Tuesday, February 17, 2015

12961 1st Air Mechanic Corporal William Stephen White, Royal Flying Corps

Chailey Parish Magazine mentions Corporal W White, Royal Field Artillery, England, in its August 1916 edition.  The following month this is corrected to note that he is serving not with the RFA but with the RFC – Royal Flying Corps.

In January 1917 it notes that Corporal White has been invalided but in April 1918 the word “invalided” is removed and the information White, Corpl W, RFC appears.  This is then repeated up to and including the final published roll call in July 1919.

William's papers (extract above) survive in AIR 79 at the National Archives and tell us that he enlisted on 2nd November 1915 as a 2nd Air Mechanic and that he was appointed 1st Air Mechanic the following March. He did not serve overseas and was deemed to have been discharged on 20th April 1920, having been transferred to the RAF Reserve on 12th February 1919. He was a mechanic by trade and living at South Street, Chailey. His next of kin is recorded as his father - W White.

William appears on the 1901 census of England and Wales (above) as a 23-year-old Chailey-born blacksmith living at South Street, Chailey.  Also at that address are his 26 year old sister Beatrice White, his 27 year old brother Reuben White (a boot maker) and his widowed 57 year old father William White (running his own boot-making business).

Images on this page are Crown Copyright, The National Archives.

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