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Tony Lund

Lieutenant Allen Denison

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Tony Lund

I have come across a report in the local paper of nineteen year old Lieutenant Allen Denison, a Royal Flying Corps officer receiving a Military Cross. Nothing more than that. This report is in February 1917, his brother, twenty-three year old Second Lieutenant Gordon Denison, Manchester Regiment is also reported to be mentioned in despatches on January 4th for services on the Somme. Gordon was out of the line at the time with a severe attack of trench foot.

I was wondering if there might be something more known about the Flying Corps officer and his Military Cross.

I would be grateful for any background information.

Tony.

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APW

Tony

Are you sure of the spelling of Allen? There is a Lt Allan Denison who received his RAC flying certificate in September 1916.

Patrick

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Dolphin

Tony

Lt A Dennison of No 41 Sqn RFC, is mentioned in RFC Communiqué No 73, 27 January to 3 February 1917, for an episode when he was flying FE 8 6453:

while on patrol on the 24th inst., engaged two hostile aeroplanes. He was severely wounded in the arm, but continued the engagement and drove down one hostile machine. Infantry report that the machine fell out of control. Lt Dennison continued fighting the second machine until his engine was hit, when he glided over the lines and landed safely.

I hope this is useful.

Gareth

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Tony Lund

It certainly is, I was wondering if there was an interesting story behind it. Very useful, thanks a lot.

Tony.

The spelling is the way it appeared in the newspaper and could be wrong.

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nigeldenison
It certainly is, I was wondering if there was an interesting story behind it. Very useful, thanks a lot.

Tony.

The spelling is the way it appeared in the newspaper and could be wrong.

Dear Tony,

Came across this reference following a google search . Allan Denison was my Grandfather. He set off for France in 1916 with the newly formed 41 Sqn on 16 Oct 1916 departing from Hurst Park, Folkestone, but his engine failed on take off and he crash landed. He had to make his own way to re-join the squadron at Abele on 20 Oct 1916. His first patrol was the same day over the Ypres Salient. He always claimed to be the first ever pilot from 41 Sqn posted missing, but was the only survivor from the original squadron (not sure if this claim is true or not)

I have quite a lot of information about his service, including his log book. He was on patrol with Lt Cody, the son of the aviation pioneer on 23 Jan 1917 flying an FE8. He was doing a northern patrol. His log book states " On patrol with Lt Cody missed him - Cody missing". His entry following the northern patrol on 24 Jan was " Met 4 Huns, brought one down, wounded in arm, awarded MC" Total flying time in France when he was shot down was 38hrs 12 mins. Total time solo was 63 hrs 50 mins.

After he was taken to hospital he was told that the ground crew had counted 90 bullet holes in the machine. He was shot in the elbow and he had to have an operation in the late 60's to remove the last few bits that were causing him some discomfort.

Hope this is of interest.

Nigel Denison

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Dolphin

Nigel

Welcome to the Forum, and thank you very much for providing that most interesting information on your grandfather.

2Lt Samuel Franklyn Cody of No 41 Sqn RFC was killed in action on 23 January 1917 while flying FE 8 7613. He was shot down after fighting four enemy aircraft over Passchendaele. A victory was credited to Ltn Walter von Bülow-Bothcamp of Jasta 18; it was the sixth of his eventual twenty-eight.

Best wishes

Gareth

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nigeldenison
Nigel

Welcome to the Forum, and thank you very much for providing that most interesting information on your grandfather.

2Lt Samuel Franklyn Cody of No 41 Sqn RFC was killed in action on 23 January 1917 while flying FE 8 7613. He was shot down after fighting four enemy aircraft over Passchendaele. A victory was credited to Ltn Walter von Bülow-Bothcamp of Jasta 18; it was the sixth of his eventual twenty-eight.

Best wishes

Gareth

Hi Gareth,

Thanks for that information. I didn't know the details about what happened to Cody, but I remember my Grandfather talking about them flying together. My Grandfather's machine was FE8/6453 and the time in the log book for Jan 23rd was 1-47 and the patrol height was 10000ft.

Do you know anything about the action on 24th January 1917? I understand that the pilot who flew with my Grandfather on 24th Jan had a gun stoppage at some point in the dogfight and was only able to guide my Grandfather back to the airfield when they had escaped from the Germans.

Regards

Nigel

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Tony Lund

Thank you Nigel,

I missed this post earlier, phone line problems, it will be off again for most of today and the Internet with it.

I am gathering information on Holmfirth and district during the war period. It has become quite a serious business, over 300,000 words, but fortunately I will be running out of newspaper reports soon. Although there are still a few Official History volumes to go through yet.

I would be most interested in anything more you can tell me, including a little about his life after the war, the very brief report I saw was in the Holmfirth Express in February 1917. I would also be most grateful for a scan of a photograph with permission to use it at some point in the future.

Thanks again,

Tony.

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Stebie9173

Here's his M.C. citation.

London Gazette 3-3-1917

Temp. 2nd Lt. Allan Denison, Gen. List and R.F.C.

For conspicuous gallantry in action. Although wounded, he continued single-handed to fight two enemy machines, and succeeded in bringing one of them down. Later, although his machine was badly damaged, he effected a successful landing. He has at all times displayed marked courage and initiative.

http://www.gazettes-online.co.uk/archiveVi...;selHonourType=

Steve.

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Dolphin
Do you know anything about the action on 24th January 1917?

Nigel

All I have is the information in The Sky Their Battlefield. The only mentions of No 41 Sqn on 24 January are the account of your Grandfather in 6453 and that of Sgt Cecil Stephen Toombs (1679) in 6417, who left Abeele aerodrome on a Offensive Patrol at 1435 and was shot down over Ypres at 1530 after combat with enemy aircraft. Vzfw Alfred Ulmer of Jasta 8 claimed an 'FE' over Wytschaete at 1530; it was his 5th and last victory before he was killed in combat with FE 2ds of No 20 Sqn on 29 June 1917.

Sgt Toombs is buried at Vlamertinghe, Belgium.

I hope that this is useful.

Gareth

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nigeldenison
Thank you Nigel,

I missed this post earlier, phone line problems, it will be off again for most of today and the Internet with it.

I am gathering information on Holmfirth and district during the war period. It has become quite a serious business, over 300,000 words, but fortunately I will be running out of newspaper reports soon. Although there are still a few Official History volumes to go through yet.

I would be most interested in anything more you can tell me, including a little about his life after the war, the very brief report I saw was in the Holmfirth Express in February 1917. I would also be most grateful for a scan of a photograph with permission to use it at some point in the future.

Thanks again,

Tony.

Hi Tony,

I have quite a drawer full of bits and pieces about my Grandfather including his pilot's log book, letters home, diary etc. We had to do a biography on someone as part of a project when I was at school, and I chose to do mine on my Grandfather, hence I have a lot of his stuff and also letters from him describing his experiences to me which I otherwise would not have had.

He was born on 5th Sept 1897. He lived at Springwood House, New Mill, Huddersfield (does it still exist?)where his father Benjamin Kitson Denison had a manufacturing business called Denison & Sharman at Dobroyd Mill, New Mill. This business was subsequently dissolved by mutual consent, partly, as family stories go, because Benjamin was not certain either of his sons would survive the war. In the event they both did survive.

He attended Huddersfield College and Ackworth School. He joined the ASC as a driver straight from school in May 1915 (aged 17+). He spent a few months in France driving around the depots at Etaples and doing guard duty. He applied for a commission and attended the Officer's Training School at Colchester where he was commissioned into the 9th Queens Royal West Surrey Regt. He was posted to Ireland where he was present during the Easter Rising of 1916, but was bored by marching backwards and forwards across the country. He had always been interested in flying and applied to join the RFC. He attended the Central Flying Schools at Netheravon and Upavon in July 1916. Flew his first solo (10 mins) in a Maurice Farman at 6am on 21 Jul 1916. Log book notes "First solo, bad landing". He had spent 4hrs in the air before going solo. After being awarded his wings he joined 41 Sqn at Gosport (now as an officer of the Yorks & Lancs) in Sept 1916. He flew to France in Oct 1916 as previously described, where he was wounded and awarded the MC on 24 Jan 1917.

After recovering from his wound he was sent to 68 Reserve Sqn at Tadcaster where he taught new pilots to fly. He pestered to get back to France which he eventually did in Nov 1917 where he was posted to be OC of the Issue Section (Testing and Repair Park) No 2 Aeroplane Supply Depot. He was instrumental in evacuating the airfield of the aircraft during the German advance of March 1918. He always used to say that he flew the last aircraft out of one end of the airfield as the Germans drove in at the other. He always liked a good tale, so there may be some licence there! He obviously did a good job, however, because he was awarded the MBE for his part in evacuating the airfield. He was also mentioned in despatches on 8th Nov 1918, and I do not know why! It may have been something to do with testing a new aircraft, but I am not sure.

After the war he initially joined his mother and father who were then living in Scarborough, before marrying and moving to York. He set up an insurance brokers business with his brother which still bore their names until a few years ago. He gave up his interest in the business before the Second World War and re-joined the RAF in 1939. He was station commander of RAF Valley during part of the Battle of Britain and served at various stations around the country during the war. He helped to organise the arrival of the USAF during 1943 for which he got another MID. He was the very first Station Commander at RAF Detmold. I have the German map, swastikas and all, which he took down from the wall in his office when he occupied it in 1945.

After the war he ran his own business. He retired to Sidmouth and died in 1976.

I hope this is of interest for your book. I would be interested in hearing more about it. I am sure I can find a suitable photo. I think I may also have one of his brother Gordon somewhere.

Regards

Nigel

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nigeldenison
Nigel

All I have is the information in The Sky Their Battlefield. The only mentions of No 41 Sqn on 24 January are the account of your Grandfather in 6453 and that of Sgt Cecil Stephen Toombs (1679) in 6417, who left Abeele aerodrome on a Offensive Patrol at 1435 and was shot down over Ypres at 1530 after combat with enemy aircraft. Vzfw Alfred Ulmer of Jasta 8 claimed an 'FE' over Wytschaete at 1530; it was his 5th and last victory before he was killed in combat with FE 2ds of No 20 Sqn on 29 June 1917.

Sgt Toombs is buried at Vlamertinghe, Belgium.

I hope that this is useful.

Gareth

Hi Gareth,

Very interesting. I will call in at Vlamertinghe later in the year when I am in Belgium.

I have just read a book "Airfields and Airmen - Ypres" which has a piece about Sgt Tooms. It says he was the pilot to score the first victory for 41 Sqn which he did at 1135-40 hrs on 24 Jan 1917. There is a picture of the Combats In The Air Report in the book. Unfortunately he was killed a few hours later as you have described.

It looks therefore as if my grandfather's victory could be the second to be scored by a 41 Sqn member.

Do you know how this could be checked?

Regards

Nigel

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Tony Lund

Interesting it most certainly is! Thank you very much. It is probably just as well there isn’t that much detail for everybody, but it is a refreshing change to have a decent amount of information.

This link is to Springwood House at New Mill. It seems to be some sort of jewellery business now specialising in Oxford University graduation rings. It is mentioned about half way down the page.

Springwood House.

Thanks again, it is much appreciated.

Tony.

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nigeldenison
Interesting it most certainly is! Thank you very much. It is probably just as well there isn’t that much detail for everybody, but it is a refreshing change to have a decent amount of information.

This link is to Springwood House at New Mill. It seems to be some sort of jewellery business now specialising in Oxford University graduation rings. It is mentioned about half way down the page.

Springwood House.

Thanks again, it is much appreciated.

Tony.

Tony,

Thanks for the link. I bet they would never have imagined a jewellery business there in 1917!

Regards

Nigel

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Starlight

A little piece of trivia about the 24th January. It was particularly cold, with heavy freezing all that week and heavy snowfalls the week before, so it is not surprising that he should have experienced problems with his machine gun. Incidentally it is the same day that Sergeant Slingsby of Number 6 squadron (at that time sharing the aerodrome at Abeele with Number 41) managed to land successfully using the dual controls after his pilot was shot and killed. Though definitely a long shot as I don't know the exact timing of the photo escort sortie carried out by Sgt Slinsby, the location where Sgt Slingsby landed was less than 4 km from where Lt Dension landed (as per the locations listed in TSTB), so they might possibly have been involved with the same group of German aircraft.

Steve

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Starlight

Gareth,

You mentioned in an earlier post that "Vzfw Alfred Ulmer of Jasta 8 claimed an 'FE' over Wytschaete at 1530; it was his 5th and last victory before he was killed in combat with FE 2ds of No 20 Sqn on 29 June 1917."

Can you tell me what type of aircraft he was flying and was that a typical 'mount' of Jasta 8?

Regards

Steve

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Tony Lund
A little piece of trivia about the 24th January. It was particularly cold, with heavy freezing all that week and heavy snowfalls the week before, so it is not surprising that he should have experienced problems with his machine gun.

Thanks for the weather report. I like all these details, the more the merrier.

Tony.

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Dolphin
Can you tell me what type of aircraft Vzfw Alfred Ulmer of Jasta 8 was flying [on 24 January 1917] and was that a typical 'mount' of Jasta 8?

Regards

Steve

Steve

Sorry, I can't help on that question. I'd guess at an Albatros D.II or a Halberstadt D.II but I can't find a definitive reference.

Regards

Gareth

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suzie.bourne

After recovering from his wound he was sent to 68 Reserve Sqn at Tadcaster where he taught new pilots to fly. He pestered to get back to France which he eventually did in Nov 1917 where he was posted to be OC of the Issue Section (Testing and Repair Park) No 2 Aeroplane Supply Depot. He was instrumental in evacuating the airfield of the aircraft during the German advance of March 1918. He always used to say that he flew the last aircraft out of one end of the airfield as the Germans drove in at the other. He always liked a good tale, so there may be some licence there! He obviously did a good job, however, because he was awarded the MBE for his part in evacuating the airfield.

Tony,

I wonder if you could fill in any details about the No 2 ASD - my Great Grandfather was transferred into the RFC as Leiut Quartermaster, and was posted at No 2 ASD from 1917 until 1919. Whilst there he got 2 mentions in dispatches and an MBE in 1918. I have been trying to figure out how a stores man got an MBE (My Grandmother seems to think he flew ...or was involved in reconnaissance but I'm not so sure myself!)

I was just intrigued as to what your Grandfather had said about the evacuation of the airfield. Sadly we no longer have the MBE or its citation - but he was awarded it sometime in 1919 as it appeared in the London Gazette on 3rd June 1919. Just thought the two may be connected.

My Great Grandfather was Edwin Joseph Langridge - perhaps your Grandfather was his boss!?

Suzie

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suzie.bourne

Following on from the above (sorry I messed up the 'quote' thing!)

- I have been to Kew to get a copy of my GGfths RFC Officer records, and it needs 'decoding'.

What is census 573? it seems to be the source of lots of information, and I wondered if it is a primary source that would be worth a look.

Because my GGfth was seconded from the army, and subsequently returned there, I know very little about him (MOD still have his service record - but I'm eagerly awaiting it.)

On his 'movements' it seems to say in Sept 1919 he moved from A of Rhine (?) to 219 sqn.

Did squadrons have their own quartermasters then? Or is my Grandmother's rumour true about the flying!!

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nigeldenison
After recovering from his wound he was sent to 68 Reserve Sqn at Tadcaster where he taught new pilots to fly. He pestered to get back to France which he eventually did in Nov 1917 where he was posted to be OC of the Issue Section (Testing and Repair Park) No 2 Aeroplane Supply Depot. He was instrumental in evacuating the airfield of the aircraft during the German advance of March 1918. He always used to say that he flew the last aircraft out of one end of the airfield as the Germans drove in at the other. He always liked a good tale, so there may be some licence there! He obviously did a good job, however, because he was awarded the MBE for his part in evacuating the airfield.

Tony,

I wonder if you could fill in any details about the No 2 ASD - my Great Grandfather was transferred into the RFC as Leiut Quartermaster, and was posted at No 2 ASD from 1917 until 1919. Whilst there he got 2 mentions in dispatches and an MBE in 1918. I have been trying to figure out how a stores man got an MBE (My Grandmother seems to think he flew ...or was involved in reconnaissance but I'm not so sure myself!)

I was just intrigued as to what your Grandfather had said about the evacuation of the airfield. Sadly we no longer have the MBE or its citation - but he was awarded it sometime in 1919 as it appeared in the London Gazette on 3rd June 1919. Just thought the two may be connected.

My Great Grandfather was Edwin Joseph Langridge - perhaps your Grandfather was his boss!?

Suzie

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nigeldenison

Hi Suzie,

I have looked through my Grandfather's papers. There is not a great deal about 2 ASD. Unfortunately I cannot find any reference to a Lt Langridge. According to my Grandfather's logbook, 2ASD was initially at an airfield called Candas. After the German advance it appears the location was at St Andre au bois. In a letter written after the war, he describes St Andre au bois as being near RFC HQ. As a result they received frequent visitors including at one time Winston Churchill in a dual control machine.

Looking at the logbook, the work of Issue Section seems to have been frequent testing and delivery of Camels, Pups, Nieuports and SE5s. His logbook shows no entry between March 17 and 1 April apart from a line which appears to have been added afterwards which reads "Issues moved on March 25/18". Looks as if they might have had other things to do than write in their log books!

I also have a signal from the Lt Col commanding 2 Aeroplane Supply Depot dated 23/3/18 to my Grandfather as OIC Issue Section. I cannot make out the signature, but it looks like Bettington?. The signal reads:

" Major General Salmond, GOC, Royal Flying Corps, telephoned this morning to say that he was very pleased with the work done by the Officers, pilots, NCOs and men of Issue Section yesterday, in handling the number of machines in the way they did. There is still a lot of work to be done, so keep it up!"

As quartermaster, your Grandfather is likely to have been instrumental in evacuating the stores from the airfield and ensuring that the supplies were in place for the aircraft to be evacuated, either that or he would have set up the reception programme at the other end. I doubt if he was flying as he would have been too busy either evacuating or receiving what would have been a large stores inventory. Whatever his role, in the situation prevailing, he would have had his work cut out.

Hope this sheds a little more light for you.

Regards

Nigel

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suzie.bourne

Many thanks, Nigel. I am now certainly far more informed than when I began my 'search' for my Great Grandfather last Monday!

Regards

Suzie

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mickdavis

2 Aeroplane Supply Depot was formed at Fienvillers in November 1917, under 2 Aircraft Depot at Candas, and comprised an Issue Section and a Repair Section. It served squadrons on the southern part of the British front. Its sister unit 1 ASD served those in the north.

With the March 1918 onslaught, it moved out with the Repair Section going to Verton and the Issues Section to St Andre-aux-Bois (where it was re-designated 2 Air Issues Section, usually abbreviated to 2 Air Issues). 2 AIS returned to Fienvillers on 7 October and was there on 11 November (CO Capt A Denison MC), where it shared the aerodrome with 2 ASD Advanced Pool of Pilots. It moved to Cambrai after the time of the Armistice. 2 ASD ended up at Hesdin by May 1918, Groffliers by 8 August (CO Lt Col V Bettington) and was at Berck-sur-Mer by 11 November (where it also controlled the 2 ASD Pool of Pilots Range - CO Major JB Quested MC).

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