Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

RFC Researching Lt. Rhys Beynon Davies


Huw Davies

Recommended Posts

Lieutenant. Rhys Beynon Davies came from Llanfair Orllwyn, Cardiganshire. At the young age of 19, when he was a student at St. George's University/College London, he joined the Inns of Court Officer Training Corps on the 3rd May 1915. By the 5th. of August he was made a 2nd. Lieutenant in the Northumberland Fusiliers; promoted to Lieutenant 8th. July1916 and served with the Expeditionary Force in Flanders where he was in charge of a Trench Mortar Battery. On the 23rd. October 1916 he joined the Royal Flying Corps as an observer. He was shot down and wounded over Hulluch Wood on the 11th. December and invalided home.

By the 23rd. February 1917 he had returned to France and was promoted to Flying Officer. On the 1st. May he was killed in a battle a little to the south west of Lens.

His Pilot Officer wrote to his parents:

"I write to tell you in what high regard he was held by those of us in his flight, and what splendid courage he possessed.....as a friend he meant so much to us all. At the time he was hit he was handling his gun with all possible coolness and courage. His death was a very sad blow to us indeed.“

However, whilst going through the papers I found this note left by a previous researcher:

He (Rhys Beynon Davies) was killed by “friendly fire” when shot down by a Frenchman, who claimed that he was blinded by the sun and had not identified the plane as friendly. He was just short of his 21st. birthday.”

If this is true then obviously his Pilot Officer, in an attempt to spare his parents, was 'economical' with the truth. Using online sources I haven't been able to establish whether he was actually shot down by 'friendly fire'.

Were they still not allowed parachutes in the RFC by this time?

Are there any sites where I might find out what actually happened to Lt. Rhys Beynon Davies? If not, could the National Archive or the Imperial War Museum be sources of such information?

Presumably the battle in question was the battle of Arras as that seems to be the only battle in the area stradling the 1st of May 1917.

Most of this information has come du Ruvigny's Roll of Honour and local papers of the period.

I'm fairly new at this research and if anyone could point me in the right direction or has any information I'd be extremely grateful for any help.

Huw Davies

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you seen the CWGC entry?

Name: DAVIES, RHYS BEYNON

Initials: R B

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Second Lieutenant

Regiment/Service: Royal Flying Corps

Secondary Regiment: Northumberland Fusiliers

Secondary Unit Text: and 4th Bn.

Age: 20

Date of Death: 01/05/1917

Additional information: Son of James and Margaret Davies, of Llwyngwern, Henllan, Cardiganshire.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Against North wall of chancel.

Cemetery: MONCHY-BRETON CHURCHYARD

It might be worth checking further into why he is buried in this Churchyard, as it may give a clue as to the Squadron which was either nearby, or is close to the scene of his death, although it sounds as if his pilot made a safe landing.

There is also a brief entry here: Ceredigion County Council - Obituaries A-D

Davies, Second-Lieutenant Rhys Beynon (Henllan, killed in action) 11/5/1917 in which they seem to have the wrong date of death.

Sorry can't find much else but no doubt some expert will provide more for you shortly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Have you seen the CWGC entry?

Name: DAVIES, RHYS BEYNON

Initials: R B

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Second Lieutenant

Regiment/Service: Royal Flying Corps

Secondary Regiment: Northumberland Fusiliers

Secondary Unit Text: and 4th Bn.

Age: 20

Date of Death: 01/05/1917

Additional information: Son of James and Margaret Davies, of Llwyngwern, Henllan, Cardiganshire.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Against North wall of chancel.

Cemetery: MONCHY-BRETON CHURCHYARD

It might be worth checking further into why he is buried in this Churchyard, as it may give a clue as to the Squadron which was either nearby, or is close to the scene of his death, although it sounds as if his pilot made a safe landing.

There is also a brief entry here: Ceredigion County Council - Obituaries A-D

Davies, Second-Lieutenant Rhys Beynon (Henllan, killed in action) 11/5/1917 in which they seem to have the wrong date of death.

Sorry can't find much else but no doubt some expert will provide more for you shortly.

Many thanks Kevin. Yes I had seen this entry, but the idea of investigating this particular churchyard hadn't occurred to me - many thanks!

Huw

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Huw

There is a source book (possibly two) that will tell you how he died called Airmen Died Great War or similar. Every time I have requsted a look up it has been kindly provided by Forum members who have interest in RFC/RAF etc. Possibly they may not spot your post as one of interest to them so I would suggest you ammend your title to this one or post a look up request referring to this thread in the Air section.

Hywyn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For what it is worth, here is the mention in the Roll of Honour in Flight Magazine archives (in the Killed section) http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/vie...20-%200476.html

I'd also suggest a search in the local Library for any newspaper obituary or Roll of Honour, or if they have any other material about him and his family.

Were they connected in any way to the Beynon family, 2 of whom were High Sheriffs of Monmouthshire?

Other than that I regret I don't have much more to offer....

As has been suggested, if you can edit the thread heading to include the magic letters "RFC" you may get some experts in to help!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For what it is worth, here is the mention in the Roll of Honour in Flight Magazine archives (in the Killed section) http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/vie...20-%200476.html

I'd also suggest a search in the local Library for any newspaper obituary or Roll of Honour, or if they have any other material about him and his family.

Were they connected in any way to the Beynon family, 2 of whom were High Sheriffs of Monmouthshire?

Other than that I regret I don't have much more to offer....

As has been suggested, if you can edit the thread heading to include the magic letters "RFC" you may get some experts in to help!

Kevin,

Many thanks for that, the Roll of Honour is now safe on my hard drive! I've also reposted it on the Air section. I don't think he was connected to that Beynon family. His father was an architect's clerk living just outside Newcastle Emlyn.

Huw

Huw

There is a source book (possibly two) that will tell you how he died called Airmen Died Great War or similar. Every time I have requsted a look up it has been kindly provided by Forum members who have interest in RFC/RAF etc. Possibly they may not spot your post as one of interest to them so I would suggest you ammend your title to this one or post a look up request referring to this thread in the Air section.

Hywyn

Hywyn,

I've followed your advice and reposted in the Air section along with some updates I discovered. Many thanks for looking after me!

Huw

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...