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Remembered Today:

Captain (Charles Leslie ? ) Barlow, Egypt 1914

Ian Burns

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The RFC established a small Detachment in Egypt at Ismailia in November 1914. The first flight made by the unit was on 27 November 1914.

Pilot was 2/Lt Samuel Pepys Cockerell and the observer was a Capt Barlow., the flew in Maurice Farman 'Longhorn', 712.


This was the only time Capt Barlow flew with the Detachment.


I think he may have been Capt Charles Leslie Barlow who was either part of or working with the Cairo Intelligence Dept. Barlow had also been Assistant Governor of the Sinai immediately prior to the war.


Any information concerning Capt Barlow would be most gratefully received.


The attached file is from : AIR 1/1168/204/5/2589. Reports and operations of RFC , Egypt Detachment, 1915


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Hi Ian


The Inverclyde Great War project seems to claim him (I think their interest stems from Charles Leslie Barlow being KIA whilst commanding 1/5th Battalion, Argyll  and Sutherland. I can find no link to Inverclyde otherwise.) 




https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/275021/CHARLES LESLIE BARLOW/


His date of entering Theatre was Egypt, 4/8/14. His father, John Arthur, claimed his medals and was Charles's executor. John Arthur was granted the honorary rank of Brigadier General in 1912. 


Charles Leslie had two half brothers who both served. Cyril Bourchier, born India, December 1896, joined the Indian Army 1915. I can't find an MIC. Cyril married Lady Helen Boyle, the daughter of the 6th Earl of Shannon. There is a photo in the NPG, link below:-




Jocelyn, born India, August 1901, joined the West Yorkshire's ( Charles Leslie's original Regiment) in 1921 retiring as a Brigadier in 1953. Jocelyn also was part of the GB shooting team at the 1948 and 52 Olympics.




I hope this helps and doesn't just replicate what you already know of Charles Leslie and family (and that its not entirely wrong!)


Kind Regards



Edited by Swinesheadvillage
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Thanks Derek,

The InverClyde connection appears to be "my" C L Barlow.


He was in Egypt from 1909 according to the link, and attached to the Egyptian Army. However, he seems to have been appointed Assistant Governor of the Sinai to Governor 

W.E. Jennings-Bramley, prior to the war. Because of his bedouin contacts he became involved in intelligence gathering. He was based at Suez until replaced by Maj Richard Meinertzhagen (Another colourful character) just before the Third Battle of Gaza (November 1917).


From there I loose track of him, and he disappears from my area of interest, but the InverClyde link cover that period for us...

Promoted to Major in September 1915, Barlow was appointed second-in-command of the 1st/5th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders on 15 September 1917, the battalion then serving in Egypt, and took command of the battalion on 4 October 1917. Accompanying the battalion to France, Barlow was killed in action in the fighting at Hill 158, near Beugneux, on 1 August 1918. He is buried in Oulchy-le-Chateau Churchyard Extension, Aisne, France. He was previously buried in Beugneux British Cemetery which contained 36 British soldiers, mainly of the 1st/5th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, who were killed on the 1st August, 1918. 


The September 1917 dates fits with his replacement prior to Gaza Three.


Thanks for the reply it reinforces my theories and supports my assumption that Charles Leslie Barlow was the observer on that first flight of the Egypt Detachment, RFC.


BTW. My intelligence period information has been extracted from Yigal Sheffy's British Military Intelligence in the Palestine Campaign, 1914-1918. Not an essential for your bookshelf but very useful to have access to.


Best regards


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Hi Ian


Actually thanks to you. It is a fascinating family to look into. Also thanks for the note on Sheffy's book. 


Whilst looking at this, I did speculate as to whether Charles would have had any contact with TE Lawrence, but could find no such link.


Kind Regards



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