Captain Harry George Ernest LUCHFORD M.C. & Bar R.F.C.
Killed in action 2nd December 1917.
Harry George Ernest LUCHFORD was born into a military family in Lucknow, India on the 28th October 1894. The 1911 census shows that the family had moved to England and were living at St George Square, London where Harry was employed as a bank clerk with Martins Bank, Lombard Street, London. The census also shows him living with his parents George James & Helena Elizabeth LUCHFORD ( nee Hunnisett ) as well as his brothers Leonard Eustace and Cyril Gordon LUCHFORD. Prior to the breakout of hostilities the family were living at 21 Walmer, Quenmore Road, Bromley, Kent.
Harry first entered military service with the Norfolk Regiment and subsequently the Army Service Corps where he was commissioned in September 1914. He then served with the Indian Divisional Cavalry in France before transferring to the Royal Flying Corps in January 1917.
In May 1917 Harry qualified as a pilot and was attached to 20 squadron. He was to score his first kill on 13th June 1917 with his observer being James TENNANT.
Harry was rewarded for his heroic flying deeds on the 27th October 1917 when he was awarded the Military Cross as a Temporary Lieutenant. His citation reads
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He has carried out a great deal of extremely useful work, and has proved himself a capable and determined leader. On one occasion when on a photographic reconnaissance he and his observer shot down and destroyed two enemy scouts. He has destroyed five other hostile machines. London Gazette dated 18th March 1918.
Harry was again rewarded for gallantry on 26th November 1917 as Temporary Captain receiving a bar to his Military Cross. His citation reads
For conspcuous gallantry and devotion to duty. When engaged on a patrol, he and his observer encountered about fifteen hostile aeroplanes, and shot one of them down in flames. Later, when engaged on a reconnaissance with three other machines, he encountered eight hostile aeroplanes and shot one of then down. On another occasion be destroyed on of three hostile scouts which were attacking one of our machines, and also shot down a hostile two-seater. London Gazette dated 6th April 1918.
Harry was to fly with several observers and be credited with a number of kills before he was himself shot down and killed by Walter Von BULOW – Bothkamp on 2nd December 1917.
Below is an image of a Bristol F.2b fighter similar to the one that Harry would have flown.
Harry’s downed Bristol F.2b fighter.
Here is a list of Harry’s victories.
These are the observers that flew with Harry
1. Observer 2 Lt James Tennant
2. Observer 2 Lt W.D.KENNARD
3. Observer Lt Melville Waddington
4. Observer Lt Richard Hill
5. Observer Sgt William Benger
6. Observer Lt Victor White
Below are the memorial plaques of Sgt William BENGER M.M. and his brother Frank John BENGER.
William Joseph BENGER observer with 20 Sqn awarded military medal flying Bristol Fighter BF2b Killed in Action 17.10.1917. His citation reads
This NCO has served as an aerial gunner since 13.05.1917 and has done consistently good work in aerial gunnery, photography and reconnaissance. He has had numerous combats and has shown good marksmanship and coolness in action. On 25.09.1917 he shot down an out of control Albatross Scout near Becelaere. On 29.07.1917 near Moorslede he shot down in flames an Albatross Scout. On 03.10.1917 one Albatross Scout was driven down out of control near Wervicq. On 11.10.1917 near Moorslede he drove an Albatross Scout out of control.
William died as a prisoner of war.
Harry is remembered at the Arras Flying Services Memorial, Pas De Calais, France. His final resting place is unknown.
He is also remembered at the Private Banks Cricket and Athletics Club.
Here are the medals of harry’s father and brother.
George James LUCHFORD Garrison Quartermaster Sergeant 1st East Lancashire Regiment.
Queens South Africa medal with bars BELFAST,LAINGS NEK, RELIEF OF LADYSMITH, TUGELA HEIGHTS, ORANGE FREE STATE and CAPE COLONY.
India General Service medal with bar CHITRAL 1895.
Long Service and Good Conduct medal.
Cyril Gordon LUCHFORD M.C. 14th Northumberland Fusiliers.
This page belongs to Keith WRIGHT