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Remembered Today:

Lieutenant Harold Francis Young seconded as Flying Officer


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Lieut Harold Francis Young          Lancashire Fusiliers


I bought silver war badge B230760 and it came with some paperwork showing he was in the 1/6th Lanc Fus with seniority from 1 July 1917 as a Lieut and f.c noted in the Army List page with it.


I dug it out again recently and was pleasantly surprised to note he was seconded to the RAF as a Flying Officer in Jan 1918 but I have not been able to establish which Squadron he was in or what he was doing in France with the RAF. His papers intriguingly mention "censors 8". Any help would be gratefully appreciated in adding to my research to date..


Many thanks




Military History

LG 13 Dec 1915 Page 12431- The undernoted Privates from the Artist Rifles OTC to be 2nd Lieuts    7th Dec 1915 in the Lancashire Fusiliers

His MIC shows he was posted to the 6th Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers and that he was awarded a Victory and BWM and these were issued by the Air Ministry

He was sent to the 42nd Training School 31 Jan 1918 on appointment as a Flying Officer (as per LG 26 Feb 1918 page 2464) on secondment. Since joining the RFC he has flown MFSH, DH6, BE2E, Avro Pup and Camel. LG 4 April 1918 Page 4090 notes his promotion to Lieutenant with seniority from 1st July 1917 but to remain seconded.

On 1st July 1918 he is admitted to the 30th General Hospital Calais and seven days later is sent back to England to the Central RAF Hospital at Hampstead. It does not appear from his records that he returns to France for the next entry in his RAF papers after the War ends shows he attends a Medical Board on the 31 Jan 1919 and is declared unfit for any duty. LG 21 March 1919 page 2464 shows he relinquishes his commission on the grounds of ill health contracted on Active Service.

Officer Papers in WO374/77632 H F Young  1915-1981


Family Background

Born 29th August 1884 to Edward Arthur (1862) and his wife Eleanor Kate (nee Davies 1864). In 1901 the family are living t 20 St Mary’s Road, Willesden and and his father is a Tea and Coffee Dealer. His siblings are Arthur Edward (1888-1975), Dorothy Eleanor (1890), Charles Henry (1896) and Gwyneth Margaret (1902-1995). The 1911 Census shows his parents have by then been married 25 years and have 5 children still living. They were then living at Fairfield in Thornton Heath the same address Harold’s medals were sent to in 1919.

He was working as a clerk with Dalgety Ltd from 1911-1914

Married Annie Lillian Smalley (1896-1970) in 1919 she was born 22 Jan 1897 in India.

In 1939 register he is noted as a Commercial Traveller Biscuits and an Air Warden. They have one child a daughter Barbara J born 27 Sept 1922 and later Mrs Roberts. They are living at 44 Bibby Road Southport and have 3 elder relatives with them Goulian.

 He died on the 6 Nov 1980 when his address was 18 Phillips Lane, Formby, Liverpool

GBM_AIR76_566_0_0416 as H F Young.jpg

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There is a notation on the form (4th line down), saying 'EF No 43 8.5.18', ie, Expeditionary Force, No 43 Squadron, 8 May 1918.  This was a fighter squadron equipped with Sopwith Camels and was then based at Avesnes-le-Comte, an element of the 9th Wing, No 51 Brigade.  I have no record of him claiming any victories.




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Many thanks Graeme


I had no idea what it meant so this really exciting discovery. It will be really interesting to find out what he did in the three short months he was with them and before he was invalided. I thought he may have had a desk job as a censor but if he really was a "Biggles" and flew his own Sopwith Camel then I am very grateful to you for adding to my research.


Any idea what the word is "C_____" in the Special remarks re duties column please? I have no idea but I suspect I am going to say "Doh" when someone puts me out of my quandary!



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Another interesting discovery. I checked out the Pension Card and it seems he was hospitalised because of a fractured skull. Could this have been due to a flying accident ?



Pensions Card Fractured Skull Young, Harold Francis.jpg

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There are four HF Youngs, two of whom served with 43 Sq which rather complicates things

Harold Farquhar (ex Sherwood Foresters) was killed 20.8.17 with the Squadron

Harold Francis started as an observer but re-trained as a pilot and re-embarked for France 8.5.18

Joining 43Sq on 12.5.18 he was admitted to 39 Stationary Hospital with a scalp wound and concussion on 28.6.18

Moved to 30 General Hospital 1.7.18 and evacuated to England on the hospital ship "Brighton"on 7.7.18



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This is all very fascinating stuff Nieuport and I am very grateful to you. This is the first Silver War Badge I have had to a Seconded Flying Officer and I am impressed with what resources are available. I am sure his officer papers at Kew will fill a few gaps when I am finally allowed to see them. Must have been more than a mild wound to see him invalided home and no longer fit for duty and discharged. He also appears to have got a pension for the rest of his life. I will just have to be patient for the rest of his story. Thank you again for your help



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If you are going to Kew you will find the daily operational reports for the period in AIR 1/1422/204/30/13

Unlike many others this is handwritten

The War Diary is in AIR 1/1423/204/30/17

Officer reports are from AIR 1/1425/204/30/22 through to /25

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