|Alfred Victor Blenkiron|
4 July 1896|
|Died||20 March 1920
Coulsdon, Surrey, England
Royal Air Force
|Years of service||1915–1918|
|Unit||Somerset Light Infantry
No. 22 Squadron RFC
No. 23 Squadron RFC
No. 25 Squadron RFC
No. 56 Squadron RFC
No. 151 Squadron RAF
He then served with No. 23 Squadron from 5 to 14 October 1916, transferring to No. 25 Squadron on 3 December 1916, again as an observer on the FE.2b. He scored his first success by destroying a Halberstadt D.III on 23 January 1917. Six days later, he scored a kill despite being wounded, setting an Albatros D.II aflame; on 3 March 1917 he was awarded the Military Cross for this action.
On 1 March 1917 Blenkiron was promoted to lieutenant.
After recovering from his wound he trained as a pilot, and was appointed a flying officer on 10 November 1917. He was assigned to No. 56 Squadron on 3 December 1917. Flying the Royal Aircraft Factory SE.5a he scored two victories with No. 56, driving down an Albatros D.V on 15 December 1917 and a German two-seater on 25 January 1918. He was later transferred back to England as one of the original pilots of No. 151 Squadron, the RAF's first dedicated night fighter squadron.
Honours and awards
- Military Cross
- Temporary Second Lieutenant Alfred Victor Blenkiron, Somerset Light Infantry and Royal Flying Corps.
- For conspicuous gallantry in action. Although wounded, he fired his machine-gun with great skill and brought down an enemy machine, thereby enabling his pilot to bring his machine safely home. On another occasion he displayed great courage when observing on patrol, and brought down a hostile machine.
Post-war and death
Blenkiron struggled after returning to civilian life, having a nervous breakdown, and losing much of his money to card sharps. He was declared bankrupt on 20 February 1919, and was charged with fraud in obtaining credit while bankrupt. On 20 March 1920 Blenkiron was found dead in a room at the Ashdown Park Hotel, Coulsdon, Surrey. At the inquest it was revealed that Blenkiron, a professional dancer, had separated from his wife and was under financial pressure, and had committed suicide by taking prussic acid.
- "Alfred Victor Blenkiron". theaerodrome.com. 2014. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
- The London Gazette: . 19 October 1915.
- The London Gazette: . 9 March 1917.
- Shores et.al. (1990), p.80.
- The London Gazette: . 13 April 1917.
- The London Gazette: . 30 November 1917.
- The London Gazette: . 3 March 1917.
- "Charge Against An Airman". Chronicle and North Coast Advertiser. Queensland: National Library of Australia. 19 September 1919. p. 8. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
- The London Gazette: . 25 February 1919.
- "Dancer's Death". Ohinemuri Gazette. XXXI (4122): 3. 26 May 1920. Retrieved 6 September 2014.