Post by Dave Homewood on Jan 8, 2006 19:34:15 GMT 12
I have tried to find a list, a nominal roll, of all the people from New Zealand who served in the Royal Flying Corps, Royal Naval Air Service or Royal Air Force in World War One.
I cannot find such a thing, so I thought I would start one. I don't know too many of them but I'm certain you chaps can add more names and details please. Here are those I have already:
New Zealanders Twenty-Minuters that I do know about, beginning of a list at least:2nd Lt William B. Rhodes-Moorhouse VC
(Pilot, British-born NZ'er, served in France)Major (later Group Captain) Keith Logan "Grid" Caldwell
(Pilot, from Auckland and Cambridge, NZ, trained by Walsh Bros, Kohimarama, served in France) See my pages on him here for more detailswww.cambridgeairforce.org.nz/World%20War%20One%20Airmen.htm
andwww.cambridgeairforce.org.nz/Keith%20Caldwell.htmAir Marshall Sir Keith Park
(Pilot, born Thames, NZ, trained UK after transferring from Cavalry)
and www.nzfpm.co.nz/aces/park1.htmWill Scotland
(Pilot, born Pahi, Kaipara, Auckland, trained at Hall Flying School, Hendon, UK before war, served with D Company, Indian Expeditionary Force in Iraq flying BE's and Maurice Farman Shorthorns) Highly recommend you read 'Venture The Far Horizons' by Edgar Harvie for Will's story, it's brilliant. Doesn't cover too much in WWI though sadly.Laurie Pitcher
(groundcrew mechanic, from Masterton, NZ, Will Scotland's Mechanic in Iraq)Malcolm "Mad Mac" MacGregor
(Pilot, born Mangamako, Hunterville, NZ; trained at Walsh Bros Flying School, Kohimarama, Auckland; served at RFC School of Instruction, Oxford, UK, then No. 8 Reserve Squadron at Netherhavon, Salisbury Plains flying Maurice Farmon Shorthorn trainers. He then moved to the same squadron's 'B' Flight at Upavon flying Sopwith Pups and Avro 504's. Graduated with Wings in April 1917, and posted to No. 54 Squadron, France. Was injured after two months, then on recovery joined No. 91 Sqn, followed by posting to No. 85 Sqn. Ended the war flying SE5a's in France. postwar started or was involved in many airlines and was a huge character in the aviation scene till his death while landing at Rongotai in the late 1930's)Captain Clive Collett
- First NZ ace (Pilot, born Blenheim, NZ, trained in RFC. Flew BE-2c's and Sopwith pups in France. Shot down 15 enemy aircraft. See...www.nzfpm.co.nz/aces/collett.htmGeoffrey Callender
(Pilot, trained Walsh Bros Flying School, Kohimarama with Keith Caldwell - first two pilots through the school.Captain Ronald Bannerman
(Pilot, see...www.nzfpm.co.nz/aces/bannerma.htmCaptain Harold Beamish
(Pilot, see...www.nzfpm.co.nz/aces/beamish.htmMajor Arthur Coningham
Flt Lt Thomas Culling (Pilot, RNAS, also reported as NZ's first ace! seewww.nzfpm.co.nz/aces/culling.htmCaptain Euan Dickson
(Pilot, seewww.nzfpm.co.nz/aces/dickson.htmCaptain Herbert Drewitt
(Pilot, seewww.nzfpm.co.nz/aces/drewitt.htmLt Fred Gordon
(Pilot, Seewww.nzfpm.co.nz/aces/gordon.htmLt Carrick Paul
(Pilot, seewww.nzfpm.co.nz/aces/paul.htmLt Alan Scott (
Captain Gill Watson (Pilot, seewww.nzfpm.co.nz/aces/watson.htmCaptain John Seabrook
(Pilot, later Chief Instructor at Auckland Aero Club in 1920's, many of his photos were sold on TradeMe recently before I realised who he really was.)2nd Lt Joe Hammond
(Pilot, famous already as the first NZ military pilot, flying Bleriot 'Britannia')
Any additional names or details are welcome. There were over 1000 New Zealanders in the WWI air war, serving with the RFC, RNAS, RAF and Australian Flying Corps (later RAAF). 224 pilots were trained at Kohimarama and Wigram, (110 at the former, 114 the latter) who then sailed from New Zealand as cadets and joined the RFC to complete their training. 203 of them were commissioned, though only 68 were in time to see action.
Hundreds of other New Zealanders joined the RNAS, RFC, or RAF by transferring from the NZEF or by direct enlistment. In total 70 NZ'ers died in the air services. I do not have their names though. One was Rhodes-Moorhouse who got his VC posthumously.
Can you add more please?
Post by turboNZ on Jan 8, 2006 21:13:59 GMT 12
Great to see you have "Grid" in there !!!!
Here's my aluminium clock that I made about a year ago in the colour of his Nieuport....
(inspiration for the real thing)
(the colours on the fin are straight, just the camera angle)
Post by Dave Homewood on Jan 8, 2006 21:19:42 GMT 12
Cool. Of course I'll have Grid Caldwell on there, he's a Cambridge airman!
Great clock mate. When you get the real one built, will you do Grid's stunt of spinning from a great hight stood on the wing, and then stepping off just before it hits the ground? That must rate as one of the greatest escapes from a stricken aircraft ever!
Post by turboNZ on Jan 8, 2006 21:21:47 GMT 12
Yeah remember reading about that,...and NO I won't.
Can't see CAA approving of that....
Post by Dave Homewood on Feb 7, 2006 23:31:15 GMT 12
Here are some more New Zealanders in the air war during WWI
H.W. Collier MC
William Wallace Cook MC - Lieutenant, Royal Flying Corps
HF Drewitt MC, AFC
R. Russell DFC
F. de M. Hyde AFC
Major de Bath Brandon DSO, MC
Lt. W.W.A. Burn (NZ Government's first purpose-trained airman, lost when he went missing in the desert while serving with the 1st Australian Squadron, Indian Army, in Mesopotamia - same unit as Will Scotland)
Post by Peter Lewis on Mar 13, 2006 21:39:36 GMT 12
Part of the problem you've got here is one of sematics. How do you define a 'New Zealand Airman'?
As I see it, there are three groups of these fellows:
1. Those who were born in NZ, and after the War those who survived mostly returned to NZ and spent the rest of there lives here eg McGregor
2. Those who were born overseas and came here as children or young men intending to settle. If the war had not come along, they may well have never left NZ again eg Seabrook
3. Those who were born overseas and briefly visited NZ for only a short period of time (months if not weeks) and had no intention of staying or returning after they had left eg Rhodes-Moorhouse
I had this argument with MoTAT years ago, when they were listing 'famous air people' (I can't say 'airmen' without excluding Jean Batten) and I was stongly against including Rhodes-Moorhouse as in my view he was not a New Zealander and never considered himself as one. He was born and brought up in England and only visted NZ once for a few weeks in 1906/1907. Most online references these days (eg Wikipedia) refer to him as 'English recipient of the Victoria Cross'. His catagorizing as a New Zealander. in my view, dates from local propaganda designed to promote recruitment at that time.
I do not in any way mean to denigrate the fellow, or his expoilts, but I do not think that he should be included in this category.
Post by Dave Homewood on Mar 13, 2006 22:17:02 GMT 12
I have considered the same thing about Rhodes-Moorhouse. I doubt there are many others in his position. His father was British but came to NZ and settled. He married a Kiwi. They then went to England later and he was born. He grew up there.
Some sources say he's British of New Zealand parents. It's all a bit confusing as one of his parents wasn't really a NZ'er, though maybe he was nationalised as one? I agree he's much more English than Kiwi, but back then we were all british citizens so that confuses it more too.
The reason I decided to include him is because the RNZAF Museum has a large display dedicated to him specifically, and it seems they consider him a British-born New Zealander too.
I think there's a blur in being two such tied and entangled countries. If his parents had gone to Japan and he'd been born there, he'd be considered a Kiwi much more than a Japanese guy I think.
Post by Dave Homewood on Jul 29, 2006 0:41:18 GMT 12
Just an update of New Zealanders who served in the World War One Air Forces, I found a list of pilots who were all the founding members of the Territorial Air Force (also known as the NZAF) in June 1923. They had all served in WWI. I have added first names where I know them. The list is
Major Keith L. Caldwell, MC, DFC
R. E. Buckingham, MC
C. F. Meagher, AFC
Maurice W. Buckley
H. B. Burrell
C. C. L. Dowdall
J. L. Findlay, MC
G. L. Stedman
H. F. S. Drewitt, MC, DFC
P. K. Fowler
N. E. Chandler
John Seabrook, AFC
A. F. Upham, DFC
M. C. “Mad Mac” McGregor, DFC
F. W. Crawford
R. A. Stedman
F. J. Horrell
C. H. Noble-Campbell, AFC
C. A. Umbers
K. W. J. Hall
G. V. T. Thomson
H. R. T. Hughes
F. de M. Hyde, AFC
W. F. Parke
S. T. Goodman, MC, DCM
T. W. White
G. G. A. Martin
A. C. McCarthur
A. H. Skinner
G. J. Wilde, AFC
Kenneth James Gould - 2nd Lieutenant, Royal Flying Corps
D. C. Inglis, DCM
I. L. Knight
W. R. Patey, DFC
T. B. Hardy
R. J. Thompson
F. S. Gordon, DFC
H. C. Lloyd
Maurice Denman Sinclair - 2nd Lieutenant, Royal Flying Corps
J. E. Stevens
I. E. Rawnsley
H. I. N. Melville
J. R. Richardson
D. G. Gregorie
N. F. Harston
I. A. McGregor
R. B. Reynolds
W. B. Gillespie
Herbert Nelson Hawker - 2nd Lieutenant, Royal Flying Corps, No.110840
J. W. H. Lett
E. A. F. Wilding
W. E. Norton
M. H. Otway
W. Gordon Coull
R. G. MacDonald
Ronald James Sinclair
Ronald John Melville Webber - WWI RAF316800, Royal Flying Corps/Royal Air Force
W. W. Withell
R. C. Hancock
I. H. N. Keith
J. R. Moncrieff
E. D. Williams
Captain Christopher Musgrave, AFC, RAF Reserve (Class C) was attached
So with these chaps, only a few who have been mentioned before, plus those already mentioned above not on this list -
Other WWI NZ
2nd Lt William B. Rhodes-Moorhouse VC
Air Marshall Sir Keith Park
Captain Clive Collett
Captain Ronald Bannerman
Captain Harold Beamish
Major Arthur Coningham
Flt Lt Thomas Culling RNAS
Captain Euan Dickson
Lt Carrick Paul
Lt Alan Scott
Captain Gill Watson
2nd Lt Joe Hammond
...we are now getting a quite large and interesting list of NZ airmen from WWI
I can also add three more from my Cambridge research who moved here after WWI. Only one I know was a pilot, the other two I am still working on. They are:
- Leonard Lewis 'Dick' Orr (Pilot)
- Lt Thomas Henry 'Tommy' Hampshire
- Sgt William 'Bill' Meanie
Can you add other WWI New Zealanders who were pilots in particular, or other tradesmen from the RFC, RNAS or RAF (or other air forces)? Or can you add a first name to any of the above?
Post by Dave Homewood on Aug 10, 2006 23:24:49 GMT 12
Here is another Kiwi airman from WWI, with a distiunguished career. This is taken from the July 1974 issue of NZ Wings magazine:
WWI Zeppelin-buster dies at 90
A NEW Zealander who was the first man to engage a German Zeppelin over Britain during the First World War and contribute to its destruction, died in Uper Hutt last month at the age of 90.
He was Mr Alfred de Bathe Brandon, who received the Military Cross for his bombing attack on the Zeppelin L.15 on the night of March 31-April 1, 1916, and the Distinguished Service Order for firing on and forcing down the L.33 on the night of Septemebr 23-24, 1916.
Mr Brandon was born in Heretaunga in the Upper Hutt Valley in 1884 and practised as a barrister in Wellington during the early 1900's.
Always keen on flying, he joined the Royal Flying Corps in 1915, even though he was then aged 33, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant.
Following the Armistace, Mr Brandon now a major, returned to New Zealand and continued his law practise.
However, in early 1919 he was one of three officers attached to the staff of Colonel Vere Bettingdon who had been sent from Britain to advise the New Zealand Government on its future aviation policy.
Mr Brandon was also a close friend of the late Sir Francis Chichester and he had much to do with his coming to New Zealand.
Mr Brandon continued to practise as a barister and solicitor in Wellington until about 20 years ago.
Post by planeimages on Aug 11, 2006 0:04:02 GMT 12
Too late at night to look at lists but Joseph Joel Hammond is credited with being the fist Kiwi to fly. He worked for "Bristols" (British and Colonial Aircraft company) and was the chief pilot of the ""Bristol Air Mission" in 1911 to try to sell a pair of Bristol "Boxkites" (10 & 11) to the Australian Government.
The Gov't declined but No.11 was sold to W.E.Hart who, after rebuilding the machine when a windstorm wrecked it, became the holder of the first (and only) Australian Air League RAC-endorsed pilots' licence.
I understand that Hammond returned to the UK and lost his life shortly after. I do not know if this was in military service or, like his mechanic/instructor in Australia, Leslie McDonald, he died in a civil prang.
I am presently writing a story on Hart.
Post by corsair67 on Aug 11, 2006 12:21:00 GMT 12
Dave, that list is amazing: I had no idea that that many Kiwis had served as pilots during the First World War.
How did you manage to dig all these up?
Post by Dave Homewood on Aug 11, 2006 23:08:13 GMT 12
Today I managed to remember to check out how many WWI airmen are listed in the sad annuls of Errol Martyn's fabulous books 'For Your Tomorrow'. There are loads. Pages and pages. All Kiwi airmen killed in the Great War.
The first to die was W.W.A. Burn - NZ's first military pilot. Ironic.
When I get a chance i'll post the names here if no-one else beats me to it.
Post by smithy on Sept 1, 2006 9:46:48 GMT 12
Here's another Kiwi for you Dave,
Major Rainsford Balcombe Brown who took over command of 56 Sqn, RFC. He was the only commander of 56 to be killed in action (most likely by Erich Loewenhardt, the Staffelfuehrer of Jasta 10)
For more info have a squizz at Alex Revell's jaw-droppingly brilliant "High in the Empty Blue", an encyclopædic history of 56 in WWI.
Also - as an interesting aside, Rhodes-Moorhouse's son (also called William), was a Hurricane pilot in the Battle of Britain with 601 Sqn. He achieved ace status but was killed on 6th September, 1940. He's buried next to his father at the family home in Pamham, Bearminster, Dorset.
Post by Dave Homewood on Jan 8, 2007 18:43:28 GMT 12
Another Kiwi WWI airman I have discovered was Lawson Lysnar Copland Field OBE.
Lawson Field trained at the Walsh Bros. Kohimarama School, and served in the RFC/RAF but did not see combat before the war ended. He later founded Gisborne Aerial Todressing Company Ltd, which later became the more famous Fieldair.
His biography can be found on the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography website.www.dnzb.govt.nz/dnzb/
Post by mungus on Jan 19, 2008 12:24:35 GMT 12
Another one. My Grandmothers cousin.
Major Harry Williams (believed MC)
From Mere Mere, Taranaki. (Although his family also farmed near Cambridge)
RFC 7 Squadron
Began WW1 as 1st Lt in mounted rifles Gallipoli.
Wounded July 1915 and evacuated to Egypt.
With permission from Gen Russell, transferred to RFC initially as an observor in BE2B/C in middle east campaign, then to UK for wings course. Pilot in SE5, Bristol Fighter, RE8, Avro, DH9 & Sopwith Pup. Shot down in no mans land, breaking both legs but survived the War...
I am lucky enough to have some of his original letters from Gallipoli to my Grandmother on NZEF stationary, and copies of some of his memoirs. But would like to see his records for confirmation of exact details, etc. As I have these for one of his nephews who was KIA in 1943 in the Solomons in RNZAF P40 NZ3076.
Does anybody know a way to get RFC officer records? And also NZ Army WW1 records? Thanks...
Post by Dave Homewood on Jan 21, 2008 13:38:21 GMT 12
Welcome to the forum Mungus. Please tell me more about the Cambridge connection with this airman. Did he ever live in the Cambridge district himself at any point? If so he then comes under the area of my website project. Also, did the P-40 pilot have any connection to the Cambridge district?
As for his service records, you should be able to get them from Archives New Zealand I think, do you know his service number because they hold records for several Harry Williams's from WWI. If you have his service number do a search here for his namearchway.archives.govt.nz/CallSimpleSearch.do
The Military Personnel files come up on the second and third page when you search for 'Harry Williams'
Post by mungus on Jan 24, 2008 21:45:30 GMT 12
Thank you for your welcome Dave.
The post was more about adding to a list of WW1 Kiwi pilots.
Regarding any Cambridge links. I was told he retired somewhere near Cambridge. He was also part of the family of the JJ Patterson / Williams farming enterprises in the Waikato and Taranaki. This included dairy farms around Cambridge.
Apparently his Legal name was - Henry Daniel Williams - Born 9.12.1893 and died on 26.6.1981. But always known as "Harry". But I would have to do more research to be sure of any details.
I will post back if I do.
As an aside 2 of his nephews also flew, in WW2. Lyn Williams KIA 31.07.43 in P40M NZ3076 in the Solomons, and Reeve Williams (Fleet Air Arm) POW, who sadly died about 2 or 3 years ago in Tauranga.
Post by Dave Homewood on Jan 25, 2008 18:06:54 GMT 12
Thanks Mungus. I will try to remember to check the local museum and see if I can find an obit for Harry.
Post by John Macilree on Jul 5, 2008 17:54:41 GMT 12
My grandfather, Edgar Thomson Shand, was an Observer in the RFC and was one of the three New Zealanders on Bettington's staff in the immediate post-WWI period. The following is some brief information I have about his military service:
Second Lieutenant E.T. Shand; born Taieri 28 February 1891; sheep farmer; First New Zealand Expeditionary Force 1916-17; Royal Flying Corps 1917; died 15 January 1938.
From: p.7 - Footnote 4: J.M.S. Ross: Official History of New Zealand in the Second World War 1939-45; Royal New Zealand Air Force: Wellington: 1955
Royal Flying Corp Personal Index number PI 7225 17 Squadron
"On August 19th  an Army Reconnaissance was carried out over the Carniste-Valandovo area [near Salonika?], the BE2c machine being escorted by a two-seater Nieuport (110 Clerget) attached from the French Aviation. This reconnaissance machine was attacked by an Aviatik which was immediately engaged by the Nieuport. In the course of the combat the French pilot, Lieutenant Ducas and the English Observer, Lieutenant Shand were both wounded. They, however, succeeded in driving off the enemy machine and returned safely to their Aerodrome."
1 April 1918 - transferred to Royal Air Force - Lieutenant
2 February 1920 - relinquished commission with Royal Air Force
I have posted some additional information about his civilian life on my home pages at:homepages.ihug.co.nz/~macilree/etshand.htm
My mother has a photograph of him in his RFC uniform and a relative in Christchurch has his photograph album from the period when he was in the RFC.