Charles Lupton

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Charles Roger Lupton
Born (1898-01-27)27 January 1898
Potternewton, Yorkshire, England
Died 9 May 1918(1918-05-09) (aged 20)
Buried at Vignacourt British Cemetery, Somme, France (50°00′33″N 2°12′23″E / 50.00917°N 2.20639°E / 50.00917; 2.20639Coordinates: 50°00′33″N 2°12′23″E / 50.00917°N 2.20639°E / 50.00917; 2.20639)
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Navy
Royal Air Force
Years of service 1916–1918
Rank Captain
Unit No. 5 (Naval) Squadron/No. 205 Squadron RAF
Battles/wars World War I
 • Western Front
Awards Distinguished Service Cross & Bar

Captain Charles Roger Lupton DSC* (27 January 1898 – 9 May 1918) was a British World War I flying ace credited with five aerial victories.[1]


He was the only surviving son of Charles Lupton OBE JP DL, solicitor and co-founder of the law firm DLA Piper, alderman, and Lord Mayor of Leeds 1915–16, and his wife Katharine, of Carr Head, Roundhay. Katherine was the fourth daughter of Thomas Ashton, DL, of Ford Bank, Didsbury, Manchester, two of whose sons were Thomas Gair Ashton MP, who became Lord Ashton of Hyde, and Samuel Edgar Ashton.[2]

Lupton was educated at Hillbrow and Rugby Schools, leaving the latter in July 1916, before he was eighteen, to join the Royal Naval Air Service.[3] He was commissioned as a temporary flight sub-lieutenant on 20 July 1916,[4] and was granted Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate No. 3734, flying a Maurice Farman biplane at RNAS Eastbourne, on 14 September 1916.[1]

He first served at home stations, and at Prawle Point in April 1917 he met with a serious accident which incapacitated him for two months. He was sent to Dunkirk in August 1917,[2] when posted to No. 5 (Naval) Squadron flying the Airco DH.4 two-seater day bomber.[1] Lupton gained his first victory on 28 September, driving down out of control an Albatros D.V over Blankenberge, and repeated the feat on 8 December over Aertrycke airfield. His crewman for both was Aerial Gun Layer Smith, and the second victory was shared with Flight Sub-Lieutenant John Gamon and AGL Winter.

On 18 December 1917 he and two other officers were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for their part in an bombing raid. The citation read:

Flight Sub-Lieutenant Charles Roger Lupton, RNAS.
Flight Sub-Lieutenant Euan Dickson, RNAS.
Observer Sub-Lieutenant William Lawrence Hill, RNAS.
"For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in a bombing raid on Thourout Railway Station and Varsennaere Aerodrome on 25 October 1917. These officers volunteered for the expedition in spite of extremely unfavourable weather conditions. They have all previously taken part in many bombing raids."[5]

Lupton was promoted to flight lieutenant on 31 December 1917,[6] and was appointed an acting flight commander in January 1918. In March his squadron moved further south,[3] and on the 22nd of that month Lupton, now flying with AGL A. G. Wood, drove down another Albatros D.V south-west of Vendhuile. He was awarded a second Distinguished Service Cross, which was gazetted posthumously on 4 June 1918. His citation read:

Flight Lieutenant (Acting Flight Commander) Charles Roger Lupton, DSC, RNAS.
"For conspicuous bravery and skill in leading bombing formations, especially on 26 March 1918, when he carried out at low altitudes four bombing raids on enemy communications. In the course of these raids he caused great damage to enemy transport, and inflicted serious casualties on large numbers of their reinforcements. He has carried out very many bombing raids, and by his courage and resource has instilled a spirit of confidence and daring in all those who have flown with him."[7]

When the Royal Naval Air Service and the Army's Royal Flying Corps were merged to form the Royal Air Force on 1 April, Lupton was promoted to captain,[3] and No. 5 (Naval) Squadron became No. 205 Squadron RAF. A week later, on 6 April 1918, he sent a Fokker Dr.I down in flames north-east of Villers-Bretonneux, and the following day drove down a Pfalz D.III over Lamotte.[1]

Lupton was killed in action, after colliding with a French aircraft at an altitude of 4,000 feet (1,200 m), while returning from a raid over the German lines, on 9 May 1918. He was 20 years old.[2] He is buried at the British Cemetery at Vignacourt,[8] and commemorated on the memorial in St Johns Church, Roundhay,[9] close to "Beechwood" the Lupton family seat.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d "Charles Roger Lupton". The Aerodrome. 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Memorials of Rugbeians, who fell in the Great War. Rugby School. 1937. Retrieved 19 May 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c "Personals: Casualties". Flight X (495): 692. 20 June 1918. Retrieved 19 May 2015. 
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 30028. p. 3753. 20 April 1917.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30437. p. 13318. 18 December 1917.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30451. p. 89. 28 December 1917.
  7. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30732. p. 6772. 4 June 1918.
  8. ^ "Casualty Details: Lupton, Charles Roger". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015. 
  9. ^ "Roundhay St Johns". Leeds WW1 War Memorials. 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015. 
  10. ^ "Beechwood, Elmete Lane". Leodis - a photographic archive of Leeds. 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015.