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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

154352 2/AM C. Beminster, R.F.C.


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I request any information about Air Mechanic-Second Class C. Beminster.  He was an observer with 20 Squadron

during 1917, flying with various pilots (Lt. A.N. Solly and Lt. A.W. Martin).  Beminster and Martin were shot down over Hollebeke

on 18 May 1917 and were taken prisoner. They were Ltn. Karl Schaefer's  27th victory.   I cannot locate any records

for Beminster in the standard collections at the National Archives (Air 79, WO 372), RAF Museum casualty cards, and the

International Red Cross prisoner records. Any information will be gratefully received--forename(s), prewar and postwar

biographical information, and dates and places of birth and death.



Edited by josquin
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Have you requested his medical records or casualty form from the RAFM? Might be worth a go (the Casualty Form is a distinctly different document to the casualty cards posted on their vault site).

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I have it that 154352, 2/AM C Beminster was shot down by Ltn Karl Emil Schäfer on 20 May 1917 while flying in F.E.2d A6457 and that his pilot was Lt A C Lee; as far as I know, the only claim by a Jasta pilot on 18 May was by Ltn Karl Allmenroder of Jasta 11 who brought down a B.E.2e as his 15th victory.


He was involved in actions in which seven enemy aircraft were claimed, two destroyed and five out of control; Lt A N Solly was his pilot for six of these, Lt A W Martin for the other.


Unfortunately, I have no details regarding forenames or other biographical data. 




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Further to the above, Bemister, Charles (78530) is also listed in Red Cross records (PA 14608 & PA 39020): his details tie up with the dates etc too.


Thus it would appear that 'Beminster' is incorrect.

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The casualty card is in the name Beminster, as is the casualty report in AIR 1/848 and the casualty ledger entry in AIR 1/968 (page 251)

There is also a casualty card for Bemister on 19.7.17, although this seems to be the date of the communique regarding his capture.

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Quemerford, Top Gun, and Nieuport,

Thank you for the very informative replies regarding 2/AM  Beminster.  Quemerford, your help enabled me to connect

the "Charles Bemister" in the IIRC POW records, where he is listed as POW 20 May 1917, with the "C. Bemister" listed

in the RAF Muster Roll of April 1918, that states he enlisted in December, 1915.  Both the Red Cross and the Muster

Roll identify him as "Bemister," service number 78530.  I am uncertain whether "Bemister" was a clerical error, as a

postwar Canadian veterans' gratuity record also lists him as "C. Bemister," # 78530.  His surname was "Beminster,"

however, despite the (possibly intentional) confusion.  I located a likely Canadian birth record:  "Charles - Beminster"

was born on 3 July 1890, at Greenspond, Bonavista, Newfoundland, the son of William Thomas Beminster &

Charlotte Selina Beminster.  His service record is in the AIR 79 file, as "Charles - Bemister, " AIR 79/713/78530--

confirming the 78530 service number, birth in Newfoundland in 1890, his attestation in 1915, and his occupation

as motor mechanic and driver.  Again, gentlemen, many thanks for your help that made possible the clarification                                                           of a confusing tangle of contradictory records.  If nothing else, it was a convincing object lesson in the necessity

for service numbers!

Best regards,


Edited by josquin
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I suspect that it's a phonetics issue: the village of Beaminster in Dorset is (or was) pronounced 'Bemister' by the locals (I am not sure if any villagers with long-term links survive, and I do hear "Beminster" said enough to make me think it's fallen from use).


Or it could also be that his correct name is Bemister and the 'n' is erroneous (as in the case of famous pilot Roland Beamont, who often gains an erroneous 'u' to make him 'Beaumont').

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