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Rainsford Balcombe-Brown

Portrait from In Memoriam, 1914-1918 [Wanganui Collegiate School], 1919[?] - No known copyright restrictions

Portrait from In Memoriam, 1914-1918 [Wanganui Collegiate School], 1919[?] - No known copyright rest …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Rainsford AWMM
  • Surname
    Balcombe-Brown AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    1895 AWMM AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status


Wars and conflicts

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Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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  • Embarkation details

Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • William Balcombe-Brown was the son of Edward and Eliza Mary Balcombe-Brown, of Upper Hutt, Wellington.

    Two sons, brothers William Edward Balcombe-Brown and Rainsford Balcombe-Brown,were killed in WW1.

    "Balcombe-Brown was the Squadron's [56 Squadron] commanding officer and the highest ranking New Zealand airman to lose his life while flying during the war." (Martyn 1998)

    "Was an undergraduate of Oriel College, Oxford, when war was declared. Both he and his elder brother, who had trained in the O.T.C., offered their services which were immediately accepted, and each was given a commission in the R.F.A. Rainsford was sent abroad early in October, and saw strenuous service in Flanders for six months. The following April he took up observation work for his battery and was sent to England, trained as a pilot and attached to the R.F.C.

    He soon received his M.C. for bringing down an enemy observation balloon, and attained the rank of Major in 1916 when only twenty-one. In October he was given command of the 56th Squadron, which contained many officers he had trained himself. He was reported missing on May 2nd, and a German note dropped over our lines shortly after announced his death on the 3rd, but gave no details. He was last seen engaging four German triplanes. It is needless to recount his popularity here, which was evidently shared by his brother officers of all ranks at the front." (In Memoriam, 1914-1918 [Wanganui Collegiate School]) AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    2 May 1918 AWMM
    Age 23 AWMM
    FranceEurope AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Carnoy Military Cemetery, Somme, France AWMM G.50. AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • Rainsford and Edward Balcombe-Brown were my grandfather Lindsay Horrocks's first cousins. My uncle, Rainsford Horrocks was named after Rainsford Balcombe-Brown and was a flying officer in World War 11. Sadly he too was killed in a flying accident in 1942 in Cooks Strait, aged 20. My son, James Horrocks, studied at Oriel college, Oxford 2013/2014 and noticed the names of Rainsford and Edward on the Oriel College Roll of Honour.
    Public - Rainsford James - Other Relative - 13 May 2015

Related Serviceperson



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Command item
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DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
15 August 2017JeniferWairarapaResearcher
04 November 2015Online CenotaphAuckland, New ZealandResearcher
13 May 2015Rainsford James New ZealandOther Relative

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