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Remembered Today:

RNAS Armoured Cars Poland

David Seymour

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One of my Old Boys on the War Memorial at Thetford Grammar School turns out to have been a Petty Officer Mechanic with RNAS Russian Armoured Cars. I give his details below and would be most grateful to hear from anyone who has knowledge on this unit.

Many thanks,


SURNAME: Pearson

C/NAMES: William George

DOB: 8/91

UNIT: RNAS Russian Armoured Cars




NUMBER: F/10058

MEMORIAL: Poznan, Poland. The cemetery also contains the POZNAN MEMORIAL commemorating five RNAS armoured car ratings who died near Brezazany in July 1917 and whose graves were never located.

PARENTS: Mrs Pearson

TGS: 1901 - 1907

The others are:

LOCKE, WILLIAM JAMES Chief Petty Officer (Mech. III) F/2797 Royal Naval Air Service 02/07/1917 23

VIANE, EDGAR Petty Officer (Mech.) F/8065 Royal Naval Air Service 01/07/1917 21

MITCHELL, WILFRED LIONEL Petty Officer (Mech.) F/10045 Royal Naval Air Service 01/07/1917 32

McFARLAND, JOHN Chief Petty Officer (Mech III) F/2863 Royal Naval Air Service 01/07/1917 36

From the main Forum site: "Disbanded in the summer of 1915, the remainder of the Divisions cars were transferred to the Army. The exceptions were 15 Squadron (which formed the core of a fascinating organisation under their extraordinary OC, Oliver Lampton, who managed to obtain support for his volunteering to assist the Russians; the remnant of which finally escaped via Murmansk, arriving in England in February 1918)"

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You may find this thread of interest:



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A description of the death of these men can be found in 'The Czar's British squadron' by Perrett and Lord pub 1981. Each of the men were serving machine guns in support of the attack of the Russian 74th div. The assault was watched by kerensky himself. Mitchell, Pearson and Viane were killed together by a direct hit on their gun, Locke was killed elsewhere on the front. McFarland was killed going forward to remove obstacles placed in the road.

If you email me I will try to scan these couple of pages. The book itself is a fascinating story



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I have a description of RNAS armoured car member who received the Tsar's Silver Medal - it's in work - I'll 'hoke' it out on Monday and post in case it's worth anything.

Skimmed over it today - lots of talk about wearing vaseline on faces because of the cold etc.

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Many thanks. That sounds very interesting. William George Pearson was awarded the Russian St George Medal 4th Class.

Best wishes,


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On the list - going in on Sunday morning for couple hours - should get you then.

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The C. pres. magazine (?) publishes in the March issue, the following:-

Mr. E. Jas. Crawford, a medical student at Queen's, who joined the armoured car section of the RNAS writes an interesting letter from a ship in northern latitude on Christmas Eve, and says:-

"We are about a mile from land and frozen land at that with only a lighthouse in view. It almost always darkens after one o'clock and is bitterly cold. ....

"However, it is a dry cold and does not strike one that it is so severe as it really is ... on the whole it is a fine experience and I have a clear conscience."

The writer is the eldest son of Mr. John Crawford, Clough.

Ballymena Observer, April 1916 - he might have ended up with your boys?

Plus - sorry, I thought the man below was linked to armoured cars - but I've posted this anyway in case it helps some of you navy blokes.

Russian decoration for Ballymena sailor

Amongst other British sailors who have been awarded medals from the Russian Government in recognition of their services in Russian interests was 'Bob' Carroll, Mill Row, Ballymena, who arrived home recently on nine days' leave.

After enlistment and training as a member of a carpenter's crew he was put on board HMS Bombardier where he remained for some time. He was then transferred to the Ipigenia on which he served for a period in the White Sea, where he states, they had to put vaseline on their faces to keep them from being frostbitten. It was while serving there that he was presented with the silver medal, the ribbon of which he wears on his breast. He is a son of Mr. Harry Carroll, formerly of Pound Cottages, Ballymena.

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