Errol Martyn, on 20 August 2012 - 03:56 PM, said:
There was a book published about Westgate by Geoffrey Williams, called Wings Over Westgate: The Story Of A Front Line Naval Air Station During World War One, though I'm not sure if it cover the 1919 period. Some pre-loved copies available via bookfinder.com
212 Sqn at the time was at Swingate Down but 219 Sqn was based at Westgate.
Air Mechanic and Corporal Mechanic were ranks and not necessarily indicative of an airman's trade. Their were three classes of the former, 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Might your 'IRH' and RH' be a misinterpretation of these terms? I've not come across a rank of Head Mechanic before, though it may well have existed.
As a New Zealander, I am intrigued by the New Zealand and Maori connection. What was grandfather's name?
Also many thanks to you for taking the time to reply.
You are quite right, I have misread the info on the AIR 79 and what it actually reads is Air Mech 1 RH, Air Mech 1 RH © and Lead (not Head) Mech RH ©, does that make mores sense to you?
I'll do a bit of research into the Wings over Westgate book and even if it doesn't cover the period I will buy it as our family originate form that area.
My Grandad (Charles Henry HAND) was born in Nottingham in 1892 and I could never figure out how he cane to marry my Gran at the other end of the country 'till I found the WW1 records and realised he was posted to Westgate on Sea which is where my Gran's family were from.
They were married and had my Dad and then when my Dad was young he went to New Zealand and never came back. My Mum tells me my Gran always used to say that he said he would send for her and she joked 'He's a bloody long time writing'. I don't actually think she ever thought she would ever lay eyes on him again until he turned up in Margate (where my Dad had a pub) in the early 60's. No one was pleased to see him so he hung around for about 10 days and realised he had overstayed his welcome and went back to Nottingham, there to return to New Zealand where he died in the Auckland Hospital in December 1970 He went on to have a further son in New Zealand with a lady called Irene Johnson and at the time of his death he lived in Whangarei. The Maori thing might be a bit of a family 'story' but he came to us in the 60's with traditional carved Maori boxes which in hindsight he might have bought anywhere.
He is a bit on an enigma as he had a son with the very same name as my father (the boy he left behind) and that son went on to have family who I have tried to contact but don't seem to want any connection with me.