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Remembered Today:

Flt Sub Lt Gordon Ezra Duke & WO Percival Victor Fraser


chrisharley9
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Name: DUKE, GORDON EZRA

Initials: G E

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Flight Sub-Lieutenant

Regiment/Service: Royal Naval Air Service

Age: 19

Date of Death: 10/01/1916

Additional information: Son of Mary Duke of 255, Glebeholme Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario, and the late Robert Duke.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: D. 149.

Cemetery: EASTBOURNE (OCKLYNGE) CEMETERY

Name: FRASER, PERCIVAL VICTOR

Initials: P V

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Warrant Officer

Regiment/Service: Royal Naval Air Service

Date of Death: 10/01/1916

Additional information: Son of William and Annie Fraser, of The Pines, Emu Park, Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: D. 148.

Cemetery: EASTBOURNE (OCKLYNGE) CEMETERY

Reference: COR/1/3/240

Creation dates: 12 Jan 1916

DUKE

Scope and Content

Gordon Ezra, Probationary Flight Sub-lieutenant in the RNAS, Sydney House, Grand Parade, Eastbourne, 20; killed when the aeroplane he was flying crashed possibly due to a control wire slipping

Reference: COR/1/3/241

Creation dates: 12 Jan 1916

FRASER

Scope and Content

Percival Victor, Warrant Officer (2nd grade) RNAS, Eastbourne, 30; killed when aeroplane flown by G Duke (see COR/1/3/240 ) crashed in a field near Hampden Park

I would be very grateful for any additional info on these 2 lads for a database that Im compiling

All The Best

Chris

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Thanks Terry

wonderfull photo too

Chris

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Thanks Terry

wonderfull photo too

Chris

Hi Chris

Just a little snip or two

Duke,G.E.

Born 7th July 1896

Appointed FSL 1st December 1915

As he was at Eastbourne on the same day it seems he entered the RNAS in UK rather than in Canada which was common

Fraser,P.V.

Born 25th October 1886

Royal Aero Cert No 1239 at Beatty School Hendon on 14th May 1915

Appointed Warrant Officer 2nd Class 21st June 1915. You would normally expect him to be appointed an FSL having obtained a pilots ticket. Perhaps he was not considered as of officer material

Sorry that's all I can add

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Terry

thanks very much - all for the Coroners E Sussex Database

Chris

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Hi Chris

Just a little snip or two

Duke,G.E.

Born 7th July 1896

Appointed FSL 1st December 1915

As he was at Eastbourne on the same day it seems he entered the RNAS in UK rather than in Canada which was common

Fraser,P.V.

Born 25th October 1886

Royal Aero Cert No 1239 at Beatty School Hendon on 14th May 1915

Appointed Warrant Officer 2nd Class 21st June 1915. You would normally expect him to be appointed an FSL having obtained a pilots ticket. Perhaps he was not considered as of officer material

Sorry that's all I can add

Thanks for that info

wonderful stuff

Chris

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  • 4 years later...

I have just noticed this thread about Gordon Duke. I can add that he was a former student of Malvern Collegiate Institute in Toronto and is remembered there on the school's King & Country Honour Roll, 1914-1918, and on the cenotaph on the school grounds.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Chris,

From ADM 273/11 (Index No 38626) RNAS Officer's Service Records (PRO in Kew):

FRASER, PERCIVAL VICTOR

Date of Birth: 25th Oct 1886

Whether Married:

Date of Entry into Air Service: 21st June 1915

Next of Kin and Address: Father: William Fraser C/O Fraser & Macaree, Rockhampton, Queensland.

Previous Service in H M Forces:

Previous Occupation if entered from civilian life: Marine Engineer

By whom recommended: 3/371

Number of RAC Certificate, and date, and where obtained: No 1239. 14/5/15. Beatty School Hendon.

APPOINTMENTS AND PROMOTIONS:

Date: 21/6/15

Appointment: Temporary Warrant Officer 2. Eastbourne (Assistant instructor on GW Biplanes, & charge of flights of same).

KILLED AT EASTBOURNE 10/1/16

Space for particular notations at Air Department (ie Accidents, meritorious work, special flights etc):

Phone message CO Eastbourne through Auti Aircraft 10/1/16:- Short No 3148 crashed to the ground from 200 ft. Pilot Mr Fraser killed. NL/4538. A/60803. V.A. Dover 14/1/17:- Finding of Court of Enquiry into fatal accident. No blame attributable to anyone.

CONFIDENTIAL REPORTS:

Date: 4/1/16. By Whom: Eastbourne. Remarks: Shows general ability & is a very hard-working & courageous pilot. Commands a flight well.

Not much information in there, but that's all that is included in his Service Report.

Manicafan's comment "Perhaps he was not considered as of officer material" perhaps incorrect. I have seen many of these Service Records that have scathing remarks in the "Confidential Reports" section, and these Officers went on to shine in both leadership and combat. We shall never know, as his life was tragically cut short. RIP.

Steve

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  • 10 months later...

I know it's been a while since this thread was started, but I have continued researching into Duke's story and there is an interesting tale to tell.

Gordon Ezra Duke was planning on taking engineering courses at university in Toronto - an expensive plan for a young man who was supporting his widowed mother and sister. When the war started, he decided to go out for the RNAS, which was recruiting in Canada, but required a man to have his pilot's certificate in order to volunteer. To get one, Duke used his $400 tuition money, to sign up for a course at the Curtiss Flying School on Toronto Island, where they had three boat planes as training craft. He began his training in September 1915, but at the end of October, the course was stopped a month before completion due to concerns about flying in winter weather.

Duke and a group of the recruits were annoyed that their progress to the front lines was being thwarted and went to Ottawa to complain to the minister of milita & defence, Sir Sam Hughes, who promptly told them to stop playing about with airplanes and join the army. The Royal Navy heard about their case, however, and offered to pay the men's passage to England so they could complete their training and they set sail from New York in late December.

Duke arrive at Eastbourne just after the New Year and took his first training flight with WO2 Fraser on Jan. 10, 1916. It seems Duke may have been at the controls for a time, but it is likely that Fraser took over when the plane ran into difficulties. Witnesses saw the aircraft falter, regain control and then fall from about 300 feet. The inquest found that a control cable broke loose, causing the loss of control and the crash into the brick works at Hampden Park. The news reports mentioned that, because it was a pusher-type, the impact had driven the engine onto the men, killing them instantly. Had it been a puller-type, speculation was they might have survived.

The memorial at Duke's former high school, Malvern CI, has recently been restored, thanks to a community fund-raising effort, and is being rededicated on Nov. 4, 2011. His is one of the 25 names on it.

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& I must apologise as I have not had a look at this thread in 5 years

Thanks for the info

Chris

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