Posted 31 July 2012 - 05:01 PM
I'm afraid I just get more confused - what was a Grenadier Guardsman doing with the Earl of Craven and the RFC? Here is the newspaper item that started me thinking:
Newbury Weekly News 16 Mar 1916 p8 – Local War Notes
Mr and Mrs Brown, of 47, Northbrook-street, were the recipients of the sad intelligence on Sunday that their eldest son, Pte C W T Brown, 21438, 3rd Batt, Grenadier Guards, had died in the Lahore British General Hospital, Calais, on March 11th , from injuries to the head and abdomen caused by an accident with a bomb. The young fellow had been serving as a bomber in his battalion, and had been through almost all of the big engagements since he left England some eight months ago, and it seems particularly unfortunate he should have met his death in this way, when well back from the firing line, his detachment being now attached to the Royal Flying Corps under the Earl of Craven. Pte Brown was only 20 years of age, and was one of the number who enlisted at a recruiting meeting in Newbury Corn Exchange which was addressed by a lady speaker. Prior to this, he had worked at Messrs W H Smith and Sons’ printing works being in the last year of his apprenticeship. Mr and Mrs Brown received official notification from the War Office on Tuesday morning, but no details are yet to hand as to the cause of his death, except as briefly stated in the official notice.
Reading between the lines I am guessing the Guardsman was giving bombing training - to the RFC? Craven seems to have been one of those well connected aristo/politicos who was determined to do his bit - thus providing a major headache to the poor chaps who had to find somewhere to put him where he wouldn't do too much harm. I guess commandant of a bombing school outside Calais might have fitted the bill nicely.
The Cravens were well known in Newbury, their estates at Hampstead Marshall and Ashbury are close by - no doubt this is what prompted the paper to add the reference to the Earl.