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Second Lieutenant John Everard Weston


Adam Llewellyn
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Good day all,

Would any kind pal have further information on John or the 4th squadron please. John is remembered on the Glenfield Memorial and I believe that he was born in Glenfield.

Regards. Llew.

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Some files at Kew:

AIR 1/1278/204/10/38 4 Squadron casualties. 1918 Apr. - Nov.

AIR 1/8/15/1/4 R.F.C.-loss of Squadron Record books of the first 4 squadrons in France. 1918 Oct.21-1919 Oct.24

RAF service record probably in: AIR 76/540 (name Westley, Arnold - Wheeler, George)

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Llew

2Lt John Everard Weston from Glenfield, Leicestershire, was the observer in RE 8 C2444 of No 4 Sqn RAF, flown by Lt Sydney Moxey, when both airmen were killed in action on 14 July 1918. The RE 8 was on an Artillery Observation mission when it was shot down after aerial combat at 07:45. Both airmen are buried at Longuenesse, France.

No 4 Sqn was based at St-Omer at the time.

There doesn't appear to be a German fighter pilot claim to match the loss of C2444.

I hope that this helps you.

Gareth

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Thank you both, your time is much appreciated.

Gareth,

Would John have always been the observer or was he capable of flying the aircraft, and would the 4th squadrons roll have been mainly based on observation missions.

Regards. Llew.

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Llew,

In the summer of '18 4Sqn were mostly occupied with artillery work, reconnaissance and photographic reconnaissance. They were in 2nd (Corps) Wing of II Bgde, and were thus serving the Second Army.

As to whether 2Lt Weston was capable of flying the RE8 there is not a straightforward answer to that. Opinion differed in pilots' minds as to whether it was a good idea, or a bad one, to give their observers some training in the fundamentals of aircraft control. Clearly, some observers/gunners knew what to do because several saved their lives and and the lives of their pilots by getting their machines back down after the pilot had been incapacitated. There are discussions elsewhere on this forum about dual controls - that other Corps machine the AW FK8 had it to some extent, just for such an emergency. Then there were those other pilots who thought the best thing an observer could be doing during an attack - even if the pilot had been wounded - was to be firing his gun at the enemy, rather than to be taking over the flying. You were both dead if you did that. Harvey talks about this quite strongly in his history of 22 Sqn, I recall (Pi in the Sky).

Regards,

Trevor

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Thank you Trevor, again your time is much appreciated. The information that you have added all goes towards the bigger picture.

Regards. Llew.

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Llew

You stated that you believe John Everard Weston was born in Glenfield, Leicestershire; the 1901 Census

for England confirms Glenfield as his birthplace, as well as his residence in 1901. He was probably born

in 1892, very early in the year, as his birth was registered at Blaby, Leicestershire, during the 1st quarter

(January-March) of 1892. His parents were John and Alice Weston and he had two older sisters

(Margaret A. & Mary E.); his parents were living in Leicester, Leicestershire after the war. His

Commonwealth War Graves Commission listing states that he was a "native of Glenfield," so this

fact is confirmed by both census and CWGC; CWGC also lists his age as 26 at the time of his death.

I hope this was helpful.

Trelawney

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