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dvosburgh

3 Sqd RFC - Looking for Pip

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dvosburgh

In Sagittarius Rising Cecil Lewis repeatedly mentions his close friend and observer in No 3 Squadron, who he only refers to as "Pip". In Book II, "The Somme", he writes In September I went on leave; Pip carried on with another pilot. One morning, on the dawn patrol, they, flying low in the arc of our own gunfire, intercepted a passing shell. The machine and both boys were blown to bits.

 

Later, he writes that when he returned from leave he asked the orderly in the mess "And Pip and Kidd?" I was almost frightened to ask. 

"Done in last night. Direct hit. One of our own shells. Battery rang up to apologize..."

 

According to a post I found on The Aerodrome, the casualty list for No 3 in the autumn of 1916 show a Morane BB, serial 5178, lost to AA on 12 October, the crew consisting of 2LT L.C. Kidd, MC, and 2LT F.E.S. Philips, MC. 

 

So I'm assuming that "Pip" was, in fact, said 2nd Lieutenant Philips. But you know what they say about assuming anything. Does anyone have any contrary/supporting/supplementary information? I'd love to hear it if so. 

 

TIA, 

 

Dave

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pierssc
Posted (edited)

 

....

 

Edited by pierssc
Post duplicated

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pierssc
Posted (edited)

Have a look at this post as it may answer your question.

 

 

Interestingly since the previous discussion Lewis's Casualty form has become available which shows that he was on leave between 28th September and 12th October 1916 so Pip seems to have been killed the day he returned.

 

https://www.casualtyforms.org/form/29688

 

Lewis is inconsistent as to the date of Pip's death.  He states both that it was "last night" and "on the dawn patrol".   In fact, according to Trevor Henshaw's The Sky Their Battlefield II, neither seems to be absolutely correct.  Kidd and Phillips departed at 1.50 pm, the time of the crash not being stated.   It may have been late afternoon (my guess) which in October could be getting dark.

 

Phillips' form is https://www.casualtyforms.org/form/18727

Edited by pierssc
Info re casualty forms added plus other info re timing

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pierssc

... and they identified and rededicated his grave in 2017

 

https://www.raf.mod.uk/news/articles/news-archive/101-years-later-peace-at-last-for-world-war-one-aviators/ (other reports are available)

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pierssc
Posted (edited)

Much of interest here, including photos

 

http://medicalgentlemen.co.uk/aboutbow/fenton-phillips

 

http://medicalgentlemen.co.uk/aboutbow/rededication

Edited by pierssc

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dvosburgh

Thanks! more than I hoped for. I believe I just found another photo of him on a site curated by the family of, and dedicated to, 2LT Francis G.W. Marchant, another 3 Sqdn observer killed only ten days later by Oblt Hans Berr of Jasta 5. It's autographed "Yrs ever/Phillips/6.8.16" and included in the "La Houssoye" section.

 

It would certainly be interesting to know what became of the medals, I note the auction lot included his log book and two dozen photos of "the recipient, fellow pilots, Observers, and aircraft; and a file of research." 

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dvosburgh

Thanks again, the rededication articles came as a complete surprise. I was at Tyne Cot two years ago, not that far away. Wish I'd known...

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pierssc

Could you post the link to the Marchant site for future reference please?

 

Do have a read through the submission to the CWGC - very interesting.

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dvosburgh

The Marchant site is here:

 

https://www.fgwmarchant.co.uk

 

Extremely well-done, obviously a labor of love. There's a number of photos of 3 Sqdn personnel and a/c, including several of the obscure Morane BB biplane.

 

One thing that also interested me by association with Sagittarius Rising is a copy of a short comic piece entitled "With the Flying Corps in France" which has "(Ed.) Hoppy" typed at the bottom. In the same passage I quoted in my original post Lewis also asks about "Hoppy", and receives the answer "Wounded. Gone home." It shouldn't be too hard to figure out who he was too...WiA late Sept/early Oct '16?

 

Famous last words...

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pierssc

Between 27th Sept and 13th October ( slightly wider than the recorded dates of Lewis's leave) the only 3 Squadron member injured was 2/Lt CT Cleaver, who was wounded in the foot by a rifle bullet on 9th October. (Per TSTB II).  See also https://www.casualtyforms.org/form/3490

 

I think you should Google Trevor's book - I think you'd get a lot out of it.

 

Thanks for the link to the Marchant site - very interesting, I must go through some of the other names and photos.

 

 

Edited by pierssc

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alex revell

Hi all

If you contact Trevor Henshaw he will give some details re Pip and a wonderful memorial he made in his memory.

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pierssc

Thanks Alex

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dvosburgh

The post on The Aerodrome also mentions 2LT Charles Thornton Cleaver, WiA 09.10.16 by ground fire. There were no references mentioned.

 

RE: Trevor's book, you have to love synchronicity! Oddly enough I just had a link to TSTB II pop up on my Facebook feed yesterday afternoon, I'd been giving thought to ordering a copy. I definitely will now, thanks for the reinforcement.

 

This all got started in the course of researching a painting of Lewis's Morane LA 5133 on the run-up to the Somme offensive, for which I'm also in need of some information. But I'll post separately about that.

 

Many thanks. 

 

Dave

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pierssc

You have to wonder quite how much of your correspondence FB is looking at!

 

Perhaps not so suspicious as the RFC airman group shared a post from Trevor and I got it too.

Edited by pierssc

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dvosburgh
Just now, pierssc said:

You have to wonder quite how much of your correspondence FB is looking at!

Indeed! The algorithms are getting more and more sophisticated (or insidious, depending on your views)... they picked up on the fact that I've started following the IPMS Great War SIG and a couple others, now I'm getting tons of suggestions every time I visit FB.

 

2 hours ago, alex revell said:

Hi all

If you contact Trevor Henshaw he will give some details re Pip and a wonderful memorial he made in his memory.

 

Thanks for the suggestion, Alex, I'll try contacting Trevor today. 

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fetubi

Thank you to those who alerted me to this Post - as it contains something very dear to my heart.  I was sitting in my Architect's studio in London back in November 1982, never having showed the faintest interest in WW1 in the Air.  I was more interested in Medieval Parish Churches!  The Office radio was playing the morning programs on the BBC - a wonderful old voice was reading from his Autobiography - 15 minute segments.  I'd listened absently for a couple of days, but realised I was being drawn in.  It was fascinating, and a revelation.  But nothing could really explain what then happened.  It was Cecil Lewis, and he was reading Sagittarius Rising, and he had reached the page where he was recalling walking back from a forced landing in 1916, with his best friend Pip.  I was deeply moved, and transfixed as he spoke of Pip, and his later death.  Of course I kept listening on through the week, but it was that morning, hearing of the diapason of the guns, and the shuffle of their flying boots, and his loving words, that made me go and buy Sagittarius Rising in the next few days.

Fast forward 13 years, and Grub Street publish my first edition of The Sky Their Battlefield - thousands of entries, 450,000 words, describing every day of the 1914-18 air war.  My fascination, due to Cecil Lewis, had grown into a passion, to tell these men's stories.  Then another 19 years of deeper study, recording thousands more pages from the AIR1 files of the National Archives, exhaustively checking German documents, and getting help and talking with friends, all so I could self-publish my expanded The Sky Their Battlefield II in 2014 - this time, the stories of almost 17,000 air personnel from 1912 until 1919 got into print - almost 700,000 words of their stories this time...

Then came my thrill, one day last year, out at the National Archives, to find my two books sat next to Sagittarius Rising on the shelves.  Our books will rub dust jackets for decades!   It got me thinking of how it had all started - back listening to his soft emotional words about his dear friend, who had been blown away and lost, with no known grave.

Something then clicked...  back in 2014-15 I had made good friends with Canadian Researcher Steve St Amant, and he had come to me, as perhaps one of the experts in the field, to help him search for a crew of Lt Kidd, and Lt Phillips, lost with No Known Grave.  He also knew that my passion had turned to trying to find Allied Airmen with No Known Grave.  Using the vast amount of data I had compiled in my research, to be able to search for all sorts of possibilities/check and verify or eliminate alternatives, we worked together for some months, and then Steve made his expert submission, heavily citing the Sky their Battlefield II and my other data I'd uncovered.  Kidd and Phillips were wonderfully found, and re-interred in 1917 - it was a wonderful moment.  But I never twigged...!

It was me finding my books next to Sagittarius Rising at the NI that made the penny finally drop:  Phillips... 3 Squadron... lost just near Eaucourt, in late 1916... It was Pip!!  I had found Pip.  Cecil Lewis had ignited something in me back that morning in 1982, which effectively had been him saying to me "Find my friend Pip."  All those thousands of hours of research have been the result - my book is written, the information has been assembled, and as a result Steve and I found Pip.  It is such an incredible circle of events.  But anyone who knew Cecil wouldn't be altogether surprised...!  Thank you Cecil.  

 

Trevor

 

Edited by fetubi

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charlie962

What a wonderful post.

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fetubi
1 hour ago, charlie962 said:

What a wonderful post.

Thank you Charlie.

Trevor

 

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ICM - RAF Retd

Trevor:  That is a truly remarkable achievement, and the eloquence with which the tale is told matches it.  We, or at least many of us, owe you an immense debt for your research and it's quite something to read how it all came about.

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dvosburgh

Good Lord, Trevor, what a story! Had you seen the photo of him on the Marchant family site before? What a handsome young man...

Edited by dvosburgh
revision

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fetubi

Thank you, once more, both of you.  I'd only seen some photos of Pip when Steve St Amant sent me one or two when I got in touch to tell him about all this!  He was able to have Pip's medals there at the Re-interment Ceremony in October '17 - what a moment.

Best, Trevor

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alex revell

Charlie 962,

Yes, from a wonderful man. I'm very proud to be his friend.

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pjwmacro
On 12/06/2019 at 19:04, fetubi said:

It was me finding my books next to Sagittarius Rising at the NI that made the penny finally drop:  Phillips... 3 Squadron... lost just near Eaucourt, in late 1916... It was Pip!!  I had found Pip.  Cecil Lewis had ignited something in me back that morning in 1982, which effectively had been him saying to me "Find my friend Pip."  All those thousands of hours of research have been the result - my book is written, the information has been assembled, and as a result Steve and I found Pip.  It is such an incredible circle of events.  But anyone who knew Cecil wouldn't be altogether surprised...!  Thank you Cecil.  

 

I second those comments that this is a wonderful post - a perfect example of the GWF at it's very best. Trevor, as always you tell the tale eloquently and with great modesty. I do think though that it should be removed from the obscurity of post #17 in a thread, and elevated to having it's own thread - or a blog?

 

Regards, Paul

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fetubi
On 13/06/2019 at 11:09, alex revell said:

Charlie 962,

Yes, from a wonderful man. I'm very proud to be his friend.

Alex, you are a fabulous friend, and always, a great inspiration.

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