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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Lieut. J A E Vowles, RAF


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Is anything known of this officer who died in July 1918 and is buried at Southampton.

I know he had served in the RNAS and was mentioned in despatches on 1/5/1918 for zeal and devotion to duty. He was reported missing in Flight magazine on 8 Aug 1918.


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From Sturtivant's "RN Aircraft and Serials";

Flying Short 184 Serial N.2937 "With N.2927 and 2 Camels, attacked by 7 German seaplanes, shot down in sea 4m SE of Kentish Knock by Brandenburg seaplane, burnt out, 18/7/18 (Lt JAE Vowles & 2/Lt JGM Farrall)." 406 Flight, Westgate.

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Thank you very much for that information. As it is from the RN source, does it mean that Vowles was with the RNAS, not RAF - my knowledge of aviation matters is sketchy to say the least. As he is named first, would he be the pilot?

My interest is from finding his name in a Roll of Honour with 'Flight Lieutenant' as rank and RNAS as service, though CWGC differs.


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The RNAS ceased to exist on 1 April 1918 when the RAF came into existence, so Vowles died as an RAF officer. He was the pilot. Whether he and his brother RNAS officers and men were entirely happy with this new RAF arrangement is another matter. RNAS traditions, uniforms and esprit de corps certainly continued for some time until expunged by RAF habits.

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lt is usual among reseachers to list the pilot first but youll find a few contempary sources going by rank,

but by happy circimstace the pilot is usually the senior ranker (Germans excepted !)

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