Posted 14 June 2012 - 09:00 PM
A family friend Pat has asked me to help with tracing her grandfather’s WW1 service. Pat’s mother was born on 22 September 1917 in Enfield and was the result of a wartime romance between her mother and a Canadian pilot. Sadly the pilot was killed before Pat’s mother was born. Upon hearing of the pilot’s death, Pat’s grandmother did her best to abort the baby. When this failed she vowed she would give the baby away to Barnardos but was persuaded to keep it by other family members.
She never divulged the name of the pilot (the father of the baby) and so Pat’s mother spent her life not knowing who her father was. She has now died but Pat is keen to see if there are any clues that can be followed. So, I am looking for a Canadian pilot (either RFC or RNAS) who was killed (apparently shot down) between January and end-September 1917. He undertook his training at an airfield near Enfield but the location of his death is unknown.
I have done a search on the CWGC for RNAS and RFC men who were killed in the above stated period who have any mention of Canada in the additional field section i.e “Son of Mr & Mrs XXXX of Montreal, Canada” and it has produced a possible 72 men. Of course, these are only the men whose families provided additional info that mentioned Canada. It is perfectly possible that there were Canadian RFC/RNAS men killed in that timeframe but the CWGC have no information on their nationality or birthplace.
Is it possible to ascertain the airfields around Enfield? I have found RNAS Chingford and RFC Enfield but are they the same place? Also, is it possible to say which squadrons these trained men would have been posted to or, as I expect, were they just sent where needs required?
Is there any information that can narrow down this search? I am very conscious that the facts that I have been told may well be incorrect as they rely on family stories handed down which I often find to be far from the truth. Was the Canadian a pilot? Did he die before the child was born? Was he shot down or was it a training accident? Without a name it is impossible to say but any tips on narrowing the search field down would be a great help.
Thanks in advance.