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Remembered Today:

2nd Lt Martin Wallace


malcway
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Hello all - I have just started to try and find out what I can about a friend's father and in particular his WW1 service. I have very little to go on, and am hoping that perhaps some kind soul could spare a few minutes the next time they are at the National Archives to see what there is. The mans name was Martin Wallace, he was born in Manchester in the first quarter of 1900, and he was wounded on September 1st, 1918, while a 2nd Lt in the RAF. I have not found his notice of commissioning in the Gazette, but have found the notice confirming his transfer to the unemployed list in the 1st April, 1919 edition.

His son, my friend, has his father's Victory and War Medal together with the telegram dated 4th September 1918 advizing his family about his wounding in a display case. He is going to check the engraving on the side, but presumably it will say only "2nd Lt M Wallace, RAF"? He did receive a disability pension, so hopefully there will be something in the PMG records. At this stage ANY help at all will be most welcome, as I am not expecting to go to Kew myself for several months. A service number and/or information on what Squadron(s) he served with would be of particular help!

Malcolm Wayland

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Malcolm,

I have 2Lt M Wallace being wounded that day whilst an observer in a Bristol F2b of L Flight. This was one of a number of deep reconnaissance flights.

On July 1st, Capt BE Catchpole of 21 Squadron received orders to form and command L Flight, the first of five independent units to be attached to each Army Headquarters for long-distance artillery spotting and reconnaissance. The others were M, N, 0 and P Flights, and all were equipped with Bristol Fighters fitted with two-way wireless sets for communicating with the 12” and 14” gun batteries for whom they worked. Wallace presumably was wounded on one such operation, though his aircraft and pilot remain unknown.

Hope this helps,

Trevor

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His medal entitlement may be shown on microfilm at Kew in the naval alphabetical medal roll ADM 171/91; this will probably have a remark, that they were issued by the AM - Air Minestry. His RAF service record could be in AIR 76/526, also on microfilm at Kew.

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Gentlemen, thank you all so much. My friend was very surprised to hear of the RNAS connection, and as the On-Line Document service isn't available at the weekend I will have to wait until tomorrow to see what the http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalog...5162802&j=1 link will yield. However, I'm almost certain that this has to be THE M Wallace we are looking for. We know he blagged his way into the military at a very tender age - he was caught once and sent packing, and if the post by Lt Col IPT is about our man he would have been only 17 when he entered the RNAS. Trevor, can I ask where you found the reference to our man? I'd love to be able to give my friend a copy. Once again, my sincere thanks to all three of you for taking the time and trouble to assist me.

Malcolm

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Hi Malcolm,

The reference to 2Lt Wallace in TSTB would not have come off a Casualty Report - that would have given the fuller picture of serial, pilot etc. I am almost certain it came off a parallel set of casualty records (out at the National Archives, Kew) which I've always thought of as "the Indexed Lists" - these seem to have been assembled as a separate record, more or less at the time, and pick up a lot of additional casualties that slipped through the net of being reported on a "Casualty Report" per se.

The only problem is that these indexed lists are not themselves comprehensive, and also I suspect they are not quite the "primary source" Casualty Reports are as they were probably assembled "remote" from the action, so to speak. Nor do they give very much detail - just a name and a generic brief record of KIA WIA etc. But they did give a lot of extra names and are, in the main, very reliable and useful.

The file I suspect Wallace would have been in is AIR1 969/204/5/1102 - this is the indexed list for Aug 1 1918 until 5 April 1919. Mention of this man may not a lot more than a line of type on a page, rather than a form.

The brief bit about L Flt I just cobbled together from bits and pieces. There's not much on these Flights at Kew, that I can find. Might be worth searching for L Flight in AIR1 on the National Archives site. If you could find any form of "Squadron" Record Book then all sorts of additional material might reveal itself.

Hope this helps,

Trevor

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  • 2 weeks later...

Have just returned from holiday and am trying to progress this again. IPT, I used the link you provided to the National Archives and got two images for my money. It's very strange, because the Martin Wallace here is the right age, and yet his Next of Kin and the address he gave don't tie in with that of my friends father - unless there was some false information being supplied!. It also appears that the Martin Wallace here had a very short RNAS career - he was deemed unsuitable to be a pilot, complaining of lack of confidence in the air and headaches post-flight! The record states that he was going to try for an army commission upon his discharge on 8th Feb 1918.

I wonder if this IS my friends father, and perhaps he decided to become an observer? This would then tie in with Trevor's findings about an Observer Martin Wallace being wounded in his book, "The Sky Their Battlefield". I have also done some basic research on 'L' Flight, the unit Wallace was with, but have found very little of substance, other than the aerodrome that the unit was using in August 1918 (http://clubweb.interbaun.com/~milesc/major_battle.htm).

I suppose that it will take a visit to Kew to see his RAF Service record in the AIR 76/256 documents to establish any more. If anyone should be there one day and find themselves with nothing to do for a few minutes... Anyway, it is quite interesting, and I have tried to upload a resized version of one of the NA images. Thanks again to all who have responded, and if there's a reasonably priced copy of "The Sky Their Battlefield " going spare please let me know!!

Regards

Malcolm

post-4194-1258286734.jpg

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Since you opened this thread the RAF officer's records have become available through documents online. It looks like he was not the only RAF officer of that name to be born in the first quarter of 1900! It is possible that neither of these men are the one from the RNAS, unless the data entry for the one born in January has misinterpreted the 7 for a 4.

Name Wallace, Martin

Date of birth: 10 February 1900

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documen...p;resultcount=2

Name Wallace, Martin

Date of birth: 04 January 1900

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documen...p;resultcount=2

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Per Ardua, thank you so much! Talk about a fast reply - this is just wonderful! Even if I end up downloading both files it will still be cheaper - and much faster - than I could have hoped for had I needed to visit the NA to get the info. I am most grateful for your continued interest, and will report back once I have downloaded the documents. EDIT: Lucky first time!! It was the 10 Feb 1900 one. Now, if anyone more accustomed to these records can assist with some deciphering of handwriting and abbreviations, etc, then I can impress my friend even more!

Best wishes

M

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you upload the sections you're interested in; someone may be along to help decipher them.

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