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Remembered Today:

Flt.Sub.Lt Harold James Batchelor


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Flt Sub. Lt Harold James Batchelor

Date of Death 11-5-1915

Service Royal Naval Air Service

Memorial Chatham Naval Memorial

Born 3rd March 1889 in Dublin

1901 England Census, Harold James Batchelor, Dublin Ireland.

HMS Worcester, Nautical Training Ship for Officers, Swanscombe. Kent.

1911 England Census, Harold James Batchelor born Dublin Ireland

Address Farnborough Hamshire.

Mercantile Marine Officer

Son of William and Caroline Elizabeth Batchelor.

Flight. 5th March 1915

Probationary Flight Sub- Lieutenants confirmed in rank of Flight Sub - Lieutenants

H.J. Batchelor November 25th 1914

Aviation Certificate taken on Short Biplane, at Royal Naval Flying School, Eastchurch, 22nd December 1914

Flight 21st May 1915

Killed Flight Sub- Lieutenant Harold J Batchelor

Killed while flying in Bleriot XI 1540 UK North Sea ( Hobsons)

I have two sources who gives his death as in the North Sea and one in the Dardanells. Would anybody have more information on his death or add to his history above.



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Flight of 12 March 1915 (page 172) corrects his date of seniority to 15 November 1914.

Royal Navy Aircraft Serials and Units 1911-19 (Sturtivant and Page) shows that Batchelor was killed in Bleriot XI-BG Parasol tractor monoplane 1540 and the history quoted for this machine gives delivery to RNAS Eastchurch on 9 April 1915, wrecked on 11 May and the remains still at Eastchurch by the end of August.


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There is a photo of Batchleor standing beside a Sopwith Schneider Cup Scout in the book 'Early Bird', by W. G. Moore.

Beneath the photo is the following description:-

"Sopwith Schneider Cup Scout in use as a naval patrol machine for which it was very unsuitable. Here seen at Grain. The author's best friend,

Ft. Sub-Lt Harold Batchelor who was killed flying one of these machines only a fortnight after the author's near disaster, is in summer style flying kit on the right."

Also on pp 22:-

"...Not long after this accident with the Schneider Cup Seaplane Scout I lost my best and closest friend, Flight Sub-Lieut. Harold Batchelor. He went out on patrol in one of the Schneider Cup machines and never returned. The sea was rough that day and the clouds low.If you flew into cloud, as we had no blind-flying instruments then, you could easily turn upside down and get completely out of control So it was thought that he may have flown into a cloud and spun into the sea - I believe some wreckage was found which gave credence to this theory...."

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Hi Mick,

It's a good book, but it's only about 120 pages. The author William Geoffrey Moore never served on the western front, but his career is interesting if you're into WW1 aviation.

Moore qualified as a pilot shortly after the outbreak of war in 1914, joined the RNAS and was involved in carrier landing experiments with E. H. Dunning, among others. He also served in East Africa and later in Home Establishment.



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