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Remembered Today:

2nd Lts. E. V. Clark & G. Noon, RFC FOUND


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http://laughton.ca/reports/Lieutenants (2) Clark and Noon Tyne Cot British Cemetery Plot 59 Row D Grave 46 %26 47.pdf


Dear CWGC: (commemorations@cwgc.org)


We are pleased to provide our report on the two (2) RAF Lieutenants which we have confidence are those identified as being buried in Tyne Cot British Cemetery, Plot 59 Row D Grave 46 & 47.


The majority of the reports from the Canadians refer to Canadian soldiers and some aviators, however as we progress through our research we at times come across those of other nationalities. In this particular case, our research team involved members from the UK, Belgium and Canada. The pilot was South African, thus we had Ralph McLean of the South Africa War Graves Project review the report as well. Luc Degrande, with his excellent knowledge of the cemeteries and burial records in Belgium has become an integral member of the team. As always, if we are dealing with the “Aviators” then there is no better resource than UK Member Trevor Henshaw.


We have based our report format on that which was developed to comply with the requirements set out for Canadian reports to the CWGC Agency in Ottawa. We have recently upgraded that format to include the additional “reference documentation” that the CWGC provided directly to Luc Degrande. You will note that as a result of this change, each of the attachments has the detailed reference of that information source at the top of the page. Each attachment is numbered to match the paragraph numbers in the written report.


I do not believe there is any doubt about the identification of this Pilot and his Observer, but as always we remain open to any questions and/or comments. If you require additional supporting information, we would be most happy to do what we can to respond to your requests.


Thank you for taking the time to review our submission, as well as for all of what the CWGC does to remember our fallen.


With Best Regards from the International Team,


Richard Laughton
Canadian Expeditionary Force Study Group



Trevor Henshaw
Luc Degrande
Ralph McLean


Edited by laughton
updated link for final report download
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Many thanks for posting the report - an impressive piece of research by any standards.

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  • 2 weeks later...

A pleasant reply from the CWGC, they approve of the report format as well:

From: David Avery
Sent: Tuesday, September 13, 2016 5:24 AM
To: Richard Laughton
Cc: Trevor Henshaw; Luc Degrande; Ralph McLean
Subject: CWGC ID Case No. 292: Lieutenants (2) Clark and Noon Tyne Cot British Cemetery Plot 59 Row D Grave 46 & 47

Dear Richard and to all members of the International Team,

Thank you for your email and case submission received on 6th September. Please be aware that I have logged this case into the system and allocated it the reference; Identification Case No. 292. I will review your findings in due course and will of course be in touch again when this is completed, which, as I am sure you can appreciate may take some time.  

Once again, thank you for your efforts on creating a report format that is to be commended and in line with Commission guidelines.

Kind regards & best wishes,


David Avery
Commemorations Officer

Commonwealth War Graves Commission
2 Marlow Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 7DX, United Kingdom

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Thanks Chris, I did not know you were doing UNKNOWNS? Are you seeking them or just doing them if they come along? We are happy to share the ones that we stumble across for the British forces, as we have lots to do with the Canadians. We would also welcome your review and critique of anything we write. As you know, I don't have the background on the British forces that you have (or anywhere near) so I am sure you are better suited for those projects. I had thought of asking you some questions but I figured you were quite busy.


To All:


Anyone that wants to use the MASTER REPORT in the format that we made for our projects are welcome to do so at their convenience. You can download a copy of the current master in WORD from our web site here:


http://cefresearch.ca/web/content/reports/CWGC Master Submission Form RFC to Maidenhead.docx


That was based on the Canadian version, of which we have filed 53 to date since December 2014. You would need to change the title box if it was not RFC. When you get to the attachments that have the CWGC CLOUD LINKS you change the seven-digit 9999999 to whatever the file number is for that specific GRRF, COG-BR, SPECEX or HR. As always, ask any questions at any time and if you need assistance on the reporting or finding information, ask away!


You can download any of the reports (ODF Format) we have written to date from this page on our MediaFire Cloud:




You can also download a list of all the reports submitted and all the links to the Social Media distribution of the material, all in one spreadsheet. It is in EXCEL and PDF at this directory:



Edited by laughton
added link to list of reports
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I'm not, really. I happen to have tracked down information that clearly identifies the man buried as an unknown soldier, when studying his service. It's an interesting case as most of the British records would have you believe that he simply disappeared on the Somme on a date in 1918. His death was officially registered as such. But his family received information of a quite different date and place and put it in an "In memoriam" notice in 1919 and later years ... it led me into Red Cross and German records, and then to War Graves Commission exhumations and reburials.  I think it is pretty clear-cut. Once I have heard what CWGC says on the matter, I'll be adding it to LLT as a case study.


Very happy to cast a fresh eye over anything where that would be helpful, Richard.



Edited by Chris_Baker
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What an excellent and inspiring piece of work! Congratulations!

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  • 1 year later...

@fetubi @LDT006


I have heard back from SO2 Commemorations on this case. That means it was passed at CWGC but we were never advised that had happened?


They want us to track or trace ALL THE AIRCRAFT that had the number 253 in the serial number. I am not sure why that is necessary, given that Trevor has already recorded that there was only one (1) plane with those numbers lost on the western front with those numbers.


Here is the letter and then the list of aircraft. 


I guess to start, we can eliminate any aircraft that did not hold 2 men (i.e. Bristol Scout)





Allocations 1914-1916




Nieuport Monoplane


Bristol Scout






Morane Parasol




Caudron G.III






Short 827


Henry Farman Astral


Prefixes 1916 onwards






Henri Farman


Maurice Farman Shorthorn


Maurice Farman Shorthorn


Airco DH2


Nieuport Type 12






Martinsyde Elephant


Bristol F2B


Sopwith Strutter


Airco DH5


Armstrong Whitworth FK8


Bristol F2B




Sopwith Camel


Avro 504A


Avro 504A/J


Sopwith Pup


Sopwith Camel


Sopwith Camel




Sopwith Camel


Sopwith Pup


Airco DH9








Sopwith Dolphin


Airco DH6


Airco DH9


Airco DH6


Sopwith Camel






Airco DH9


Bristol F2b


Bristol F2b


Airco DH9


Martinsyde F4 Buzzard


Sopwith Dolphin


Avro 504a/j/k


Airco DH9


Avro 504k


Airco DH4






Bristol F2b


Bristol F2b




Avro 504k


Bristol F2b


Sopwith Snipe


Sopwith Camel


Sopwith Snipe


Avro 504k


38 a/c

Edited by laughton
start to strike out single seaters
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thank you for the update on this case.  


As you said remove all the single seaters and see what is left.  


If they want to know the fate of all the remaining aircraft i.e. survived, damaged beyond repair etc.  


Then I think it’s the only way to go.    


But if they gave you a list of all the aircraft with the number of 253, then they should have all the details of what happened to the said aircrafts.  


I would like to read the views of Trevor and Luc.  



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FACT:  There was only one British aircraft lost and Missing in Action on the Western Front, with '253' in the serial, which resulted in the deaths of BOTH airmen, currently with no known grave.  This was 20 Sqn's F2B A7253.  Perhaps the Para in the submission should have read something more like the above.. 


There were four other aircraft MIA with '253' within the serial - two were single seaters but both pilots saw the War out as POWs (A2536 DH2 of 32 Sqn lost on 3 April 1917 - down south - and 56 Sqn H7253 SE5a shot down on 5 October 1918 - also down south).  Note:  POWs...  There was a third: F2B of 22 Sqn, serial B1253 lost on 5 June 1918, - pilot was taken POW and Observer was killed, and his grave found in 1920 at Sh.36a L.25.c.2.8., east of AIRE.  The fourth aircraft MIA with '253' in the serial was 48 Sqn's F2B E2532, shot down on 26th October 1918 - both crew taken POW.


FACT: All the other British aircraft lost and Missing in Action on the Western Front, with '253' in the serial, are all comprehensively accounted forNone of the others involve a crew with No Known Grave.


FACT: F2B A7253 does.


FACT: The CWGC reply shows a critical lack of understanding of the whole Air War.  If they seriously believe Avro 504s and DH6s, and virtually all other aircraft on that list - most being single seaters for a start, or being types that never remotely saw action on the Western Front, let alone in November 1917 - if they are saying each of these need detailed elimination, then it feels hopeless to me.  Those two men are who we say they are.



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I will do all the research on the list they have supplied - if that is what they need to be convinced, then it must be done.  It will be as comprehensive as I can make it, and it will prove that 2Lts Clark and Noon have to be the two individuals in those currently unknown airmen graves.  It will take a while, but it will get all the attention I can spare.



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Do you want to take at two phase approach with the MOD/JCCC office, a process that might save a great deal of work:

  1. Present the information, as you have above, with some basic information to eliminate a large number of the aircraft. If a better choice of words is made, rather than what I initially wrote, then maybe they will approve the case with that level of detail. At the same time, we can explain to them that any additional work will not result in any additional candidates, as your research to date is already complete.
  2. If they reject the above offer, move on to the detailed work.

I should note for the record that the CWGC did not reject the report. They must have decided the case had merit, otherwise they would not have passed it on to the MOD-JCCC. There they have asked for additional information. The letter, although initially disappointing, does give the sense they want to approve this case.


Greg Young and I are in the same position with Lieutenants McDonald and Wylie of the 15th Battalion CEF lost at Hill 70. They (in this case Maidenhead) want PROOF that there are no other candidate Lieutenants at any time in the war or in any place in France. That means I have had to go back and account for every missing Officer. As with this case, it adds nothing as a Lieutenant lost at Courcelette in 1916 has nothing to due with a Lieutenant lost at Lens in 1917. Frustrating, agreed, but left with no option but to do as they ask. In the end I hope that after a few cases they will see that the work is very thorough and they will cut back on their requests. I can understand why they ask, as they DO NOT have the level of knowledge and experience that we, that are doing this work, have gained.


The most recent requests from the CWGC and MOD do appear to have altered the requirements for the reports that was initially established. In the past, there was not a requirement to eliminate all other candidates persons, only to prove that the proposed candidate was correct. Although we did take the approach to eliminate any likely candidate we did not eliminate all persons, other than by relying on the information available. My thought is that if there is no reason that another person should be a candidate, why does he have to be eliminated?



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At work - haven't had time to read all this - but I am determined to do the data approach now - comes to 115 a'c after you expand out all their groups of serials...   I began it last night, into the early hours.  Obviously, I am eliminating the 36 or so single-seaters on their list, explaining obviously why...


I've decided to do this, as I feel very confident it will absolutely nail the questions for us.  Especially if we also submit it back with an agreed updated phrasing, saying what we meant.  The other reason is that I feel I've let those two lads down a bit! 


When I'm done I will despatch my spreadsheet to you, for comment/forwarding.  I'm of a mind to get on with it with haste (but scrupulous accuracy!)


I will read your email in more depth tonight.  Know that I will help you any way I can.



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Thanks to some fantastic and very timely work by Trevor, the report has been amended and submitted back to the MOD-JCCC with all the additional details they requested. For anyone with an interest, the amended report is now posted:


2nd Lieutenants (2) Clark and Noon Tyne Cot British Cemetery Plot 59 Row D Grave 46 & 47.pdf


The changes are in bullet #3, which resulted in the addition of the new summary table in Attachment #3b. A notice about the amendment was also included in the revised report.


The review by the MOD-JCCC is valuable in that it provides us with additional insight into what they will want to see in our reports. It requires an emphasis on providing conclusive evidence that there are no other candidates. In this case, it was my oversight in the way that I wrote the initial report that I did not explicitly state the following:

  1. To have both a pilot and an observer recovered, it meant that this was not a single seater aircraft.
  2. The remains were recovered in Belgium, with the aircraft, so that excludes any that crashed in France, England, South Africa, Middle East, etc.
  3. Two bodies were recovered, so that excludes any aircraft where one or both of  the men survived, or where they were taken POW and repatriated.
  4. The wreckage of the plane was recovered with the bodies and identified with a partial serial "253", so that excludes any plane that was recovered and returned to base or scraped as a result of a crash.
  5. All of the conditions had to be met for it to be proven that these were the only candidates.

The only fear I have now is that they may ask for copies of all the original documents that were used to prepare the summary table.

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Tracey responds with a more detailed clue as to the process:


Good Morning Richard,


Thank you for your email and all the additional information within to support the Rededication case you have submitted.


I will inform the CWGC that I will forward this information to The Air Historical Branch (RAF) as the service authorities for this case and JCCC will then re-adjudicate.


I will be back in touch.


Kind regards & best wishes back to Canada





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