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Errol Martyn

EMENS, Laurie George, NZEF - attached RFC or RAF?

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Errol Martyn

EMENS, Laurie George – a biographical entry for this man, who at the time was superintendent of the Musick Point Aeradio Station, Auckland, New Zealand, appears in the Whites Air Directory editions of 1947 to 1951-1952 and includes the statement that he

was attached to RFC Squadron commanded by Major McCudden [sic]; with another New Zealander was first [to] establish communication between aircraft in flight and a ground station; this was achieved by means of a Klaxon Horn fixed to open cockpit of aircraft and venetian blind arrangement pegged out on ground below.

Emens (13 Nov 1897 – 25 May 1988), a telegraphist in civilian life, served with the NZEF as 10/3544 in the Wellington Infantry Regiment from October 1915 to October 1919, attaining sergeant rank. He served in France from April to October 1916 and again from July 1917 to war’s end. His NZEF service record is available for online viewing on the Archives NZ website, but it makes no mention whatsoever of any attachment or secondment to the RFC or RAF.

Has anyone come across his name in connection with the RFC or RAF?

TIA,

Errol

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MikeMeech
17 hours ago, Errol Martyn said:

EMENS, Laurie George – a biographical entry for this man, who at the time was superintendent of the Musick Point Aeradio Station, Auckland, New Zealand, appears in the Whites Air Directory editions of 1947 to 1951-1952 and includes the statement that he

 

was attached to RFC Squadron commanded by Major McCudden [sic]; with another New Zealander was first [to] establish communication between aircraft in flight and a ground station; this was achieved by means of a Klaxon Horn fixed to open cockpit of aircraft and venetian blind arrangement pegged out on ground below.

 

Emens (13 Nov 1897 – 25 May 1988), a telegraphist in civilian life, served with the NZEF as 10/3544 in the Wellington Infantry Regiment from October 1915 to October 1919, attaining sergeant rank. He served in France from April to October 1916 and again from July 1917 to war’s end. His NZEF service record is available for online viewing on the Archives NZ website, but it makes no mention whatsoever of any attachment or secondment to the RFC or RAF.

 

 

Has anyone come across his name in connection with the RFC or RAF?

TIA,

Errol

Hi

 

I am not sure that this is totally 'true'.  The "venetian blind" or Shutter Panel was introduced just before the Battle of the Somme in 1916 and remained in use until replaced by the Popham 'T' Panel during 1918.  He could well have used these in the infantry as signallers operated them at battalion HQs and above.  The Klaxon was introduced to signal to the infantry by the end of July 1916, as is mentioned in an 'after action' report of the period, this was because the infantry were missing the white Very light signal that the Contact aeroplanes were signally with during the Somme.  (More details on the Klaxon can be found in my article 'The RFC & RAF use of the Klaxon during World War One' that appears in 'Cross & Cockade International' of Summer 2017).  If he was a signaller during the Somme in July 1916 he may well have been one of the first to 'use' the combination of the two devices in battle, but the first?  The Klaxon had been used in signalling trials and experiments pre-war by the army and sending Morse messages as 'entertainment' for civilian audiences at Hendon.

 

When it is said that he was attached to a RFC squadron commanded by Major McCudden, is this supposed to be Major James McCudden, VC?  If so there is a problem as he died in 1918 when flying to take command of No. 60 Squadron, so he never got to command a squadron.

 

I hope that is of use.

 

Mike

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Errol Martyn

Many thanks Mick, much appreciated.

I have read your CCI articles and found them to be most interesting and informative.

Emens would have been 50 when his entry first appeared in the Whites Air Directory. Perhaps his memory tricked him into believing his role (perhaps just a relatively minor one on the ground) was far more significant than the reality.

Cheers,

Errol

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travers61

I am sure you have seen the interesting on-line biography of Laurie Emens compiled by his daughter, which includes only the following brief mention of his WW1 military career:

 

Military service in Suez and Egypt, 1916-1918

 

It states he had worked for the New Zealand Post & Telegraphs Department since 1912, so that probably have influenced his role in the war.

 

http://maritimeradio.org/people/lg-emens/

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Errol Martyn

Hello Travers61,

 

No, I had not seen this 'bio' before, so thank you for drawing my attention to it. Unfortunately it appears the daughter never requested a copy of his WWI service record. Her statement that LGE was in Egypt 1916-1918 is wrong, and in 1918 he was not in Wanganui and in fact did did not embark for New Zealand until 1919.

 

Cheers,

Errol

 

 

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MikeMeech
13 hours ago, Errol Martyn said:

Many thanks Mick, much appreciated.

I have read your CCI articles and found them to be most interesting and informative.

Emens would have been 50 when his entry first appeared in the Whites Air Directory. Perhaps his memory tricked him into believing his role (perhaps just a relatively minor one on the ground) was far more significant than the reality.

Cheers,

Errol

Hi Errol

 

Thank you for your kind comments.

 

Mike

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travers61
14 hours ago, Errol Martyn said:

Hello Travers61,

 

No, I had not seen this 'bio' before, so thank you for drawing my attention to it. Unfortunately it appears the daughter never requested a copy of his WWI service record. Her statement that LGE was in Egypt 1916-1918 is wrong, and in 1918 he was not in Wanganui and in fact did did not embark for New Zealand until 1919.

 

Cheers,

Errol

 

 

 

Nice to see the photo on the bio, as Its always nice to put a face to the servicemen being discussed here on the forum.

 

Agreed, it seems the daughter did not get his military record, though the bio must be interesting for anyone looking at the NZ Post & Telegraph Service.

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