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Remembered Today:

I M Bonham-Carter 5th Fusiliers


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Could any Pal who has access to Army Lists (or any other source) let me know what the service record of the above is please? I have a book of his dated July 1904, so it seems likely that he also served in 1914.

Thakns in advance.

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I seem to recall seeing a book about WW1 experiences / life at home by a lady called Bonham Carter - I wonder if they could be related??

Fleur

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charlesmessenger

Richard

Ian Malcolm Bonham-Carter

4 Dec 01 Commissioned 2lt in RNF

Apr- May 02 Served in S Africa, receiving QSA with four clasps

21 Sep 04 Promoted Lt

1908 - Served as orderly officer to GOC 1st Brigade in Mohmand operations, receiving Indian General Service Medal with clasp

16 Sep 14 Promoted Capt. Was serving with RFC at the time

1914-18 Received 1914 Star, OBE, Legion of Honour and was Mentioned in Despatches 19 Oct 14

1919 Major on half pay

Charles

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charlesmessenger

Having looked at Michael's reference, it would seem that he obtained a Regular commission via the Militia and would not have gone to Sandhurst. I query whether he served in S Africa prior to 1902. One indication that he did would have been the award of the King's SA Medal, which was to those who had served eighteen months in theatre prior to 1 June 1902.

Interesting that the Army has him on half pay in 1919. Looks like it had not been acknowledged that he was actually in the RAF!

Charles M

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Pals

Thanks very much for your contributions. I have his "German Official Account of the War in South Africa" 2 Vols, not in good condition unfortunately, but perfectly readable. Both volumes contain a monogrammed bookplate, and one has his name, regiment and date in (July 1904). Hence my interest.

Fleur, there have been three books written about Violet Bonham-Carter "Lantern Slides", "Champion Redoubtable" and "Daring to hope" - The Diaries and Letters of VB-C. I also think she wrote a book on "Winston Churchill as I Knew Him".

Other Bonham-Carters are Victor (author of "Soldier True" a Robertson biography,also a co-author with Henry Williamson, subject of a current thread), Mark (politicain) and Helena (actress, many web-sites!!)

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The Bonham Carters were also a leading Liberal political family not surprisingly with the family connections. The Liberal Party leader of yesteryear, Jeremy Thorpe was, I believe, a grandson of Herbert Asquith.

Regarding a connection with the Great War,Violet's stepmother Margot ,ie Emma Alice Asquith (nee Tennant),Herbert's second wife is recorded as a real witty and charming character.

She did not think much of Lord Kitchener and was reported to say of him."Kitchener. He was not a great man but at least he was a great poster".

After Kichener's death,Margot was asked by V.B.C whether she planned to wear a certain distinctive hat trimmed with ostrich feathers to Kitchener's memorial service."How can you even ask me?", Margot replied."Dear Kitchener has already seen me in this hat twice".

As is generally known, Asquith's son Raymond,V.B.C's brother and her stepmother's nephew, Edward Tennant lie close to each other at the Guillemont Road Cemetery.

Getting back to Air Commodore I.M. Bonham Carter.

B.C was one of the many military figures who by the opportunity of age was able to give a contribution to both World Wars.

He was appointed to the rank of Air Commodore on 1 July 1925 and retired from the Royal Air Force as Station Commander (Commandant) of RAF Halton,(the RAF Apprentice training centre of Halton Brats fame,) on 1 October 1931 having held the post since 1 April 1928.He was later to see a large number of his charges occupying important operational roles in the RAF from the outbreak of war in 1939.

If this is the same man. In 1944 as a Group Captain he was the Station Commander at RAF Waddington,an important airfield in No 5 Group, Bomber Command.

There is an excellent photograph taken by the Central Press of B.C and subordinates in the tower at Waddington on 12 May 1944 awaiting radio confirmation in the early hours of the return of of an aircraft of No 467 RAAF Squadron from Ops to the military camp at Bourg-Leopold, Belgium.The aircraft was the now famous Lancaster R5868, PO-S which returned safely from it's 100th Operation on that day and went on to complete 137 Operations over enemy territory by the end of the war.On that night No 467 Squadron would have put up 16 to 18 Lancasters.On this night they were lucky for only one aircraft FTR albeit at the cost of the eight man crew.This aircraft was crewed with G/C J.R Balmer, recently gazzetted from W/C captaining the aircraft.He would appear also to be the Squadron Commander. J.R.Balmer was on his last Op of his second tour,ie his 60th trip over enemy territory while his crew were on their 12th Op of their second tour. Experience counted for little at times.

Regards

Frank East

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Thought this might be useful:

6th Nov. 1914

Lt. IM Bonham-Carter RFC WiA on artillery registration when attacked by snipers and shot up. Flying a BE2a of 4 Sqdrn.

Source: Henshaw's 'The Sky their Battlefield'

Rgds,

Alex.

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Richard

The photograph is in Chaz Bowyer's "Bomber Group at War" published in 1981 by Ian Allan Ltd. It is a history No 5 Group RAF from it's inception on 1 September 1937 to it's wartime role.

Bonham Carter is in the picture occupying the rear in a group of 10 personnel.A WAAF Corporal is shown operating the radio on the Patrol Handling Board with another WAAF looking on.

As I said the shot was taken by the Central Press who may have been invited to Waddington witness the anticipated return of R5868 from it's 100th Operation.

Regards

Frank East

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Violet Bonham-Carter was the only daughter of Herbert Asquith.

Terry,

Violet's brother Oc Asquith served in the RND, rising from Temp Acting Sub Lieutenant to Brigadier General in a little over three years. He was awarded the DSO and 2 Bars and wounded 4 times, the last involving the loss of his left leg below the knee. Freyberg VC described him as the bravest he ever knew.

He is the subject of a very readable biography by Christopher Page "Command in the Royal Naval Division - A Military Biography of A. M. Asquith DSO"

Regards

Michael D.R.

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