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Remembered Today:

Air Personnel in France


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Raymond BAEY

Dear Friends,

I live in Maubeuge a town located in the heights of France, which was liberated on November 9, 1918 by British troops which belonged to the V British Corps commanded by General Sir MATHESON.

The 25 squadron of the  Royal Air Force ( aerodrome of the going bridge ) on this date, as well as the 9AP and possibly the 9 wing.

I am looking for all the military information concerning Ernest HOLMES belonging to the RAF présent on Maubeuge soil until May 1919.

Despite my research in the UK National Archives, in Ancestry, in Findmypast, and considerable help from Airhistory ; i am unable to find his squadron number and his Army reference number.

Can you help me, the task promises to be very difficult.

Best Regards

Raymond

British Soldiers in Maubeuge November 19180002.jpg

Maubeuge writing board November 1918a.jpg

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George Rayner

Bonjour Raymond and welcome to the forum.

 

What information do you already have about Ernest Holmes please? This may help our search for any details which still exist.

 

Merci

 

George

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Raymond BAEY

Hello George,

Thanks a lot for your quick answer and your welcome message.

Unfortunately , i only know he was about 22 years ago in 1918.

I found a good candidate for my research,

He received a victory medal ( please see attached document ) but a search for service N° 49134 from Northamptonshire Rgt gave no result. 

I do not know the link between his first Rgt and the RAF Rgt service N° 332708,

so i do not make sure he his a right person.

Best Regards

Raymond

PS: Please excuse my poor English language

HOLMES E. F. MEDAL VICTORY information.png

AIR HISTORY   RFC  patronymes E. HOLMES.a.png

2021-04-14 (61).png

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George Rayner

Your English is much better than my French-I haven't been over to practice with my friends recently!

 

In Ancestry is a Medal Roll which gives both numbers

image.png.6933f832f15d98dbf25e5a8d0ed820ad.png

Ancestry.co.uk - UK, World War I Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920

The number on the left was his number given when he transferred to RAF while the other one is the number he had when he first started in the army with the Northamptonshire Regiment.

 

George

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George Rayner

The man above didn't join RAF until July 1919 and then went to Alexandria in October so is unlikely to be him I think.

image.png.81642a5c422c35b72b9f54f805588141.png

Extract from Find My Past-with thanks

 

George

 

 

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JMB1943

Surely it MUST be the right man, as the Northants & RAF numbers both match those given by the OP.

My guess is that the date of May, 1919 (sources unknown) given by the OP is in error.

 

Regards,

JMB

 

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charlie962

Bonsoir Raymond.

Using FindmyPast and searching for airmens service records "Ernest Holmes" I got 15 hits but having eliminated those who did not serve in France I am left with the following:

 

106522 Ernest Holmes b 28/7/1896  France 26/7/18-3/7/19 (then Egypt)  97 Squadron (who were at Saint Inglevert until 4/3/19)
31325  Ernest George Holmes  b ...?   France 5/3/17-13/2/19  1 ASD -Aeroplane Supply Depot          
267748 Ernest Holmes b 21/12/1885 France 4/8/18- 7/4/19 No2 Aeroplane Supply depot (who were at Berck sur Mer 1918?)
225794 Ernest Norman Holmes b 25/9/1883  France 15/6/17-11/1/19 Dunkirk then 11 AP
98668  William Ernest Holmes b 11/5/1899  France 26/3/18-22/5/18 and 27/7/18-12/10/19 212 TDS

 

Only 106522 has a birth date that fits your information  (his next-of-kin father, 49, Westmorland St, Skipton, Yorkshire)

 

Qu'est-ce que vous en pensez ?

 

Charlie

9 hours ago, Raymond BAEY said:

aerodrome of the going bridge

Best not to translate but leave as Pont Allant !

Edited by charlie962
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Raymond BAEY

Dear Friends,

Thank you very much for your answers.

 Tomorrow morning i will send you an individual answer.

Have a nice night !.

Raymond

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George Rayner
11 hours ago, JMB1943 said:

Surely it MUST be the right man,

JMB-I'm more than happy to be wrong!

 

Raymond-if you know he was RAF, and aged 22 approximately is there anything else that is known please? 

 

George

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Raymond BAEY

George, JMB1943, Charlie962,

Hello,

Finally i opted for a common answer.

The only certitude is  that the airman Ernest HOLMES, 

was in Maubeuge in March 1919, he stayed there 

for several months around March and he was about 

22 years old.

Ernest was perhaps his second name.

 

It seems that only the following squadrons were in Maubeuge ;

between November 1918 and May 1919 : 9 wing HQ, 9 AP, 25th squadron

between January 1919 and May 1919: 107th squadron.

 

Airmen who could be the right person:

332708 yes

106522 yes

31325   no  ( he left in February )

267748 and 225794  no ( too old )

98668 yes.

Thank you very very much for your considerable help

Raymond

 

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charlie962
6 hours ago, Raymond BAEY said:

106522 yes

I missed out an important bit of extra detail. Holmes 106522 seems to have stayed in France for 4 months after 97 Squadron returned to UK in early March 1919. He was posted to 216 Squadron on 28/2/19. He was aged 22. He seems to have trade qualification of Wireless Op.

 

216 Squadron was in France and left for Egypt in July 1919. I think, reading between the lines on his service record, he went with them. So the question is 'Where were 216 Squadron for the 4 months March to June 1919?'  . Google wasn't very precise. I will look at Discovery Nat Archives....

 

I think he is the strongest candidate by far.

 

6 hours ago, Raymond BAEY said:

332708 yes

As George said, he did not join the RAF until July 1919 and that was in UK, before going to Egypt. He was previously with the Northants in France but he left France 10/2/19.

 

So I think no.

 

Charlie

Edited by charlie962
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charlie962

216 Squadron moved to MARQUISE on 14/12/18 for special duties:  carrying mail to Cologne and Valenciennes. They remained there, I believe, until their departure for Egypt July 1919.

(source AIR 27/1332/1)

 

charlie

 

ps   Marquise was between Boulogne and Calais.

 

Could 106522, as a Wireless Op, have some reason to be at 9th Wing HQ  for example ?

Edited by charlie962
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Raymond BAEY

Hello Charlie962,

Thank you for your messages.

What is your source for the French name aerodrome of " pont allant " ?.

If 216sq stayed at Marquise before it move to Egypt, 106522 would not our candidate

( Ernest was based at Maubeuge in March 1919 ).

I'd like to get the source of the RAF operation book 

of 25th sq , 9th wing HQ, 9th AP , is it possible.

I paid subscription to Ancestry, Find my past, Forces War Records,

what else to improve the investigation ?

Regards 

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charlie962
3 hours ago, Raymond BAEY said:

What is your source for the French name aerodrome of " pont allant " ?.

here, amongst others

 

3 hours ago, Raymond BAEY said:

If 216sq stayed at Marquise before it move to Egypt, 106522 would not our candidate

( Ernest was based at Maubeuge in March 1919 ).

It was not unusual for some men to be 'attached' to other units than their parent unit. In his case as a qualified wireless operator, he could well have been attached to a headquarters elsewhere.- so do not rule him out yet.

 

3 hours ago, Raymond BAEY said:

I'd like to get the source of the RAF operation book 

of 25th sq , 9th wing HQ, 9th AP , is it possible.

Unfortunately some of these higher level books are not digitised although specialist aviation sites may have someone who has copied or transcribed ? Discovery National Archives is the place I looked. If it is digitised then currently (but be quick) records are free to download if you register.

eg   Digitised therefore downloadable online:

  216 Sqdn Operations Record Book Summary of Events AIR 27/1332/1 that I quoted above is here

  25 Sqdn Op Record Book Summary of Events AIR 27  is here

    Not Digitised therefore requiring a visit:

9 Aircraft Park- various records here

9 Wing-  all sorts of records to sift through here

 

PS if you do search on Discovery, never put 'th' or 'rd' after a number, just put the number.

 

3 hours ago, Raymond BAEY said:

Ernest was based at Maubeuge in March 1919  - aged 22

You have not let on what is the source of this information. Might it give us another clue ? - or is someone looking for their grandfather ?

 

Charlie

 

 

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Raymond BAEY

Hello Charlie,

Thank you for your pertinent remarks; 

i will let myself be guided as much as you are

a specialist in the WW1.

I can see that you are very well documented.

You are very insightful because indeed my dear 

is looking for her grandfather; her father was born at Maubeuge

on December 16, 1919.

Regards

 

 

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Raymond BAEY

Bonsoir Charlie,

I will read the full document tomorrow as it is about 12 PM.

Hope he is the right airman.

thank you very much for your considerable work.

Best regards

Raymond

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