a cadre of 36 Squadron RFC. The 36th RFC had been formed in Cramlington on 18th March 1916 to defend the coastline between Newcastle upon Tyne and Whitby against German Zeppelin attacks.

 

On the 5th July 1916, Second Lieutenant Berry was flying as an observer under instruction  in a B.E.2b, aircraft No. 2772, of 36 (Home Defence) Squadron RFC piloted by Lieutenant Frank Leslie Hambly.  The plane crashed in fog at the Scottish village of Reston near to Berwick upon Tweed killing Berry and injuring Hambly.  The Court of Inquiry (C16403) concluded "The cause of the accident was due to the pilot making a forced landing, and, in turning, near to the ground, stalled his machine, resulting in a nose dive"

 

2/Lt E.C. Berry 

Killed in accident in Scotland 5th July 1916

05/07/1916

BE.2b

2772

58Sqn

Crashed at  Reston, near Berwick

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Source: RAF Museum

 

A letter from his Commanding Officer outlines Berry's short war service and demise ;

 Lieut. Berry joined the Royal Flying Corps from Woolwich as an observer under instruction. He showed great promise in his work, and was popular with all the officers. I deeply deplore the death of this promising young officer. On the 5th of July he was making a cross-country flight with Lieut. Hambly as pilot, from Cramlington to Turnhouse Aerodrome, near Edinburgh. After passing Berwick-on-Tweed they ran into thick weather, and, on looking for a landing place, got into fog or low cloud, running into the side of a hill and landing in the centre of a corn field. Lieut. Berry was killed instantaneously, the pilot being injured. A military funeral was held on the 8th instant at Newcastle.'

 

Second Lieutenant Eustace Carlton Berry died aged 17 years 6 months, and was killed 40 days after his commissioning. His Medal Information Card (WO 372/2/116280) records "Home Service" and consequently he did not qualify for any medal.

 

He was buried in Newcastle Jesmond Saint Andrews Cemetery. The CWGC's records record that the headstone as being a private memorial and the inscription was provided by Mrs F.B. Astell C/0 British Consulate General, Barcelona, Spain.

 

BERRY, EUSTACE CARLTON

SECOND LIEUTENANT EUSTACE CARLTON BERRY

Regiment & Unit/Ship: Royal Flying Corps

Date of Death: Died 05 July 1916

Buried or commemorated at NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE (ST. ANDREW'S AND JESMOND) CEMETERY V. U. 54

 

 

Edited by ianjonesncl

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