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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Lieutenant Eric Hinckes Bird


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Hi Everyone,

I have recently asked a forum member to look up a WW1 airman for me and found that, while his core document did not have any information, he found an entry in the Times from 1916. Obviously being a newbee and being on the "other side of the world" I am unaware of what potential information is available. All I have to date is that he was engaged to be married in 1916 and he was shot down by a German Ace (from The Sky Their Battlefield)

I would appreciate any information (and especially a photograph) of the following serviceman:

Lieutenant Eric Hinckes Bird. Royal Flying Corps late Royal Fusiliers. Lieutenant Bird Died of Wounds recieved in combat on 26th June 1916.

Thank you in advance.

Kind Regards,


Hamilton, New Zealand

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You can find his entry in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website, [cwgc.org] which gives the cemetery, grave number, parents' details etc. I am unskilled at copying it but will try.

The other likely source is the MIC [medal index card] at the National Archives, Kew. This should also be online but I could not find his name in a quick search. Another forum member may come along with better info.


Casualty Details


Initials: E H

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Lieutenant

Regiment/Service: Royal Flying Corps

Unit Text: 25th Sqdn.

Secondary Regiment: Royal Fusiliers

Secondary Unit Text: and 1st Bn.

Age: 22

Date of Death: 27/06/1916

Additional information: Son of the late Dr. Arthur Hinckes Bird and Kate Bird, of Chelsea, London.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: I. F. 52.


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Hi Mark,

Here's some more information, this time from the Royal Flying Corps Communiques. I won't repeat it verbatim here but the giste is that at total of about 8 two seater FE2b fighter/bombers and single seat DH2 scouts came up against 12 Fokkers east of the lines on the 1st Brigade front. The 5 Fe2b aircraft of Number 25 squadron had finished an early morning bombing raid on Henin Lietard on the 26th June 1916 without any opposition and were returning home when Lt Bird's aircraft (with one other) fell behind on nearing the lines. When they were attacked by the Fokkers the other allied aircraft came to their assistance and a frenzied fight took place, with losses on both sides (refer to 'The Sky Their Battlefield' for more info). 2Lt Riley (Bird's pilot) made a forced landing near Mazingarbe but the FE2b ran into hidden barbed wire defences, turned over and was totally wrecked. Lt Riley was thrown on to his head and suffered a severe concussion (he later recovered). Lt Bird was hit in the back, had his wrist broken and a shoulder dislocated. Unfortunately he died of his wounds the following day.



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Hi Mark,

From the Sky their battlefield:

5212 and FE2b of 25 Squadron in combat with enemy aircraft over MAZINGARBE at 6.55am' Lieutenant RCB Riley weas Wounded in Action / LT E.H Bird died of wounds 27.6.1916. [claimed by Ltnt M.MULZER] KEK.nord.

Other pilots from the Squadron injured during this operation included LT G.R McCubbin who was WIA.

Killed 2/AM J.Chadwick.



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