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pete-c

Eric Barton Thompson RNAS/RAF

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pete-c

Trying to locate details of this man's demise on behalf of a member in Argentina.

 

Born 1889, son of Henry C Thompson of Buenos Aires.  Attended Hailybury School, Hertfordshire.  Qualified as pilot San Fernando Aerodrome, Argentina.  Left Argentina (presumably for the UK) circa1915?   Joined RNAS and it would appear flew mainly from Yarmouth in various machines until September 1916.  KIA 8.4.18, possibly in a Camel.   Buried East Mudros Cemetery, Lemnos.

 

Could anyone provide details of this chaps final mission?

Edited by pete-c

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MerchantOldSalt

....well this is his grave in East Moudros Cemetery in 2015 Peter.

 

Tony

DSCF1730.JPG

DSCF1739.JPG

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helpjpl
pete-c
5 hours ago, MerchantOldSalt said:

....well this is his grave in East Moudros Cemetery in 2015 Peter.

 

Tony

 

 

Many thanks Tony.  I'm sure my contact will be pleased to see these images.  

 

Peter.

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pete-c
2 hours ago, helpjpl said:

JP, 

 

Many thanks for these links.  It looks as though his death was the result of a 'aero accident' - presumably a flying accident of some sort.   I shall pass these details on. 

 

Regards,

Peter.

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helpjpl
1 hour ago, pete-c said:

JP, 

 

Many thanks for these links.  It looks as though his death was the result of a 'aero accident' - presumably a flying accident of some sort.   I shall pass these details on. 

 

Regards,

Peter.

 

Great Britain Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate No. 2250:

Flight Sub-Lieut. Eric Barton Thompson R.N.A.S 

Born:  29th March 1889 at Buenos Aires

Certificate taken on Maurice Farman Biplane at Royal Naval Air Station, Chingford, on 19th December 1915

Accidentally killed 8th April 1918.

 

https://www.ancestry.co.uk/interactive/1283/31023_A200020-00882?pid=20143&backurl=http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv%3D1%26db%3DRoyalAeroClub%26h%3D20143%26tid%3D%26pid%3D%26usePUB%3Dtrue%26_phsrc%3DbaE4%26_phstart%3DsuccessSource%26usePUBJs%3Dtrue%26rhSource%3D1904&treeid=&personid=&hintid=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=baE4&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true 

 

Unusually, there isn't a photo of him in the RAC album

 

JP

 

Edited by helpjpl
To correct DOB

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pete-c
2 minutes ago, helpjpl said:

 

Great Britain Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate No. 2250:

Flight Sub-Lieut. Eric Barton Thompson R.N.A.S 

Born:  29th March 1899 at Buenos Aries

Certificate taken on Maurice Farman Biplane at Royal Naval Air Station, Chingford, on 19th December 1915

Accidentally killed 8th April 1918.

 

https://www.ancestry.co.uk/interactive/1283/31023_A200020-00882?pid=20143&backurl=http://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv%3D1%26db%3DRoyalAeroClub%26h%3D20143%26tid%3D%26pid%3D%26usePUB%3Dtrue%26_phsrc%3DbaE4%26_phstart%3DsuccessSource%26usePUBJs%3Dtrue%26rhSource%3D1904&treeid=&personid=&hintid=&usePUB=true&_phsrc=baE4&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true 

 

Unusually, there isn't a photo of him in the RAC album

 

JP

 

 

Cheers JP.  I have just passed on the information both you and Tony have kindly supplied.  I shall also pass on the above.  Interesting that he still had to pass an RAC test in spite of (supposedly) having an Argentinian qualification.

 

Regards,

Peter.

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helpjpl
18 minutes ago, pete-c said:

 

Cheers JP.  I have just passed on the information both you and Tony have kindly supplied.  I shall also pass on the above.  Interesting that he still had to pass an RAC test in spite of (supposedly) having an Argentinian qualification.

 

Regards,

Peter.

 

NB - DOB is 29th March 1889.

 

JP

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topgun1918

NB - RAC was the Royal Automobile Club (granted the 'Royal' prefix in 1907); the Royal Aero Club was the RAeC (granted the 'Royal' prefix in 1909).

 

Graeme

 

 

 

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Helicon1918

It's been fascinating to stumble across this discussion.  I'm Eric Thompson's great nephew - Eric's brother was my grandfather, Charles Aubrey William Thompson (an Observer with the Royal Flying Corps, who loved his brother dearly).  I'm planning on going to the cemetery on that island of Limnos (sometimes the spelling is 'Lemnos').

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charlie962

His photo appears in the British in Argentina 1914-1919, inter alia available via FindmyPast.

 

173159902_GWFThompsonEBRNASphoto.JPG.0b106c16a3fae88a75d46c6d5e91cb89.JPG

 

 

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charlie962

Dorking Advertiser 26/6/15 available via FMP Newspapers has this that might well be him ?

 

272761603_GWFThompsonEBRNASpossCourt.JPG.c0185225a1df1e956f6d868f32f75af0.JPG

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Helicon1918

Another photo I've not seen before.  Excellent.

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Helicon1918

Ha!  Well, your Honour, one might suggest that a naval aviator being busted for riding a noisy motorbike is entirely plausible...

 

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Helicon1918

This is where I'm drawing a blank thus far: how to find out what G Squadron RNAS was doing over this period 1917-1918.  Was it based at Mudros or just using it as a relief landing ground with ARK ROYAL still 'home'.  And in what role would Eric have been flying a Sopwith Camel with an unusual (low-powered) 110hp Clerget engine.  Fighter?  Strafer/Bomber?  From reading about the Camel, it sounds like it not only achieved the greatest number of kills in World War One but it also killed a large number of pilots (with its extra manoeuvrability came pitfalls)...

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horatio2

From "RN aircraft serials and units" (Sturtivant *& Page): G Squadron 2 Wing, at Imbros approx Apr 1917 to approx Jun 1917; Mudros (Marsh aerodrome) by 19 Jul 17 until 1 Apri 1918. Flying Henri Farman F.27, DH.4 and DH.9."

The records seem to show that he was "accidentally killed" but not necessarily in an aircraft accident. Can involvement of an aircraft be confirmed?

I can find no mention of this officer in the ARK ROYAL logs.

Edited by horatio2

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charlie962

Would this be the same aircraft ? Date wrong for crash by a few days .

1504263554_GWFThompsonEBCamelB6309.JPG.9d13f259d9305664428627bcb591f69f.JPG

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b3rn
On 06/08/2019 at 23:56, charlie962 said:

This record at NA says Accidental but does give the aircraft detail.

 

Sopwith F.1 Camel B3609

130-hp Clerget; Shipped to Mudros 27.9.17; 2 Wing Mudros by 1.12.17; Marsh by 1.1.18 (repair); G Squadron 2 Wing by 30.3.18.

Source: Sturtivant & Page, RNAS serials.

 

 

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pete-c
On ‎06‎/‎08‎/‎2019 at 14:37, Helicon1918 said:

This is where I'm drawing a blank thus far: how to find out what G Squadron RNAS was doing over this period 1917-1918.  Was it based at Mudros or just using it as a relief landing ground with ARK ROYAL still 'home'.  And in what role would Eric have been flying a Sopwith Camel with an unusual (low-powered) 110hp Clerget engine.  Fighter?  Strafer/Bomber?  From reading about the Camel, it sounds like it not only achieved the greatest number of kills in World War One but it also killed a large number of pilots (with its extra manoeuvrability came pitfalls)...

 

The genesis and evolution of 'G' Squadron is not as straightforward as the other 6 Flights/Squadrons - not forgetting, of course, 'S' Roumanian Flight and 'Z' (Greek) Squadron.  The Weekly Operations Report for Aug 3 1917 states: 

A flight of 4 H. Farmans has been organised and is based on Marsh Aerodrome [Mudros] for the purpose of carrying out day and night S/M patrols in the vicinity of Lemnos while there are no adequate Seaplanes for this duty and for carrying out night bombing attacks on targets accessable [sic] from Mudros.  Practice has been given to this Flight in night flying and satisfactory experiments have been made in visual signalling to and from Drifters, and between H.F machines in the air with Aldis lamps.

 

The use of the word Flight - rather than Squadron - is telling.  The change in designation from Flights to Squadrons - brought in circa January 1917 - seems to indicate, perhaps, that this particular 'unit' was never intended to have 'Squadron status'. 

 

The following weeks WOR states: ' 'G' Flight's machines and 3 Baby [Sopwith Baby] Seaplanes were sent  to scour the area but the S/M was not located.' 

WOR Aug 17th: ' Mudros: The combined S/M hunting patrols in which Drifters, fitted with Hydrophones, and Henri Farmans from 'G' Flight participate (alluded to in WOR NO.73) have fructified.  Extended patrols were carried out by two machines on 10th, 12th & 13th August without anything being sighted.'

The WOR for Aug 24th details an action in which a submarine was located by a 'G' Flight Henri Farman F27. The Drifter in attendance picked up the sound of the sub on her Hydrophone and she kept in touch with it until the Hunting Floitlla arrived.  They hunted the sub for a considerable period during which the sub - which had evidently picked up the sound of the Hunting Flotilla on her hydrophone - performed 16 turns, in an effort to evade them.  After a long hunt, the sub finally succeeded in escaping.

 

The term 'G' Flight disappears after the Sep 7th WOR, but I'll see if I can pick up any mention of it in 1918.

Edited by pete-c

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pete-c

Further to the above:

 

'G' Flight is actually mentioned again, in WOR 87 (Nov 18, 1917)   I found nothing more until the following document, dated April 8th 1918, and drawn up by Wing Captain Gordon.

 

Headquarters R.A.F. Mudros 8th April 1918.  Orders for Dawn Patrol of Aegean by Aircraft. General Idea.  It is expected that the "GOEBEN" will break out of Dardanelles by night, and unless mined or intercepted by patrol craft, she may by early morning be well on her way past LEMNOS to attack STAVROS or SALONIKA, or to the Southward before she is discovered.  Aircraft can assist greatly in preventing this on account of their speed and the large areas of visibility they can command.  On clear days they can thus do the work of many surface craft.

 

Page four of the document begins:  LEMNOS, TELIKNA [Talikna] and 'G' SQUADRON.  Seaplanes from TELIKNA will, as far as numbers allow, carry out this search; but 'G' Squadron are to keep land machines in readiness to search if required. 

 

By this time 'G' Squadron were seemingly operating from Romanos - a new flying ground - not far from Marsh.  As far as I can see, this is the last time that 'G' Squadron is mentioned in the WORs.

 

Edited by pete-c

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pete-c

The following should give a taste of the general situation at this time.

 

WOR 106 (31st March 1918) states that the 24th and 25th were fine and warm and suitable for air operations. On Thursday 28th the wind had changed to N.E. with rain, increasing to a gale in the afternoon with continuous snow, and very cold.  This continued through Friday but moderated through Saturday.  Snow lying or melting on the aerodrome prevented land machines from getting up.

The WOR for the following week (April 7th) states that the weather had be generally fine with a N.E. wind which occasionally was too strong for flying.  The temperature was cold and the snow which fell the previous week was slowly melting on the hills.

The aircraft flying from Lemnos at this time were increasingly involved with monitoring the Goeben.  April 14th WOR:  'AEGEAN PATROL FOR "GOEBEN" ETC.  A new system of dawn search of the Aegean for hostile surface craft was started this week ...  On the 8th only Lemnos and imbros had received the order, and the other stations did not come into the scheme until the 12th.  The search on the 8th was very quickly accomplished and an 'all clear' report was made by 0600.'

 

Although Sopwith F.1 Camels were in use at this time, flying from both Marsh and Romanos, I haven't found any mention of an accident of any kind involving one of these aircraft.  Other fatal accidents involving aircraft such as D.H.4s flying from the above bases are however mentioned in the WORs. 

Therefore, I am beginning think that the incident involving EBT may in fact have occurred on the ground.  His casualty card does perhaps give the best clue in that the section marked  'At Time of Accident Employed As' - is left blank.  If he was piloting the aircraft in which he was killed, this section would surely state - 'Pilot'.

Edited by pete-c

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charlie962

The wording in the record I linked above is indistinct without getting a download from NA. Seems to say either 'no evidence, m/c crashed' or 'no evidence m/c crashed'. It seems an aircraft was involved but what was the accident ?

 

after 'm/c crashed' it says 8 Apl Lemnos and was buried  (I'm fairly sure it doesn't say burnt)

 

Courtesy National Archives:

308021635_GWFThompsonEBRNASsvcextract.JPG.1e061f0cdc712aec68eda21b6a4a3cee.JPG

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pete-c
1 hour ago, charlie962 said:

The wording in the record I linked above is indistinct without getting a download from NA. Seems to say either 'no evidence, m/c crashed' or 'no evidence m/c crashed'. It seems an aircraft was involved but what was the accident ?

 

after 'm/c crashed' it says 8 Apl Lemnos and was buried  (I'm fairly sure it doesn't say burnt)

 

Courtesy National Archives:

308021635_GWFThompsonEBRNASsvcextract.JPG.1e061f0cdc712aec68eda21b6a4a3cee.JPG

 

I think it says - 'no evidence, m/c crashed'  - as in, there was no evidence as to the actual cause of this Camel crashing.  I do wonder if he was on the ground and was unfortunate enough to be hit by the aircraft as it crashed?  But, if that was the case, who was piloting the aircraft?

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pete-c
On ‎06‎/‎08‎/‎2019 at 14:37, Helicon1918 said:

This is where I'm drawing a blank thus far: how to find out what G Squadron RNAS was doing over this period 1917-1918.  Was it based at Mudros or just using it as a relief landing ground with ARK ROYAL still 'home'.  And in what role would Eric have been flying a Sopwith Camel with an unusual (low-powered) 110hp Clerget engine.  Fighter?  Strafer/Bomber?  From reading about the Camel, it sounds like it not only achieved the greatest number of kills in World War One but it also killed a large number of pilots (with its extra manoeuvrability came pitfalls)...

 

From Cross & Cockade International Journal Vol 44-1

 

G Squadron Mudros (CCI Vol 44-1).jpg

Edited by pete-c

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