LUCHFORD Harry

            Captain Harry George Ernest LUCHFORD M.C. & Bar R.F.C.

                          Killed in action 2nd December 1917.

Harry George Ernest LUCHFORD  R.F.C.

Harry George Ernest LUCHFORD R.F.C.

 

Harry's memorial plaque

Harry’s memorial plaque

 

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.

Harry George Ernest LUCHFORD M.C.

Harry George Ernest LUCHFORD M.C.

 

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.

Military Cross and Bar

Military Cross and Bar

 

Military Cross Reverse

Military Cross Reverse

 

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.

Walter Von Bulow - Bothkamp

Walter Von Bulow – Bothkamp

 

Walter Von Bulow - Bothkamp's Poure Le Merit or Blue Max

Walter Von Bulow – Bothkamp’s Pour Le Merit or Blue Max

 

Below is an image of a Bristol F.2b fighter similar to the one that Harry would have flown.

 

Bristol Fighter WW1

Bristol Fighter WW1

 

Harry’s downed Bristol F.2b fighter.

 

The very sad image of Harry and his downed aircraft

The very sad image of Harry and his downed aircraft

 

Here is a list of Harry’s victories.

Date Time Unit Aircraft Opponent Location
1 13 Jun 1917 0845 20 F.E.2d (A6516) 1 Albatros D.III(OOC) Houthem
2 29 Jun 1917 1320 20 F.E.2d (A6516) 2 Albatros D.III(DESF) Zonnebeke
3 03 Jul 1917 1500 20 F.E.2d (A6547) 1 Albatros D.III(DES) Becelaere
4 06 Jul 1917 1830 20 F.E.2d (A6512) 1 Albatros D.III(OOC) Comines
5 06 Jul 1917 1830 20 F.E.2d (A6512) 1 Albatros D.III(OOC) Comines
6 17 Jul 1917 1955 20 F.E.2d (A6548) 3 Albatros D.III(OOC) Polygon Wood
7 21 Jul 1917 1850 20 F.E.2d (A6548) 3 Albatros D.III(OOC) Menin
8 27 Jul 1917 1945-2040 20 F.E.2d (A1956) 3 Albatros D.III(DESF) N of Menin
9 27 Jul 1917 1945-2040 20 F.E.2d (A1956) 3 Albatros D.III(OOC) N of Menin
10 16 Aug 1917 1145 20 F.E.2d (A6448) 1 Albatros C (OOC) Menin
11 17 Aug 1917 1445 20 F.E.2d (B1897) 1 Albatros D.V(DES) Houthem
12 09 Sep 1917 1315 20 Bristol Fighter (A7215) 4 Albatros D.V(OOC) Becelaere
13 11 Sep 1917 1400 20 Bristol Fighter (A7215) 4 Albatros D.V(OOC) E of Menin
14 21 Sep 1917 1700 20 Bristol Fighter (A7428) 4 Albatros D.V(OOC) Becelaere
15 25 Sep 1917 1830 20 Bristol Fighter (B1128) 4 Albatros D.V(DES) E of Gheluvelt
16 28 Sep 1917 1230 20 Bristol Fighter (B1122) 4 Albatros D.V(DESF) Menin
17 28 Sep 1917 1230 20 Bristol Fighter (B1122) 4 Albatros D.V(DES) Menin
18 01 Oct 1917 1445 20 Bristol Fighter (B1122) 4 Albatros D.V(DES) SE of Roulers
19 11 Oct 1917 0715 20 Bristol Fighter (B1122) 5 Albatros D.V(DESF) Moorslede
20 11 Oct 1917 0715 20 Bristol Fighter (B1122) 5 Albatros D.V(OOC) Moorslede
21 17 Oct 1917 1000 20 Bristol Fighter (B1138) 6 Albatros D.V(DES) Dadizeele
22 18 Oct 1917 0845 20 Bristol Fighter (B1138) 6 Albatros D.V(DES) Houthem-Tenbrielen
23 18 Oct 1917 0900 20 Bristol Fighter (B1138) 6 DFW C (DES) W of Dadizeele
24 21 Oct 1917 1520 20 Bristol Fighter (B1138) 6 LVG C (DES) Menin

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.

SGT William BENGERS memorial plaque

SGT William BENGER memorial plaque

Frank John BENGER memorial plaque

Frank John BENGER memorial plaque

 

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.

Arras Flying Services Memorial

Arras Flying Services Memorial

 

He is also remembered at the Private Banks Cricket and Athletics Club.

Private Banks Cricket And Athletics Club Memorial

Private Banks Cricket And Athletics Club Memorial

 

Here are the medals of harry’s father and brother.

George James LUCHFORD Garrison Quartermaster Sergeant 1st East Lancashire Regiment.

Queens South Africa, India General Service and Long Service Good Conduct medals

Queens South Africa, India General Service and Long Service Good Conduct medals

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.

Military Cross, British War Medal and Victory Medal

Military Cross, British War Medal and Victory Medal

 

This page belongs to Keith WRIGHT