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Dolphin

Capt Philip Thompson, No 22 Sqdn, Royal Flying Corps

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Dolphin

Captain Philip Thompson of No 22 Sqn RFC was the pilot of Bristol Fighter B1171, with 2Lt D W Kent-Jones (formerly Royal Engineers) as observer when he was killed in action on 23 March 1918. The Bristol left Serny aerodrome at 0905 on an Offensive Patrol and was last seen over Cambrai. Capt Thompson was killed and 2Lt Kent-Jones was taken Prisoner of War. There's no corresponding victory claim by a German fighter pilot; perhaps the Bristol was a victim of anti-aircraft fire.

A native of Kensington, London, Capt Thompson was only 19 at the time of his death.

Gareth

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Andrew P

Rest in Peace. I'll raise a glass for him tonight

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stiletto_33853

Captain Philip Thompson

Royal Air Force

Philip Thompson was born on March 30th, 1897 - son of Whitaker Thompson Esq., of 24 Argyll Road, Kensington - and entered Mr. Aris House from Mr. C.E.F. Stanford's school at Rottingdean. He was for two years a Commoner Prefect, and Head of House in 1916; a Member of the Sixth Book, specialising in Science and Mathematics: President of the Boat Club, in the O.T.H. XV and on dress for VI. He was also a skilled carpenter and a good long distance runner, and in 1915 trained and commanded the House squad that won Drill Cup. He left in April 1916 to join the R.F.C., and after a few months in France was recalled to England to take part in defensive night patrols at a time when air raids on London were frequent.

He returned to France in March 1918, and joined the 22nd Squadron at St. Quentin. On the 21st of that month the Germans opened their great offensive, and two days later Captain Thompson fell shot through the head over Prouville, near Le Queant, while fighting his machine against three of the enemy. He was buried at Lebucquires near Bapaume.

Source: Wykehamists who died in the War 1914-1918. Volume 4

Andy

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stiletto_33853

Thompson

post-1871-1174705395.jpg

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rlewin

I am amazed at the detail posted here. This man is a distant relative and it's great to see his image and know more of the circumstances of his loss.

I would be grateful for any further details.

Cheers

Rod

Lest We Forget

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NigelS

Here's his Royal Aero Club certificate record & photo

post-5512-1254090112.jpg

post-5512-1254090168.jpg

Philip Thompson was born on March 30th, 1897 - son of Whitaker Thompson Esq., of 24 Argyll Road, Kensington

Interesting to note that the Aero Club record gives his birthdate as 1898, but there is no trace - unless I've missed it - of a GRO birth record for a Philip/Phillip either Thompson or Thomson) between 1897-1898 in Kensington (the birthplace given in the 1901 census) or the London area.

Philip/Phillip does not seem to have been a popular Christian name back then as, as far as I can determine, these are the only records for 1898 (none for 1897 & none at all for Thomson):

Apr-jun 1898

Thompson, Philip henry Middlesboro 9d 635

Thompson, Philip Dawn W.Derby 8b 510

Jul-Sept 1898

Thompson, Sunderland 10a 717

Thompson, Philip Lyon Howden 9d 91

The 1901 census (Class: RG13; Piece: 21; Folio: 138; Page: 14.), has him aged 3, living at the 24 Argyle Rd address; His father's (recorded as William W, aged 44) occupation is given as a Barrister at Law; other family members are:

Isabella B S Thompson 41 (mother)

Marion J Thompson 10 (sister)

Evelina S Thompson 9 (sister)

The birthplace given on 1901 census could, of course be wrong, but whether Philip was born in 1897 or 1898 appears to remain a bit of a mystery.

NigelS

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Myrtle

Some more history about the Thompson family HERE Phillip's uncle Reginald owned a brewery.

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josquin

Nigel

Not an intractable mystery, fortunately. The Royal Aero Club and the Wykehamists listings are in agreement that he was born

30 March; the disagreement concerns the year. The BMD for 1897-98 lists only one Philip - Thompson, who is listed earlier in

the thread (3rd Quarter 1898, at Sunderland district registry office, 10a 717--the BMD contains NO Philip Thompson listings for

all of 1897, and no "Phillip Thompson" entries for either year. Additionally, there is a ship's passenger list for a voyage from

Calcutta to the UK completed 9 September 1915 (just prior to the opening of the school year) for "Philip - Thompson, born about

1898." The Sunderland record is your man: clearly, his family was on holiday during the summer following his birth and

chose to register the birth at Sunderland, Durham, during the 3rd Quarter (July-September) 4-6 weeks after his birth. The

Census confirms that Kensington was his birthplace; his birth was REGISTERED at Sunderland. Despite its affiliation with his

school, the Wykehamists listing is clearly in error--there were no BMD records for 1897.

Regards

Trelawney

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NigelS

Thanks for that Trelawney. Am I missing something though: how did you determine the Sunderland entry over those for W. Derby, Middlesboro' & Howden?

Out of curiosity I 'Googled' Philip's father "William Whitaker Thompson" and was a bit surprised (to say the least) to find that a] he served on the London County Council, of which he was Chairman (1910-11) before becoming mayor of Kensington & b] that he'd featured on another thread on here in his own right!

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a/rec...261&cid=0#0

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/l...hp/t106954.html

This is the obituary referred to in the latter

post-5512-1254150246.jpg

From the MIC given in the previous thread it appears that he was retired but did get an SWB. I can't find him on CWGC, but, although no proof in itself, if the cause of death given in the article is reflected in his death certificate he might possibly be a non-com. If his case is not already being investigated, one for the experts me thinks.

NigelS

EDIT: Terry Denham PM'd

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Terry Denham

Nigel

As a post-discharge death, this possible case is outside the remit of IFCP. However, if someone can gather the evidence including the DC, I will be happy to take it forward.

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NigelS

Terry, thanks anyway

NigelS

Edit: nothing that hasn't previously been mentioned but here's an entry from The Times (Saturday, May 04, 1918; pg. 4; Issue 41781; col E; Article CS68487844) under Deaths: Fallen Officers - 'The Times' list of casualties

post-5512-1254167511.jpg

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josquin

Nigel

The Times obituary is also in "Flight" magazine, 9 May 1918, p. 520. All sources agree that he had a single forename

(Royal Aero Club, BMD, SDGW, obits, Travel records,and so on). The other three BMD candidates had two forenames

which would have appeared in sources of this kind--of an official nature. The Sunderland registration was the only

choice consistent with the single forename--Philip Thompson. Securing a birth certificate copy, or copies, is the

next step for anyone requiring additional verification.

Regards

Trelawney

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NigelS
... All sources agree that he had a single forename (Royal Aero Club, BMD, SDGW, obits, Travel records,and so on). The other three BMD candidates had two forenames which would have appeared in sources of this kind--of an official nature. The Sunderland registration was the only choice consistent with the single forename...

I did wonder... As you quite rightly say there is no evidence of Philip having another forename which, considering that his two sisters both had second forenames seems rather surprising (his mother had three, Isabella Blanche Spencer, according to the GRO marriage index and the 1891 census). Then as now, the selection of a 'middle' name(s) sometimes follows family traditions and sometimes it does not.

NigelS

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linge

Re Philip Thompson birth registered Sept Qtr 1898 Sunderland

The 1901 census for Sunderland has a Philip Thompson, aged 2 years born Fulwell, Co Durham (This is within the Sunderland RD)

He is living with his grandparents John and Mary Freeman and his parents George William Thompson and Marian Thompson (nee Freeman)

This is more likely the Philip Thompson Birth registered Sep Qtr 1898 Sunderland and not the man mentioned above who is the son of William Whitaker Thompson

Regards

Pam

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NigelS

Thanks Pam, so it back to square one!

on the same basis also in 1901:

Philip L Thompson, born Howdon, aged 2, Resident Sculcoates; so that looks as if Philip Lyon Thompson is not our man either, which leaves

Apr-jun 1898

Thompson, Philip henry Middlesboro 9d 635

Thompson, Philip Dawn W.Derby 8b 510

Neither of whom is immediately apparent in the 1901 census

I think whether Philip's birth year was in 1897 (unrecorded) or one of the above (or unrecorded) in 1898 will have to remain a mystery - I'm certainly not going to miss any sleep over it anyway!

NigelS

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per ardua per mare per terram

Plenty of possibilities at Kew:

WO 339/2851 THOMPSON P H, Capt 1915-1920

WO 339/10781 THOMPSON P A, Capt 1914-1919; 1923

WO 339/21368 THOMPSON P A X M, 2/Lieut 1914-1918

WO 339/58066 THOMPSON P [1914-1922]

WO 339/58721 THOMPSON P [1914-1922]

WO 339/62140 THOMPSON P [1914-1922]

WO 339/72937 THOMPSON P [1914-1922]

WO 339/91157 THOMPSON P [1914-1922]

WO 339/111424 THOMPSON P [1914-1922]

WO 339/112644 THOMPSON P [1914-1922]

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rlewin

This is an absolute huge amount of info for Philip and his father. Info about 2Lt Kent-Jones would be very handy as well. It would be great to piece something of a group together.

Things I'd like to know, if possible, are.

The planes they flew.

Any Squadron distinct markings they may have had back then.

Names of Squadron mates.

I'd like to piece together more of a 'family' picture of the Squadron.

Cheers

Rod

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Dolphin

Rod

In 1918 No 22 Sqn RFC/RAF flew the Bristol Fighter (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_F.2_Fighter) and in late March the unit, like the rest of the RFC on the Western Front was heavily engaged in bomb and machine attacks on German troops advancing in the Kaiserschlacht Offensive which commenced on 21 March. There was very little aerial activity over 5000 feet, as the British airmen endeavoured to attack everything moving on the enemy side of the lines. Naturally, there were losses to small arms and heavier anti-aircraft fire. For more information, you could look at Ralph Barker's The Royal Flying Corps in World War I and/or the article The Last Battle of the RFC in Cross & Cockade International Journal Vol 35 No 1 (2004).

'Pi' in the Sky, a history of No 22 Sqn written by one of its more illustrious pilots, Maj W F J Harvey, says little about the loss of Capt Thompson: "On the 23rd orders came to move [from Serny] to Vert Galant, near Amiens. On the way Capt P Thompson, newly out from England to take over 'C' Flight from Stuart-Wortley, was shot down and killed . . ."

No 22 Sqn's markings used from August 1917 to March 1918, were three vertical white bars on the fuselage, one in front of the roundel, one behind it and the third just in front of the tailplane. Individual aeroplanes were identified by white letters between the second and third bar - 'C' Flight had blue wheel covers and used letters N, O, P Q, R and S, with the flight commander probably flying 'N'. Like all two-seater units, No 22 Sqn was ordered to remove its squadron markings on 22 March, but this had almost certainly not occurred by 23 March.

I hope that this is useful.

Gareth

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nils d

The Thompson in question does not appear to be from Sunderland but l would bet he wished he had never heard of the place.

ln May 1917 Thompson was in 36sqn just outside the town.He flew over a food ecomony meeting and started to stunt.He hit a flagpole and fell onto the crowd , killing 5 people and injuring several others.

l dont know what he was flying (a BE2 ?) but l would venture to say this was Britains worst aviation disaster to date(not counting Zeppelin crews)

There were three Thompsons in 22sqn, Philip being the only one not to be an ace (1 kill l think)

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pierssc

For a possible commemoration in Moulmein, Burma, see https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/274923-memorial-in-st-matthews-church-moulmein/

Edited by pierssc

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rlewin

I wonder if this is pure coincidence or not, but while browsing a book, The Airman’s War, by Peter H Liddell, I happened upon a photograph of a Bristol in night fighting colours on page 37.  The caption states it is a Bristol Fighter of No. 39 Home Defence Squadron based at North Weald, piloted by Lt. P Thompson with Lt G.T. Stoneham as observer.  Philip did serve with a Home Defence Squadron prior to being posted on promotion to No. 22 SQN in France.  Coincidence? Or could it be him?

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