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jimmyjames

Capt Anketell Moutray READ, VC

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jimmyjames

Capt Read, VC was killed in action at Loos on 25th September 1915 whilst serving in the Northants Regt.

He may have been attached to the Royal Flying Corps just before or just after the start of the Great War. I would be very grateful for any information regarding his service in the RFC.

Many thanks.

Jimmy

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Dolphin

This may not help much, but Lt AM Read is mentioned in Volume 1 of "The War in the Air" as a pilot with No 3 Sqn RFC as they flew to France in August 1914. Unfortunately, that's the only time his name appears in the book.

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jimmyjames

Many thanks for the info, Dolphin and Darryl

Capt Read is commemorated on the Cheltenham War Memorial. I've seen a couple of references in books to his place of birth as Bampton in Devon, its not - he was born (with a twin sister) in the village of Leckhampton, just outside Cheltenham.

He graduated from Sandhurst in 1903 as a 2Lt in the Gloucestershire Regiment and served in India with them for 3 years. He transferred to the Indian Army in 1907 (7th Hariana Lancers) and served in India until 1911 when he presumably left for the UK and joined the Northamptonshire Regt and was then attached to the Royal Flying Corps.

It is here that I loose his trail temporarily. In the meantime he obtained his Aviators Certificate No 336, issued by the Royal Aero Club at Brooklands on 22nd October 1912.

On the declaration of war he rejoined the Northants Regt going to France on 11th August 1914 and he took part in the actions at Mauberge and at Mons. He was attached to the 9th Lancers and was severely wounded during the fighting on the Aisne in September 1914.

He rejoined the Northamptons in March 1915 and saw action around Ypres. He was killed in action on 25th September 1915 on the opening day of the Battle of Loos, and was awarded a posthumous VC for most conspicuous bravery.

Regards

Jimmy

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Paul Reed

His original headstone bore the CWGC style RFC/RAF badge, not the Northants. The headstone was changed after a complaint from a WFA member in the 90s ( ;) ) and now has the Northants badge. Somewhere I have a photo of the original grave. If I can find it, I will post it here.

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Staffsyeoman

This is completely off the wall, but the name is so distinctive...

If you recall the film 'The Killing Fields' - and Sidney Schandberg's book thereon, the Sunday Times correspondent in Cambodia at the end of the Vietnam War, and before Pol Pot took over, was Jon Swain. Now, to get Sid Schandberg's local guide, Dith Pran, out of the capital, they tired to use Swain's expired British passport. They erased his first Christian name and surname, and tried to put a pic of Pran in it. It failed.

Swain's full name - Jon ANKETELL Brewer Swain. There is a heartrending scene of Pran (played by true Killing Fields survivor Dr Haing S Nor) trying to say 'Anketell Brewer' as if he were a Brit.

Could be a blind alley - could be a link.

Cut my legs off, and call me Shorty.

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jimmyjames

Paul - thanks for the info.

Capt Read's entry in the Debt of Honour Register at the CWGC still displays his "main" Regiment as Royal Flying Corps and "secondary" as Northamptonshire Regiment. This can cause search problems when interrogating the CWGC main page - if you search for a Capt Read in the Army then his entry will not appear.

Regarding his gravestone (!), I have asked Marc Thomson who in the "I'm going to the Battlefield" Forum has said that he is visiting, amongst others, Dud Corner, to take a snap of Capt Read's headstone.

Phil - what an interesting story, Shorty.

Regards

Jimmy

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