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Simon_Fielding

Photos RNAS Detachment commanded JRW Smyth-Pigott

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I recently acquired a set of photos featuring RNAS Squadron commander JRW Smyth-Pigott - who had quite a career:

 

I thought the forum might like a look at them - any help on location / other individuals named would be welcome, such as the group shot of 'brass' and Majors Buzzard and Gibbon and Flt Lt Thompson.

 

Might these have any connection to the Greek / Turkish war in the 20s? I'm dubious, as JRWSP was an air attache by then, but the seller thought it was a possibility.

 

Will post three at a time.  

Smyth-Pigott_J_R_W_Flt_Comm_Royal_Naval_Air_Service crop.jpg

The Times Digital Archive - Article.clipular.png

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1 a b

 

2 a b

 

3 a b 

RNAS SP  (1).jpg

RNAS SP  (2).jpg

RNAS SP  (3).jpg

RNAS SP  (4).jpg

RNAS SP  (5).jpg

RNAS SP  (6).jpg

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4 a b 

5 a b

6 a b

 

 

RNAS SP  (9).jpg

RNAS SP  (8).jpg

RNAS SP  (11).jpg

RNAS SP  (10).jpg

RNAS SP  (13).jpg

RNAS SP  (12).jpg

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7 a b

 

8 a b 

 

9 a b

 

10 a b

RNAS SP  (14).jpg

RNAS SP  (26).jpg

RNAS SP  (17).jpg

RNAS SP  (18).jpg

RNAS SP  (22).jpg

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ID: 5   Posted (edited)

An interesting selection of photos Simon - keep em coming!

 

Beginning with image 8ab: 

JWKA is more than likely Squadron Cdr JWK Allsop who according to Sturtivant was with both 4 an 7 Sqn.  The location certainly looks Aegean - the 'camp' in the background possibly being on Imbros.

 

Image 3ab:

'Master at Arms'.  The line of tents with part of a Bessonneau hangar visible could again be on Imbros - possibly 2 Wing's aerodrome near Kephalo Bay.

 

Image 4ab:

'Vounairitza' doesn't ring any bells but again this view could well be one of the sites on Imbros.

 

The aircraft featured would seem to be B.E.2.Cs.  Smyth-Pigott certainly flew B.E.2.Cs as a Flight Commander from 2 Wing's aerodrome on Imbros.  His most famous exploit being the bombing of the railway bridge at Kuleli Burgas on the night of 13th-14th February 1915.  A four hour flight for which he was awarded the DSO.   Again from Imbros:  23rd Feb, 1916:  He and Lt Savoury 'went bomb dropping over Helles at night' - both returning safely.  14th April, 1916:  'Smyth-Piggot went bombing to Dede Agatch, Bulgaria, and returned safely.' 

Smyth-Pigott was later in command of 'F' Squadron R.N.A.S. when they were based at Amberkoj, Macedonia, in the spring of 1917.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Edited by pete-c

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11 a b

12 a b

13 a b

RNAS SP  (10).jpg

RNAS SP  (11).jpg

RNAS SP  (12).jpg

RNAS SP  (13).jpg

RNAS SP  (15).jpg

RNAS SP  (16).jpg

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ID: 7   Posted (edited)

Exceptional photographs.  Image 8ab is a lovely shot of the RNAS uniform.

What aircraft is in the backround of image 13ab?  Sopwith Tabloid maybe?

Thanks for posting, they're one of a kind!

 

Kind regards,

Caleb

Edited by Biggles

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ID: 8   Posted (edited)

Image 13ab:  This is indeed a Sopwith Tabloid - one of those brought to the Aegean on HMS Ark Royal.  I suspect this particular machine is '1202'  - close study of the original image may well confirm a '2' on the vertical stabiliser; the location is the seaplane base at Aliki Bay, Imbros.  This particular machine never flew, unlike its sister machine '1205' which did actually make at least one flight from Tenedos.   

 

Over on the Gallipoli section of the Forum  the post  'R.N.A.S. Air Mechanic'  by b3rn, features an excellent image of Tabloid '1202' at the same location.

 

The officer on the horse, 'The D of W' - presumably Director of Works - is probably one of Ark Royal's men - possibly Lt LH (Harry) Strain - in charge of a surveying party.  Surveying party's left Ark Royal in the day's following her arrival in Kephalo Bay on May 9th 1915.  This image can therefore be confidently dated to the period May - July 1915.

Edited by pete-c

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Fantastic feedback gents - thank you!

 

Close up :

 

 

RNAS SP  (29) close.jpg

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Last three 

14

15

16

 

Possibly Thompson on deck of Ark Royal?

RNAS SP  (33).jpg

RNAS SP  (23).jpg

RNAS SP  (25).jpg

Middle photo labelled 'camel ambulances'...

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I suggest Thompson is Gordon Lindsay Thomson:

 

 

5152971573952512.jpg

RNAS SP Fl Lt Thompson crop.jpg

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Buzzard = Henry Richard Busteed?

5870818180726784.jpg

RNAS SP  (1)close.jpg

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ID: 13   Posted (edited)

The location of the aerodrome featured in photo 15 had me a little bit stumped.   However, the aircraft shown seem to be, from left,  2 Maurice Farman MF11s, 2 BE2s and, to the right of the figure standing, what appears to be a Sopwith Tabloid.   These types, especially the Sopwith, points to this being 3 Wing's first aerodrome on the Island of Tenedos, occupied from March through to July 1915.  (See my previous post #8 regarding Sopwith Tabloids)

 

I'm not convinced that the photo of 'Thompson' was taken on HMS Ark Royal - the intake that he is standing in front of doesn't seem to match any on Ark Royal. 

 

Not sure about some of the headgear featured in photo 15 - possibly a Highland Regiment? - could this possibly point to this being Egypt?   No camels in the Aegean - as far as I'm aware - apart that is for the winged type later in the war! 

Edited by pete-c

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I think you are right about the camels - they are a different size and a different type of paper - perhaps 52nd Div in Egypt? 

 

Fantastic response and Knowledge! 

 

GL Thomson is also pictured on his Wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_Thomson_(rower)?wprov=sfla1

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49 minutes ago, Simon_Fielding said:

I think you are right about the camels - they are a different size and a different type of paper - perhaps 52nd Div in Egypt? 

 

Fantastic response and Knowledge! 

 

GL Thomson is also pictured on his Wikipedia page https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_Thomson_(rower)?wprov=sfla1

 

I wonder if Thompson is among the group in the attached image - taken on Tenedos.   Could that be him in the middle, smoking a pipe?

Tenedos 1915 s-l1601.jpg

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On 8/12/2017 at 11:07, pete-c said:

I'm not convinced that the photo of 'Thompson' was taken on HMS Ark Royal - the intake that he is standing in front of doesn't seem to match any on Ark Royal. 

Agreed

And the AR did not have many to choose from

Thanks to The Blueprints.com for 

5990417dbd943_HMSArkRoyal1915(SeaplaneCarrier).png.4784bdff6812847997a939752bdd1488.png

 

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