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Kimberley John Lindsay

Deciphering flying record of 2Lt W. A. R. Pepper, RAF

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear RNAS, RFC, and RAF aficionados,

I now happily hold the MBE medal group and miniature medals group of Sqn Ldr W. A. R. Pepper (what a name!), RAFVR - erstwhile probationary Flight Officer, RNAS, and 2Lt RAF.

Copies of his RAF flying service (DH4 Pilot; DH9 Pilot) came with the medals, as well as a Royal Aero Club portrait of Pepper as a Flt Offr., RNAS standing in front of what was possibly an Avro 504.

Apparently earmarked for the Independent Force, William Albert Redverse Pepper seems to have been hospitalised before getting to a Squadron. Moreover, the end of the Great War ended his usefulness to the RAF (until the Second War, that is)1590549198_W.A.R.PepperdetailRAFFlying.jpg.f90a64ce62326a93c2f8ebf1bc748348.jpg2143189849_FltOffrPepperRNAS.jpg.89382ed2acdac9248fb71be128ebecdf.jpg369957931_Sqn-LdrPepperminiatures.jpg.da703d856c0c3071f6bd5f7c3240ade3.jpg...

I would be most grateful if someone (or more!) could kindly decipher the RAF-ese contained in his closely-written record. 

Kindest regards,

Kim.

Edited by Kimberley John Lindsay

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nieuport11

Note there is also a Form B.103 for him here:

https://www.casualtyforms.org/form/18583

 

indicating he served with 55Sq

 

and a Navy record in ADM 273/21/254

 

AIR 76 entries:

RAF Station Manston

Cranwell

57 Training Depot Station [Cranwell]

No.1 Fighting School [Turnberry]

Independent Force [as above]

Hospital

Sick Leave

Midland Area for disposal

No.3 London Hospital (Flying Sickness)

13 Training Depot Station [Ternhill]

Demobilized

 

 

 

 

Edited by nieuport11

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear nieuport11,

Many thanks for this: much appreciated!

The news that he in fact shifted to 55 Sqn is really good, inasmuch as it enlarges on the information I have at hand. Super!

How does one go about obtaining a copy of his ADM 273/21/254...?389435088_RNVRMedalrollLt-Pepperell.jpg.2719cde66977491b37702fde5d916401.jpg

Interestingly, I have a Naval medal roll, indicating that his BWM was to be issued by the Air Ministry. The happenstance thing is, that I hold the 15 Star Trio to Lt A. Pepperell, RNVR (the subject of a forthcoming article by me, to appear in the OMRS Journal: "To War in a Yacht"). As one can see, Prob. Flt. Offr. W. A. R. Pepper is juxtaposed with A. Pepperell!

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear nieuport11,

How would you interpret the entry for Pepper: 'DH9 Pilot F.HS with Flying'...?

Sorry to be such a pest!

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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Errol Martyn

Kim,

 

" 'DH9 Pilot F.HS with Flying'...? "

 

After hospital a Medical Board has declared him Fit for Home Serve with flying.

 

At this time he is not considered fit enough for GS (General Service).

 

Errol

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nieuport11

The ADM 273 files can be viewed here:

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C9752612

 

Click on the 'Preview an image of this record' or pay to download the file. However, it doesn't show much you don't already know

It shows he was an Electrical Engineer before joining up

Then to Greenwich, Manston and Cranwell

The name of the person who gave him a reference is noted as well as his mothers address

 

 

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear Errol and nieuport11,

Super! Many thanks for that - a great help1669392747_PepperMBEframed.jpg.16899485e62aa4c375eddfe407557fc9.jpg.

I will ask my TNA researcher to print out and send me, or beam me, the Naval file for Pepper.

He lasted less than a month with 55 Sqn - but of course was extremely young; indeed, the DH4 type was notorious for making Pilots ill with exhaust fumes...

Here is a scan of the now behind glass medals and RAFVR portrait of Pepper. 

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear All,

I see by a GWF post from 11 Sep 2003, that W. E. Johns (of "Biggles" fame) was a Pilot with 55 Squadron, RAF, too - which is certainly of personal interest...

The book "Independent Force" (Grub Street, 2002), by Keith Rennles, noted that 'Accidents were happening all the time during training': this referred to the re-building of the squadron after heavy losses in August 1918, with new Pilots and Observers (Pepper being one of the former).

Research has also revealed that 'Flying Sickness' was more prevalent in the RFC/RAF than one would have thought...

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear All,

Here is the Royal Aero Club page, which shows Pepper and three others, including another smart-looking1906329472_PepperRoyalAeroClub1917.jpg.0ad74bf3c27cd839b57fc6b7d525a5e2.jpg RNAS officer...

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear All,

A bit more searching has revealed the following:-

William Albert Redverse Pepper (born 4 Sep 1899) was employed as an Aeronautical Engineer with the Somerset Engineering Co., Burnham-on-Sea, from 1 Apr to 24 Oct 1917.

His apparently widowed mother, Mrs F. Pepper, lived at "Ivanmore", Richmond Road, East Twickenham. 

The young Pepper was recommended by L. C. Everton, Esq., 40 Lancaster Park, Richmond, when joining the RNAS at Greenwich on 28 Oct 1917.

He was appointed a Temporary Provisional Flight Officer and began flying training at Manston on 8 Dec 1917.

Pepper's flying was continued at Cranwell, on 6 Apr 1918. He was 'experienced in Aero Engines, also manufacture of Machines and engineering in general.'

With the advent of the Royal Air Force, the erstwhile Royal Naval Air Service Flight Officer became 2nd Lieutenant Pepper, RAF. This was gazetted on 6 Sep 1918, w.e.f. 27 Jul 1918 (A&S).

Pepper flew Mono Avros (solo 17 hrs 2 mts) and a Balance Rudder Avro (solo 2 hrs 58 mts). He got his Royal Aero Club "ticket" (No. 6798) on 15 Jul 1918.

On 4 Sep 1918, he flew the large DH4 bomber...

The search continues...!

Kindest regards,

Kim.

Edited by Kimberley John Lindsay

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charlie962
16 minutes ago, Kimberley John Lindsay said:

Redverse

Surely it is Redvers as in Buller ? The timing of his christening would be just before Buller's star fell in 1900.

 

Charlie

Edited by charlie962

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear Charlie,

Thanks for being so alert - and sympathetic to my research effort!

Here is the young 2Lt William Albert Redverse Pepper's Aero Club card...

Kindest regards,

Kim.75785318_Pepper2ndLtAeroClubCard.jpg.dae5356e346e9153ee94f53816e8e76c.jpg

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charlie962

I still suspect he was named after Buller but either a last minute change of spelling due to Buller's fall from grace or a spelling error ? The name Redverse is extremely rare. There were at least 6 other people on the Aviator's certificates for 1917-19 with Redvers as their last forename !

 

However I agree all official papers seem to use Redverse.

 

Charlie

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charlie962
On 13/08/2018 at 01:21, Kimberley John Lindsay said:

W. E. Johns (of "Biggles" fame) was a Pilot with 55 Squadron,

There is an interesting article on Johns's time with 55, late 1918, about the same time as Pepper joined Sept . See 55 Squdn Association here

 

Charlie

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear Charlie,

Yes, I had seen that: most interesting, giving a bit of flavour to the times. 

Many thanks for your feed-back: most appreciated, indeed...!

Kindest regards,

Kim.1748900411_DH4of55Sqn.jpg.cab6727308e41f56b241dedf52b82815.jpg

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear All, and Charlie,

Here is erstwhile DH4 pilot 26982095_W.A.R.PepperP-ORAFVRca_1941.jpg.c48153b1b08dd080074cd9bbfba1c2e7.jpgW. A. R. Pepper, as a P/O, RAFVR, with his Wings and Great War British War Medal and Victory Medal ribbons up, ca. (off-topic) 1941.

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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josquin

W.A.R. Pepper's death registration in the BMD Registry states that he died in 1982, at Reading & Wokingham, Berkshire,

but it gives his birthdate as 1 September 1899 rather than 4 September (as per the R.Ae.C. Certificate).  His notice of

commission as a RAF Warrant Officer (# 60408), dated as of 24 January 1941, confirms his name as "William Albert Redverse Pepper"

(London Gazette 35083/1083, 21 February 1941).  Regrettably, his BMD birth & death registrations follow the customary

practice of listing only an initial for a third forename (William Albert R. Pepper) and no census returns list a William Pepper

with all three forenames or initials.

Josquin

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear Josquin,

Many thanks for this excellent piece of information, which I can immediately commit to my Sqn Ldr Pepper, MBE (1899-1982), file. Well done!

An erstwhile DH4 Pilot, he was commissioned as a Pilot Officer on probation (a Warrant Officer Jarvis is at the top of the page, which is misleading!), RAFVR shown in the 1852211542_DH4bomber.JPG.2695381f02e3631c6aa59ab4bf8e12d2.JPGL. G. 21 Feb 1941, on page 1083, as you mentioned. 

By any standards, William Albert Redverse Pepper had a Good Innings, especially during 1945...

His papers are being sought momentarily, and no doubt more detail will emerge. Meanwhile, I greatly appreciate your welcome feedback!

Kindest regards,

Kim.

 

Edited by Kimberley John Lindsay

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear All,

Here is the latest Pepper document (thanks to the kind assistance of The Chancery of Knighthood). 

Warner Theatre - where no doubt the erstwhile DH4 Pilot was employed in 1946 - has long since been demolished...

However, perhaps a kind GWF member could supply me with a scan of the W. A. R. Pepper death notice (or obituary) from the 3 Jan 1983 Daily Telegraph, please546454817_MBE(Mil)ChanceryofKnighthoodindexcard.thumb.jpg.af266bb1805bf30d82d4ac27db2760e5.jpg?

His exact Date of Death (29 Dec 1982) is also of great interest!

Kindest regards,

Kim.

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