Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Unknown British Airman, Roisin Communal Cemetery Grave A1


Recommended Posts

There is an UNKNOWN British Airman in the Roisin Communal Cemetery, southwest of Mons. That places him in November 1918, although the COG-BR only says 1918. I was not looking for him, rather a Canadian missing in the same area in the final days of the war.


There are six (6) men on the Arras Flying Services Memorial for that time and all went down on 4 November 1918. I compared that list to Trevor's fantastic book "The Sky Their Battlefield II" and found that there were two men (Scott & Rigby) lost in the precise area (pages 243 & 244), but only one of the bodies was apparently recovered and buried at Roisin - so which one? What does the CWGC do if there were two men in the plane and it is not known which one is buried in the cemetery?


The trench map location 51.A.18.b.4.3 gives GPS coordinates 50.3539, 3.7057, which is to the 2.7 km northeast of Roisin and 20 km southwest of Mons.




These are the men listed on the CWGC for the Arras Flying Services Memorial. The two in the plane are the last two on the list:




Lieutenant Scott was 62nd Sqdn. and Durham Light Infantry. Lieutenant Rigby (Trevor says 2nd Lieutenant) was  62nd Sqdn. and Royal Fusiliers. I mention that in the event that Rigby was the observer and still wearing his infantry uniform, as there is a UBS in Grave A.9 with a red patch with a black stripe on the collar. That might mean something to someone who has more knowledge on the units. I only know of the Canadian markings. A long shot but always worth taking aim!


I don't have a 51 trench map so I had to rely on Google Earth for the placement:




Wiener and Dixon were further south at Landrecies (57a.G.23) and only Wiener is missing, Scott is in the Cross Roads Cemetery, so that cemetery should be checked for Wiener.


Curtis was at Le Quesnoy 51a.R.30 so some distance to the southwest.


Brouncker and MacDonald of 211 Squadron (it does not say - will have to check with Trevor!).



Edited by laughton
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Richard,


This feels a convincing argument, given what we know, from your descriptions. 


I haven't looked at Roisin yet, but will try to soon. 


I was recently assessing these NKGs in the air from November 4th.  I see from some notes, that the pair I thought I could make some case for (with a bit deeper research) that day was the 211 Sqn crew of Brouncker and Macdonald, as possibly the November 1918 pair now in Fontaine au Bois and found buried by the Germans at Sh.51 G.19.b.3.5. 6m north of Le Quesnoy.  See doc1992912.  I seem to recall I'd worked out 211 Sqn were in this area of the line. 


If I get a chance I'll explore Roisin some more.


Best regards, Trevor

Link to comment
Share on other sites

PS Dixon of 57Sqn - the Observer to the NKG pilot Lt Wiener, was found in 1919 in a grave at Sh.51 N.36.a.7.7.  Feels remote from your man you've found.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...