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mark parker

Photos of WW1 aircraft from old negatives and a question

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mark parker

Hi,

I'm fairly new to here, and would like to share some photos from a little book of negatives that was sent to my Grandmother by her brother Walter G Preston. I've been having some printed, and many have good detail, as I get more done I'll scan them and post them here for anyone interested, I like the way some of them show ground crew working on the planes, up ladders etc to get to motors.

The question I have relates to my Grandmother's brother Walter G Preston, because our family lost contact with him sometime after WW1, and I'd like to know if he has decendants. What I know about him is that he (probably) enlisted in Sydney Australia and served with the AIF as a machine gunner, (probably 1st division going by the dates he left Egypt for France and the dates he went into and out of the battle at Pozieres) In late 1916 he transfered to the RFC and became a pilot, being awarded a DFC for night bombing; flying 3 missions in one night, with a total of 70 missions plus other reconicance etc, I don't have his full service record. He stayed on in the RAF after the war becoming a Wing-commander, while his brother Arthur, who had also transfered to the RFC and became a pilot, came home to Australia.

This is Walter, probably just after WW1;

WalterPreston.jpg

Possibly he is in this photo maybe the one on the left;

scan0008.jpg

I'm guessing this is an Avro?;

avro-1.jpg

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mark parker

These are some more that wouldn't fit on the original post;

Be2e;

scan0005.jpg

RE7

RE7.jpg

Niewport scout;

ANiewportScout.jpg

Already I've been able to find information about this aircraft from posting on this site, I'm told it is; 'Nieuport 20 two-seater (a Nieuport 12 with a 110hp Le Rhône engine). A154 was used by No 1 Sqn RFC from 24 June 1916 until 4 January 1917, when it was transferred to No 46 Sqn. By 5 July it was at Gosport as a trainer.'

I have 7 negatives at the photo shop and should be able to post some interesting photos next week, some have tails visible and hopefully readable numbers.

Mark

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zooloo

You mentioned scanning and sending the negatives to photo shop - have you tried scanning the negatives at the highest resolution and reversing the inage?

Excellent pictures, thanks.

One seems to have a cover on the propeller* - which I've never seen before.

Nice one. :)

zoo

*Sorry if I've raised anyone's blood pressure by using foolish civvy terms :D

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mark parker

I tried scanning the negatives and reversing the colour but they don't come out so clear. My daughter-inlaw works at the photo shop and can get them good, she is talking about burning them straight to disc, but they have better equipment, scanners etc. Though I can get a good scan from a print. I'll just post the best images I can get. Mark.

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Dolphin
I'm guessing this is an Avro?;

Mark

It looks like an Avro 504J to me. This was the RFC's standard trainer (once they started to standardise training) until that role was taken over by the Avro 504K.

I look forward to seeing more of your photographs.

I had a look through the published RAF Communiqués, and saw that Capt W G Preston's DFC is mentioned in the issue covering the week 15-21 July 1918. Unfortunately, that's the only reference to him in the book.

Gareth

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Flyvulcan

Great photos Mark. Terrific resolution. I'll look forward to the other 7 you have. I looked at the book "The Annals of 100Sqn" and did not see a Preston listed on the roll, so he will probably have been with another squadron. Someone on this forum will be able to help with more info as there are some very generous contributors who have a wealth of information. My great uncle followed the same course, enlisted at Melbourne into 1st AIF, Egypt, Gallipoli then the RFC as a pilot at 100Sqn (night bombing). Good luck with getting more info.

Dave

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mickdavis
These are some more that wouldn't fit on the original post;

Be2e;

scan0005.jpg

RE7

RE7.jpg

Niewport scout;

ANiewportScout.jpg

Already I've been able to find information about this aircraft from posting on this site, I'm told it is; 'Nieuport 20 two-seater (a Nieuport 12 with a 110hp Le Rhône engine). A154 was used by No 1 Sqn RFC from 24 June 1916 until 4 January 1917, when it was transferred to No 46 Sqn. By 5 July it was at Gosport as a trainer.'

I have 7 negatives at the photo shop and should be able to post some interesting photos next week, some have tails visible and hopefully readable numbers.

Mark

A few further snippets

A154 Nieuport 20 (SFA N1169).

1 AD dd 9.5.1916. 1 Sqn Bailleul dd ex 1 AD 24.6.1916 by Major GF Pretyman. 46 Sqn dd ex 1 Sqn 4.1.1917. 1 AD ex 46 Sqn. Flown to England. Gosport by 5.7.1917. 43 TS Ternhill by 9.1917.

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mickdavis
A few further snippets

A154 Nieuport 20 (SFA N1169).

1 AD dd 9.5.1916. 1 Sqn Bailleul dd ex 1 AD 24.6.1916 by Major GF Pretyman. 46 Sqn dd ex 1 Sqn 4.1.1917. 1 AD ex 46 Sqn. Flown to England. Gosport by 5.7.1917. 43 TS Ternhill by 9.1917.

The BE2e is clearly a Home Defence machine. The BE12a behind appears to be A595 whose history was

A595 78 HDS A Flt Telscombe Cliffs by 25.5 until @ 22.7.1917. 78 HDS C Flt Penshurst by 22.8.1917. 78 Sqn Biggin Hill by 25.9.1917 until @ 19.12.1917. 141 Sqn Biggin Hill.

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mark parker

This is another shot of the Niewport Scout:

NiewportScout.jpg

This iphotobucket.com/albums/b213/markparker/WalterwithhisBE2e-1.jpg[/img]s Walter's BE2E:

WalterwithhisBE2e.jpg

This is titled; 'Juggins in an Aeroplane'

Walter.jpg

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mickdavis

Some more interesting shots. The JN4 with the 2B marking is new to me. The BE2e appears to be A2975, for which I have :-

A2975 At Filton 24.5.1917 allotted to EF France but re-allotted to HD Wing to replace A8648 (previously allotted then cancelled). Filton 30.5.1917 re-allotted to EF France but again allotted to HD Wing 1.6.1917.

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Andrew Smith

G'day Mark;

Walter George Preston

Born: Toowong, Queensland

Father: John Charles Preston

Mother: ??

Pre War Profession: Clerk

Enlisted AIF: August 4th, 1915 at Liverpool NSW

Serial Number: 2774

Emabarked for Overseas: Per HMAT Euripides November 2nd 1915

Units: 18th Bn (6th Reinforcements)

3rd Bn from 14th Feb 1916

Appointments: 14/2/1916 Private

6/8/1916 Lance Corporal

7/8/1916 Temporary Corporal

20/9/1916 Corporal

17/3/1917 Temporary 2nd Lieutenant (RFC)

Postings: 14/2/1916 Taken on Strength 18th Bn at Tel El Kebir

22/3/1916 Embarks Alexandria for Marseilles per HMTS Grampian

28/3/1916 Arrives Marseilles

14/11/1916 Attends Officer Cadet Bn RFC at England

16/11/1916 Discharged from Officer Cadet Hospital to Denha for Flying School

26/1/1917 To Exter College

16/3/1917 Discharged from AIF, taken on strength RFC

?????????? Joins 210 Sqn.

Married: Ruby G Ross at Randwick 1922

Thats all I have as I haven't started researching Aussies in the RFC/RAF yet. His service record is available at the National archives - www.naa.gov.au click on record search, the search as a guest and then enter his name.

Hope that helps.

Regards,

Andrew.

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mark parker

Thanks Andrew,

there are things we didn't know especially about his marriage in 1922, I think the last his family knew he was married during the war or just after to Millicent Taton Taton, as seen in this 1919 photo, with him outside Buckingham Palace after recieving tha DFC from King George:

BuckinghamPalace1919.jpg

Most of the photos of planes so far I think were taken while he was training this FE2b (I think) is from another group of negatives (I'm still trying to re-locate, this is a bit out of focus but the negative is not so I'll get a better print of it when it turns up, ) I'm interested to get details on this aircraft and see if he might have flown it in France;

Fe2b-1.jpg

This sort of thing seemed to be common at flying school, 'Pud Reed's crash';

000001.jpg

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mark parker

More 'Pud Reed's crash' :

000004.jpg

PudReedscrash.jpg

A line of aircraft:

000002.jpg

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Dolphin
Most of the photos of planes so far I think were taken while he was training this FE2b (I think) is from another group of negatives

Mark

Thanks again for posting these fascinating photographs. The FE is an FE 2d, which differed from the more common FE 2b by having a 250 hp Roll-Royce engine and a large radiator behind the pilot. The FE 2b used a 120 hp or 160 hp Beardmore engine.

Best wishes

Gareth

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ChrisM

I assume you are aware, Mark, that there is genealogical information accessible on the internet which seems to relate to your Walter G. Preston, his siblings and his ancestors - although regrettably it doesn't seem to answer the question about his descendants.

Thanks for the pics.

Chris

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mickdavis

Again some great shots. It's a shame that j-peg format reduces clarity. Is the BE12 6615 or 6616 ? I have :-

6615 SARD Farnborough, tested 27.2.1917.

6616 36 HDS Cramlington dd 9.9.1916 (Capt CG Burge).

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mickdavis

Sorry - forgot to add about the FE2d

A12 - Allotted to EF France by 17.6.1916. 20 Sqn Clairmarais, request for replacement 11.11.1916. 46 RS Bramham Moor by 5.1917. 33 HDS C Flt Elsham and crashed on AZP 24.9.1917 (2Lt C Pinnock IIFA & Lt JA Menzies KIA).

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mickdavis

I only have 2 Reeds on my BE2 file. The only one in the UK is in this

A1850 - SARD Farnborough, tested 24.4.1917. 1 AD St Omer dd 24.4.1917, designated as BE2g. 2 AD Candas ex 1 AD 26.4.1917. 15 Sqn Lèalvillers. 1 AD ex 15 Sqn 10.6.1917 and flown to England 3.7.1917. Also recorded as flown from Edinburgh (Turnhouse ?) to Bedford, via Redcar, 19.6.1917 (Lt Reed).

I can't explain the discrepancies in dates

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mickdavis

Sorry that this is bitty but the more I look at the shots, the more thoughts occur to me. The 3rd shot of the stuffed in BE2e has 1915 pattern flight sheds. That reduces the number of possible aerodromes, as does the presence of some (but not a lot of) woodland in the background. Those 2 facts seem to reduce the possible locations to Hounslow, Beaulieu, Wye and Lilbourne.

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mark parker

There is reference to a photo of Beaulieu Rd, and Village, so I would guess you are spot on this is a photo showing those hangers, and described as My ??? BE2E;

000013.jpg

This is I think Curtis Bi-plane it has visible numbers, B1926;

B1926.jpg

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mark parker

Pud Reed has South Africa after his name in one photo. Another is of 'Denham camp RFC'.

This photo 'Paddle (or Poddle) Munro, Reed, MacDonald' ;

000006.jpg

''Ayre' on the wing' Ayre possibly in reference to Walter's friend Ray A Ayrton, Looks like the Avro:

Avro.jpg

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mickdavis

more nice shots and the 1B marking on the Jenny ties in with the earlier 2B marking. For B1926 I have :-

B1926 17 RS Croydon. 16 TS Beaulieu by 6.1917. 50 TS Narborough and crashed 28.7.1917 (Lt I Cooke).

Other 16 RS/TS JN3/4s were 5639, 6123, 6127, A899, A1255, A3831, A5164, A5494, A5496, B1920, B1924, B1941.

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mark parker

Walter entered the RFC in March 1917, one of his friends there at flight school was a South African who he refered to as 'Pud' Reed, see above photo and photos of crash. Is it possible this is the same South African?

Arthur Eden Reed

Country: South Africa

Rank: Lieutenant

Service: Royal Flying Corps

Royal Air Force

Units: 29

Victories: 19

Born: 22 August 1898

Place of Birth: Pretoria

Died:

Place of Death:

reed1.jpg

Having served with the army in German East Africa, Reed entered the Royal Flying Corps in April 1917. When he completed his training, he was posted to 29 Squadron in March 1918. Flying the S.E.5a, he scored nineteen victories during the war. Reed's brother, a Quartermaster Sergeant in the 4th South African Infantry Brigade, was a Victoria Cross recipient.

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mark parker

From a letter written by Walter's wife, Millicent to his sister in 1919 it seems he was in 101 sqn, has anyone got info on that sqn? Am getting some more photos done, one of 'Pud' Reed the South African, maybe we'll see if he could be the S/African Arthur Reed above.

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Dolphin

Mark

No 101 Sqn RFC was formed at Farnborough on 12 July 1917 and went to France as a night-bombing unit equipped with the FE 2b, BE 12 and BE 12a later that month. The BEs were retired in March 1918. No 101 Sqn was in the 22nd (Army) Wing of the 5th Brigade and it stayed on the Western Front until after the Armistice, still using the FE 2b, and moved back to the UK in March 1919. The squadron was disbanded at Eastleigh in December 1919.

I hope that this helps.

Gareth

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