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Air Commodore A W Bigsworth


A W Bigsworth - 1913Arthur Wellesley       b: 27 Mar 1885                  r: 22 Sep 1935                        d: 24 Feb 1961

CMG - 1 Jan 1919, DSO - 13 Sep 1915, Bar - 1 Oct 1917, AFC - 3 Jun 1919, MiD - 3 Jun 1918.

(RNR): - Act Sub-Lt: 29 Jan 1909, Sub-Lt: xx xxx xxxx, Lt: 19 Jan 1913

(RN): - Lt:  1 Apr 1913, Flt Lt: 1 Apr 1913, Act Flt Cdr: 15 Aug 1913, Flt Cdr: 1 Jul 1914, Sqn Cdr: 27 May 1915, Wg Cdr: 31 Dec 1916.

(RAF): - (T) Lt Col [Maj]: 1 Apr 1918, (T) Col: 1 Apr 1918, Act Col: 1 May 1919, Wg Cdr: 1 Aug 1919, Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1923, Act A/Cdre: 1 Nov 1929?, A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1930.

xx xxx xxxx:                Officer, Mercantile Marine.

29 Jan 1909:                Officer, RNR.

19 Jan 1910:                Sub-Lieutenant (Acting), HMS Talbot

17 Aug 1912:                Attended Central Flying School.

 1 Apr 1913:                 Appointed as a Lieutenant on the Supplementary List

17 Apr 1913:                 Staff, Calshot NAS

15 Aug 1913:                Flight Commander, Calshot NAS.

xx xxx 1914:                 Flight Commander, No 1 Sqn/Wing RNAS.

18 Nov 1914:               Flight Commander, RNAS Dover

27 May 1915:               Squadron Commander, 'A' Sqn, No 1 Wing RNAS

xx xxx xxxx:                   Officer Commanding, Portsmouth Group RNAS.

 1 Apr 1918:                 Officer Commanding, No 10 Group.

 1 Aug 1919:                 Awarded Permanent Commission as a Lieutenant Colonel

17 Sep 1919:                 Staff Officer 1st Class (Air), HQ Mediterranean District.

22 Jan 1920:                  Removed from the Navy Lists on being awarded Permanent Commission in RAF

 1 Apr 1920:                  Staff Officer 1st Class (Air), HQ Mediterranean Group.

 1 Jul 1920:                    Officer Commanding, Armament and Gunnery School.

 2 Mar 1923:                  Officer Commanding, HQ RAF Mediterranean.

 1 May 1923:                 Appointed as a Member of the Nominated Council of Malta.

 5 Aug 1925:                  Officer Commanding, RAF Training Base, Leuchars.

 3 Nov 1928:                  SASO, HQ Coastal Area.

 1 Nov 1929:                  AOC, No 10 Group.

 1 Oct 1931:                   Director of Equipment.

 1 Apr - 24 Jun 1935:                   Placed on half pay list, scale A.

24 Jun 1935?:                   Staff, Department of AMSO.

22 Sep 1935?:                 Special Appointment, Directorate of Aeronautical Production.

29 Aug 1939 – 21 Nov 1939:                AOC No 42 (Maintenance) Group

Having gained his RAeC Certificate (No 396) on 21 January 1913, he graduated from the first course held at the CFS in April.   On 28 June 1914 he carried out some night flying experiments in Sopwith Bat Boat, (No 118) using two 4V lamps attached to the aircraft.  He attempted to shoot down Zeppelin LZ39 over Ostend on 17 May 1915 whilst flying Avro 504b, No 1009, for which he was awarded his DSO.  He carried out an attack on a U-boat, flying Farman F27 - No 3623, on 26 August 1915 near Ostend., scoring  hits but being unable to confirm the sinking even though he saw the boat going down stern first.  Retired at his own request.

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Service Order

“Squadron-Commander Arthur Wellesley Bigsworth, R.N.

For his services in destroying single-handed a German submarine on the morning of August 26th, 1915, by bombs dropped from an aeroplane.  Squadron-Commander Bigsworth was under heavy fire from the shore batteries and from the submarine whilst manoeuvring for position.  Nevertheless, displaying great coolness, he descended to 500 feet, and after several attempts was able to get a good line for dropping the bombs with full effect.”

(London Gazette – 13 September 1915)

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