Arras Flying Services Memorial

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Arras Flying Services Memorial
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
For Royal Naval Air Service, the Royal Flying Corps, and the Royal Air Force who were killed on the whole Western Front and who have no known grave.
Unveiled 31 July 1932
Location 50°17′12″N 2°45′38″E / 50.28667°N 2.76056°E / 50.28667; 2.76056Coordinates: 50°17′12″N 2°45′38″E / 50.28667°N 2.76056°E / 50.28667; 2.76056
near Arras, France
Designed by Edwin Lutyens
Total commemorated
990
Statistics source:

The Arras Flying Services Memorial Commonwealth War Graves Commission war memorial in the Faubourg d'Amiens Cemetery, Arras, France. The memorial commemorates nearly 1,000 airmen from forces of the Commonwealth who were killed on the Western Front during World War I and who have no known grave. The memorial was designed by Edwin Lutyens, sculpted by William Reid Dick and unveiled by Hugh Trenchard, 1st Viscount Trenchard, Marshal of the Royal Air Force on 31 July 1932.

Background[edit]

In the spring of 1916, French troops transferred the city of Arras in Pas-de-Calais, France, to the British armed forces. Construction of the British portion of Faubourg d'Amiens Cemetery in the western portion of Arras, near the Citadel designed by Vauban, began in March 1916, behind the existing French graveyard.[1] After the Armistice, the cemetery was extended with graves that were transferred from the battlefield and from two smaller graveyards in the area. The graves in the French portion of the military cemetery were moved elsewhere after the war.[2] The vacant land was then designated for two monuments, the Arras Memorial and the Arras Flying Services Memorial. The Faubourg d'Amiens Cemetery comprises 2,650 graves of the First World War, including 10 unidentified burials. In addition to 8 WWII burials from the United Kingdom and United States, there are 30 graves of other nationalities.[1] The Arras Memorial commemorates nearly 35,000 servicemen from the United Kingdom, South Africa, and New Zealand who died between the spring of 1916 and 7 August 1918 (the eve of the Advance to Victory) in the Arras region and who have no known grave. (Missing Canadian and Australian servicemen are commemorated elsewhere.)[2] The Arras Flying Services Memorial commemorates nearly 1,000 members of the Royal Naval Air Service, the Royal Flying Corps, and the Royal Air Force who were killed on the Western Front and who have no known grave.[1]

Design[edit]

Architect Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens (1869–1944), of the Imperial War Graves Commission, designed the layout of the Faubourg-d'Amiens Cemetery.[3] He also designed the Arras Memorial and the Arras Flying Services Memorial. The cemetery was planned and constructed before the two monuments were designed. As a result, the paths of the cemetery do not align with the Arras Memorial.[2] The Flying Services Memorial is adjacent to the Arras Memorial. It is an obelisk with a globe which forms a finial on the top. The four sides of the obelisk are inscribed with the names of 990 airmen who were killed on the Western Front and have no known grave.[1][4] Renowned Scottish sculptor Sir William Reid Dick (1879–1961) sculpted the globe with stars on top of the Arras Flying Services Memorial, as well as the badges on the monument.[5] The globe measures four-foot six inches in diameter, weighing almost three tons. At the 1932 unveiling ceremony, it was revealed that the position of the globe on the obelisk parallels that of the Earth on the morning of the Armistice, 11 November 1918.[6] The badges created by the Scottish sculptor are of the Royal Naval Air Service, the Royal Flying Corps, and the Royal Air Force, as well as the combined badges of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.[7]

Unveiling ceremony[edit]

Hugh Montague Trenchard, Marshal of the Royal Air Force, performed the unveiling of the Arras Flying Services Memorial and the Arras Memorial on 31 July 1932.[7] The unveiling had initially been scheduled for 15 May 1932; however, due to the assassination of French President Paul Doumer in early May, the ceremony had been postponed.[8] During the first ceremony of the day, Lord Trenchard, accompanied by Lady Trenchard and their eleven-year-old son Hugh Trenchard, was received by the mayor and town council and placed a wreath on the local war memorial. The second ceremony took place in the apse of the cloister of the Arras Memorial, close to the obelisk.[6] Royal Air Force bands played O God, Our Help in Ages Past. After prayers led by the chaplain, Major General Sir Fabian Ware, founder of the Imperial War Graves Commission, addressed Lord Trenchard and invited him to unveil the memorial. Trenchard gave a speech, and then proceeded with the unveiling. The chaplain dedicated the memorials and a hymn was sung. Five aeroplanes flew in a wide arc around the cemetery, and then in V formation shot over the monuments. After the benediction and prayers by Monseigneur Henri-Édouard Dutoit, Bishop of Arras, buglers of the 1st Battalion of the Durham Light Infantry sounded Last Post. Subsequently, pipers of the 1st Battalion of the Seaforth Highlanders played The Flowers of the Forest, followed by the buglers again with Reveille. After the national anthems of France and Britain, there was a procession of those bearing floral tributes, and the ceremony concluded.[6]

Notable airmen commemorated on the Memorial[edit]

Flying ace Edward "Mick" Mannock is credited with 61 aerial victories.

Flying aces credited with twenty or more aerial victories who are represented on the Flying Services Memorial include:

Flying ace Arthur Rhys-Davids is credited with 25 aerial victories.

Flying aces credited with ten to nineteen aerial victories who are represented on the Flying Services Memorial include:

Other notable commemoratees not distinguished as flying aces include Scotland rugby international John George Will.[40]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Commonwealth War Graves Commission – Arras Flying Services Memorial
  2. ^ a b c Cemeteries of the Great War by Sir Edwin Lutyens by Jeroen Guerst
  3. ^ The National Archives – Your Archives – Sir Edwin Landseer Lutyens
  4. ^ International Wargraves Photography Project – Hosted on Find A Grave – Arras Flying Services Memorial
  5. ^ The National Archives – Your Archives – Sir William Reid Dick
  6. ^ a b c Glasgow Herald, 1 Aug 1932, p 11-12
  7. ^ a b The National Archives – Your Archives – The Arras Memorial and the Flying Services Memorial
  8. ^ Commonwealth War Graves Commission – Arras Memorial
  9. ^ International Wargraves Photography Project – Bell
  10. ^ The Aerodrome – Douglas Bell
  11. ^ International Wargraves Photography Project – Cubbon
  12. ^ The Aerodrome – Francis Cubbon
  13. ^ International Wargraves Photography Project – Jenkin
  14. ^ The Aerodrome – Louis Jenkin
  15. ^ International Wargraves Photography Project – Luchford
  16. ^ The Aerodrome – Harry Luchford
  17. ^ Flightglobal/Archive 2 May 1918 – Luchford
  18. ^ International Wargraves Photography Project – Mannock
  19. ^ The Aerodrome – Edward Mannock
  20. ^ International Wargraves Photography Project – Rhys-Davids
  21. ^ The Aerodrome – Arthur Rhys Davids
  22. ^ International Wargraves Photography Project – Thayre
  23. ^ The Aerodrome – Frederick Thayre
  24. ^ International Wargraves Photography Project – Thompson
  25. ^ The Aerodrome – Samuel Thompson
  26. ^ The Aerodrome – Frederick Armstrong
  27. ^ The Aerodrome – Carleton Clement
  28. ^ The Aerodrome – Valentine Collins
  29. ^ The Aerodrome – Pruett Dennett
  30. ^ The Aerodrome – Gordon Irving
  31. ^ The Aerodrome – Patrick Langan-Byrne
  32. ^ The Aerodrome – John Malone
  33. ^ The Aerodrome – Alfred McKay
  34. ^ The Aerodrome – Maurice Mealing
  35. ^ The Aerodrome – Guy Moore
  36. ^ The Aerodrome – Guy Price
  37. ^ The Aerodrome – Ellis Reid
  38. ^ The Aerodrome – Alfred Shepherd
  39. ^ The Aerodrome – Noel Webb
  40. ^ [1]CWGC casualty record, John George Will.

External links[edit]