Richard Maybery

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Richard Aveline Maybery
Born (1895-01-04)4 January 1895
Brecon, Brecknockshire, Wales
Died 19 December 1917(1917-12-19) (aged 22)
Haynecourt, France
Buried at Flesquières Hill British Cemetery, Flesquières, Nord (50°7′30″N 3°7′30″E / 50.12500°N 3.12500°E / 50.12500; 3.12500Coordinates: 50°7′30″N 3°7′30″E / 50.12500°N 3.12500°E / 50.12500; 3.12500)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
 Royal Air Force
Years of service 1913–1917
Rank Captain
Unit 21st (Empress of India's) Lancers
No. 56 Squadron RFC
Battles/wars World War I
 • North West Frontier Province
 • Western Front
Awards Military Cross & Bar

Captain Richard Aveline Maybery MC* (4 January 1895 – 19 December 1917) was a Welsh flying ace in the First World War.[1]


Maybery was born in Brecon, Wales, on 4 January 1895, the only son of Aveline Maybery, a solicitor, and his wife Lucy. He was educated locally and at Wellington College, Berkshire, before going on to the Royal Military College at Sandhurst.[1]

After his graduation he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the 21st (Empress of India's) Lancers on 17 September 1913.[2] At the outbreak of the war he was serving in the North West Frontier Province where he was promoted to lieutenant on 31 October 1914.[3] After being seriously wounded in action at Shabqadar on 15 September 1915, Maybery became bored during his rehabilitation and, unable to sit on a horse, became involved in observing for a unit of the Royal Flying Corps who were based nearby.[1] He was eventually seconded to the RFC, and appointed a flying officer (observer) on 10 October 1916, with seniority from 21 August 1916.[4] Later he travelled to Egypt where he trained to be a pilot, being appointed a flying officer on 11 April 1917,[5][6] and was posted to France to serve in No. 56 Squadron, alongside aces James McCudden, Arthur Rhys Davids and Keith Muspratt.

Aggressive and headstrong, Maybery quickly accumulated a high victory tally, accounting for 21 enemy aircraft between 7 July and 19 December 1917. He was awarded the Military Cross on 26 September,[7] and on 18 November was appointed a flight commander with the temporary rank of captain.[8] His second Military Cross was awarded on 17 December.[9]

Moments after his final victory on 19 December, shooting down an Albatros D.V over Bourlon Wood, Maybery's SE5a was either hit by fire from a mobile anti-aircraft battery (credited to K-Flakbatterie 108 commanded by Leutnant Thiel), or shot down by Vizefeldwebel Artur Weber of Jasta 5, and crashed near the village of Haynecourt.[10] His wartime tally consisted of 16 destroyed (two shared), and five driven down 'out of control'.[1]

Flesquières Hill British Cemetery

Maybery was buried in Haynecourt by the Germans,[1] but after the war was re-interred at Flesquieres Hill British Cemetery, Nord, France.[11]

A marble plaque dedicated to the memory of Richard Aveline Maybery, can be found in Brecon Cathedral. The plaque includes the prayer:

"Almighty God..... enable us who remain in the safety of our homes to be worthy of those who have died for us... grant us with a willing spirit to do whatever duty may be laid upon us."[12]

Awards and citations[edit]

Military Cross
Lieutenant Richard Aveline Maybery, Lancers and Royal Flying Corps.
"For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. After attacking two aerodromes in succession at very low altitudes, and inflicting considerable damage, he attacked and dispersed a number of mounted men and then attacked a goods train. He next attacked and shot down a hostile machine at 500 feet, and before returning attacked a passenger train. On numerous occasions he has attacked, single handed, large hostile formations and set a fine example by his gallantry and determination."[13]
Bar to the Military Cross
Lieutenant Richard Aveline Maybery, Lancers and Royal Flying Corps
"For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty as leader of offensive patrols for three months, during which he personally destroyed nine enemy aeroplanes and drove down three out of control. On one occasion, having lost his patrol, he attacked a formation of eight enemy aeroplanes. One was seen to crash and two others went down, out of control, the formation being completely broken up.[14]

Combat record[edit]

List of aerial victories[1]
No. Date/Time Aircraft/
Serial No.
Foe Result Location Notes
1 7 July 1917
Albatros D.V Driven down out of control Henin-Liétard
2 12 July 1917
Albatros D.V Destroyed Dadizeele
3 16 July 1917
Albatros D.V Driven down out of control Polygon Wood
4 23 July 1917
Albatros D.V Destroyed Moorslede
5 27 July 1917
Albatros D.III Driven down out of control North-east of Roulers
6 31 July 1917
Type C Destroyed Wevelgem
7 10 August 1917
Albatros D.III Destroyed South of Roulers
8 Albatros D.III Destroyed North of Houthoulst Forest Shared with Lieutenant V. P. Cronyn
9 22 August 1917
Albatros D.V Destroyed Clerkavenhoek
10 3 September 1917
Albatros D.V Destroyed Houthem Shared with Second Lieutenant Arthur Rhys-Davids
11 5 September 1917
Albatros D.V Destroyed Moorslede
12 10 September 1917
Albatros D.V Destroyed South-east of Houthoulst Forest
13 Albatros D.V Driven down out of control Zonnebeke-Moorslede
14 30 September 1917
Pfalz D.III Destroyed West of Roulers
15 2 October 1917
Albatros D.III Destroyed Rollegem-Kapelle
16 28 October 1917
Albatros D.V Destroyed Dadizeele
17 31 October 1917
Albatros D.III Driven down out of control East of Ledegem
18 31 October 1917
Albatros D.V Destroyed South-west of Roulers
19 30 November 1917 S.E.5a
Albatros D.V Destroyed Bourlon Wood
20 Albatros D.V Destroyed Bourlon Wood
21 19 December 1917
Albatros D.V Destroyed Bourlon Wood


"...He (Captain Maybery) and Captain Ball and Lieutenant Rhys Davids did more harm to the morale of the German Flying Corps than any other fifteen pilots between them. They all, always, took on any odds. They were too brave and reckless."

— Reminiscence of Captain Duncan Grinnell-Milne, Commanding Officer of No. 56 Squadron RFC, upon hearing news of the death of Captain Richard Maybery.


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Richard Aveline Maybery". The Aerodrome. 2015. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 
  2. ^ "No. 28756". The London Gazette. 16 September 1913. p. 6561. 
  3. ^ "No. 29084". The London Gazette. 26 February 1915. p. 1981. 
  4. ^ "No. 30007". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 March 1917. p. 3182. 
  5. ^ "No. 30092". The London Gazette (Supplement). 25 May 1917. p. 5146. 
  6. ^ "No. 30141". The London Gazette (Supplement). 19 June 1917. p. 6139. 
  7. ^ "No. 30308". The London Gazette (Supplement). 25 September 1917. p. 9977. 
  8. ^ "No. 30410". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 November 1917. p. 12632. 
  9. ^ "No. 30431". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 December 1917. p. 13180. 
  10. ^ Shores, Christopher F.; Franks, Norman & Guest, Russell F. (1990). Above the Trenches: a Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces 1915–1920. London, UK: Grub Street. p. 264. ISBN 978-0-948817-19-9. 
  11. ^ "Casualty Details: Maybery, Richard Aveline". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. 2015. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 
  12. ^ Westlake, Ray (2011). "Brecon Cathedral – War Memorials". Remembering The Great War. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 
  13. ^ "No. 30466". The London Gazette (Supplement). 8 January 1918. p. 627. 
  14. ^ "No. 30645". The London Gazette (Supplement). 19 April 1918. p. 4858.