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Bennett

RFC service record card

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Bennett

I have hopefully attached an RFC card which I would very much like help in interpreting. I get the part about being ordered to CFS and then having these orders cancelled to be reassigned to 3 T.S. Shoreham by the sea.

   I need help interpreting what is below that down to the 'Missing' entry. Thanks very much for any assistance   Ralph

R E Nowell RAF service Record (1).pdf

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pierssc

On 29.11.16 he is transferred to 28 Squadron and sometime after that he ceases to receive instruction [as a pilot].  

 

On 31 May 1917 he joins 59 Training Squadron and on 2nd July 1917 he is posted to the school of aerial gunnery at Hythe, then to Dungeness on 21st August. 

 

His Casualty Form at https://www.casualtyforms.org/form/17575 slightly contradicts the other record by showing his joining the Expeditionary Force in France on 21st August (rather than Dungeness) and being posted to 22 Squadron.  He is posted Missing on 22 September and presumed dead after that - there is a discrepancy again between the forms as to how soon that was.  The Casualty Form looks more precise.

 

Hope this helps

 

Piers

 

 

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Bennett

Thanks very much Piers.  He received a Royal Aero Club certificate in November 1916 but his training assignments and the absence of 'FO' anywhere makes it me think that he was a officer 'Observer' prior to his death?  Thanks again Ralph

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pierssc

I can only assume (based on my grandfather’s record) that as he obtained his RAC “Ticket” at a much earlier and more basic stage of training than his “wings” (which led to his being posted overseas very soon afterwards) that Nowell did enough flying training to get his “ticket” but was “washed out” before that point of gaining his Wings.

 

I took it that he went down the observer route, but it seemed to take him a while (even allowing for his illness in early 1917) between ceasing pilot training and going out to France - which made me wonder if he had taken on some kind of ground job for a few months.

 

I am away from home and my copy of “The Sky Their Battlefield II” but I dare say someone can provide some details of what happened to him.

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Bennett

Thanks again Piers. I agree with your assumptions. Nowell was declared "unfit for duty" for three weeks in March 1917 due influenza that may have been a factor, yet more likely he 'washed out' from 59th Sq. in May, June 1917 and was then posted to No. 1 Observer's School of Aerial Gunnery located at Littlestone/Palmarsh Airfield. The airfield & base was parallel to present day route 259 near a sewer works and quarry west of Hythe. The post war Romney Marsh, Hythe, & Dymchurch light railway cut off the northern end of the airfield in 1925. It was located south of RAF Lympne.  The book you mentioned does not yield additional information. Thanks again  Ralph

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