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spconnolly007

RFC Ralph Luxmore Curtis

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spconnolly007

Whilst researching my local war memorial, I came across this handsome devil who lived within half a mile of my house. Thanks to Cnock, I now know he was shot was shot down by none other than Hermann Goring in 1917. Is it still possible to gain the mans service history, as Ancestry have very little details on him, other than the usual census and Aviators certificate? Many thanks, Sean

post-79848-0-64537300-1330169782.jpg

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g6yfb

You may be lucky, send a request to the RAF museum at London, because when aircrew were reported missing their effects were collected together and held in a central depository. Whilst in most cases their property was later handed over to next of kin, unclaimed logbooks were retained by the Air Ministry. however in 1959. It was decided that representative samples would be preserved in the Public Record Office and the remainder destroyed.

Wish you luck

Graham

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spconnolly007

Thanks for the reply Graham, will look into it. The farm house that he lived in may still belong to his family, not sure, but will pursue it in time. Regards Sean

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David_Underdown

As an officer he should have a record in WO 339 or WO 374, would need to refer to WO 338 to work out which (these can be downloaded freely)

This http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/details-result.asp?Edoc_Id=8693841 may well be his rag record, but as he died before that service was formed, it will very much be an outline

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spconnolly007

Thanks David, will look into it but the NA and I dont seem to get along too well, baffles me every time :( sean

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David_Underdown

The easiest way to search the two series containing officers' records is via http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/looking-for-person/officerbritisharmyafter1913.htm (which also gives some tips on how to proceed). If you put in curtis you'll see their are quite a few listed as just Curtis R (the series are slowly being recatalogued with full names and unit). You can download the relevant part of the index via http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documentsonline/details-result.asp?Edoc_Id=7960612 (it's free, but about 20mb, so it takes a while) Browse through that until you find the Curtises, they should be divided up into blocks by initial of first forename. After the name you'll see an identifier for the unit, probably RFC for your man, they can be a bit cryptic as infantry regiments are listed by their pre1881 number - sticking nth Regiment of Foot into Wikipedia is the quickest way to translate these). Following that is a reference number (sometimes a series of numbers, with the earlier ones crossed out). In all cases you are looking to compare this with the Former Reference (Department) field in the catalogue description. If it's a plain number, the record will be in WO 339, if it's CU/nnnn it's in WO 374. If it starts P/, you can rule it out for your purposes, as this implies the man continued serving after 1922. The list is sometimes annotated that a man died, but not always

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spconnolly007

Thanks David, thats as clear as mud :) I will have a go later, kind regards Sean

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Lancashire Fusilier

Sean,

Here is another photograph of your man Ralph Luxmore Curtis, I have seen two listings for his place of birth, Rainham and Braintree, Essex.

Ralph Luxmore Curtis and his observer, Desmond Uniacke, scored 13 victories flying their Bristol F.2b. After being shot down on 21st September, 1917 over Roulers by Hermann Göring, commander of Jasta 27, Uniacke was captured and Curtis died from his wounds.

Their Victories:

Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location

1 03 Jul 1917 0910 48 Bristol F.2b (A7149) 1 Two-seater (OOC) Quéant

2 05 Jul 1917 2020 48 Bristol F.2b (A7153) 1 Albatros D.V (OOC) Bapaume

3 07 Jul 1917 0550 48 Bristol F.2b (A7107) 1 Albatros D.V (DES) Vitry

4 28 Jul 1917 0815 48 Bristol F.2b (A7121) 1 Albatros D.III (OOC) Ghistelles

5 16 Aug 1917 1955 48 Bristol F.2b (A7151) 1 Albatros D.V (DESF) St. Pierre-Capelle

6 16 Aug 1917 1955 48 Bristol F.2b (A7151) 1 Albatros D.V (OOC) St. Pierre-Capelle

7 20 Aug 1917 2005 48 Bristol F.2b (A7224) 1 Albatros D.V (OOC) Ghistelles

8 22 Aug 1917 0907 48 Bristol F.2b (A7224) 1 Albatros D.V (DES) Ostende

9 22 Aug 1917 0907 48 Bristol F.2b (A7224) 1 Albatros D.V (OOC) Ostende

10 02 Sep 1917 0930 48 Bristol F.2b (A7224) 1 Albatros D.V (OOC) 2 E of Dixmude

11 05 Sep 1917 0840 48 Bristol F.2b (A7170) 1 DFW C (OOC) Middlekerke

12 14 Sep 1917 1640 48 Bristol F.2b (A7224) 1 Albatros D.V (DES) Ghistelles

13 17 Sep 1917 0915 48 Bristol F.2b (A7224) 1 Two-seater (OOC) 3 Leke

post-63666-0-68147500-1330306216.jpg

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Lancashire Fusilier

2nd Lieutenant, Desmond Percival Fitzgerald Uniacke previously served with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

He transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in May 1917, as a Observer with 48 Squadron, flying in a Bristol F.2b.

Along with his Pilot, Ralph Curtis, he scored 13 victories before both were shot down over Roulers on 21 September 1917. Curtis died from his wounds and Uniacke was taken prisoner.

post-63666-0-43225100-1330310582.jpg

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Lancashire Fusilier

Oberleutnant Herman Goring

Units: FEA 3, FFA 25, Jasta 5, 7, 26, 27 KEK Metz, Stenay JG I

Victories

Date Time Unit Opponent Location

u/c 03 Jun 1915 FA 25 EA Stenay

1 16 Nov 1915 1430 FA 25 Farman Tahure

2 14 Mar 1916 1200 FA 25 Caudron SE of Haumont Wood

3 30 Jul 1916 1030 FA 25 Caudron Mamey

4 23 Apr 1917 1720 KEK Metz F.E.2b (A823)

5 28 Apr 1917 1830 Jasta 26 Sopwith St. Quentin

6 29 Apr 1917 1945 Jasta 26 Nieuport 17 (N3192)

7 10 May 1917 1505 Jasta 26 D.H.4? Le Pave

8 08 Jun 1917 0730 Jasta 26 Nieuport 17 (B1656)

9 16 Jul 1917 2010 Jasta 27 S.E.5 (A8931)

10 24 Jul 1917 2045 Jasta 27 Martinsyde G.100 Passchendaele

11 05 Aug 1917 2015 Jasta 27 Sopwith Camel (B3792)

12 25 Aug 1917 2040 Jasta 27 Sopwith Camel (B3918)

13 03 Sep 1917 0900 Jasta 27 D.H.4? N of Lampernisse

14 21 Sep 1917 0905 Jasta 27 Bristol F.2b (A7224) - * Ralph Luxmore Curtis and his observer,

Desmond Uniacke

15 21 Oct 1917 1545 Jasta 27 S.E.5a (B547)

16 07 Nov 1917 0915 Jasta 27 D.H.5 NW of Poelcapelle

17 21 Feb 1918 1000 Jasta 27 S.E.5a (C5325)

18 07 Apr 1918 1250 Jasta 27 R.E.8 (B876)

19 05 Jun 1918 1000 Jasta 27 AR2 Vivières

20 09 Jun 1918 0845 Jasta 27 SPAD 1

21 17 Jun 1918 0830 Jasta 27 SPAD 1

22 18 Jul 1918 0815 JG I SPAD 1

post-63666-0-85403600-1330311073.jpg

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spconnolly007

Thorough as always LF, many thanks, although I have seen all the above its good for others on the forum to see his details as I struggle copying/pasting lists on here. By the way LF, where did you find the Braintree connection? Kind Regards Sean

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Lancashire Fusilier

Thorough as always LF, many thanks, although I have seen all the above its good for others on the forum to see his details as I struggle copying/pasting lists on here. By the way LF, where did you find the Braintree connection? Kind Regards Sean

Sean,

Most references say he was born in Rainham, this website says Braintree.

webspace.webring.com/people/tm/mattzippyking/Airmen.htm

Leo

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spconnolly007

Sean,

Most references say he was born in Rainham, this website says Braintree.

webspace.webring.com/people/tm/mattzippyking/Airmen.htm

Leo

Thanks Leo, although the website is incorrect, I have a copy of his birth registry for 1898 in Romford which would tie in with his address on the 1901 census as Berwick Ponds Farm, Rainham. You had me worried there! Kind regards Sean

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Lancashire Fusilier

Thanks Leo, although the website is incorrect, I have a copy of his birth registry for 1898 in Romford which would tie in with his address on the 1901 census as Berwick Ponds Farm, Rainham. You had me worried there! Kind regards Sean

Pleased it was o.k.

Ah! Romford, I know it well.

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Lancashire Fusilier

Sean,

Here is a nice photograph of the type of aircraft he flew - the Bristol F2b.

Leo

post-63666-0-99968500-1330364676.jpg

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spconnolly007

Thanks Leo, that is a nice photo. Is that a game of cricket going on in the background? Regards Sean

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Lancashire Fusilier

Thanks Leo, that is a nice photo. Is that a game of cricket going on in the background? Regards Sean

Looks like it, it could almost have been taken in 1917!

What is amazing, is that these brave young airmen were often in their late teens or twenties.

If Ralph Luxmore Curtis was born in 1898, that would have made him 19/20 when he was shot down and killed.

Regards,

Leo

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josquin

Sean

Interesting post for one of 48 Squadron's ablest pilots! You are in error concerning Ralph Luxmore Curtis's birthplace, regrettably. Romford was the

location of the registry office where his birth was registered officially in April, 1918. Curtis was born at Rainham, Essex, 19 March 1898, the son of

William & Amy Augusta (May) Curtis. The family was residing at Rainham for the 1901 Census and they were living there postwar in the CWGC

entry. The Rainham birthplace is confirmed by the 1901 Census and his Royal Aero Club certificate. It was mentioned in the thread how young

the airmen were, and an intriguing discrepancy came to light: his RAeC certificate lists his birthdate as19.3.1896 rather than 1898. So Curtis

stretched his age to qualify for service, for the BMD, Census, and CWGC all confirm that the correct birthdate was 1898 and that Curtis was 19 years

old when he died.

Regards,

Trelawney

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spconnolly007

Thanks Trelawney, I did mean born Rainham/registered Romford, as I have copies of the census etc. Interesting point about his age though, I was looking at his documnents only this monrning concerning my research for our local war memorial, and re-read the aviation certificate, but still missed the discrepancy on his birth date. Well spotted and thankyou, regards Sean

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