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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
2 May 1918 AWMM
Age 23 AWMM
Date of death
Age at death
Place of death
Cause of death
Carnoy Military Cemetery, Somme, France AWMM G.50. AWMM
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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
- In Memoriam, 1914-1918. (1919).Wanganui, N.Z.: Collegiate School. AWMM
- Martyn, E. (1998-2008). For Your Tomorrow (Vols. 1-3). Christchurch, N.Z.: Volplane Press. AWMM
Martyn, E. (1998-2008)., Vol 1, p. 48. AWMM
|04 November 2015||Online Cenotaph||Auckland, New Zealand||Researcher||
|13 May 2015||Rainsford James ||New Zealand||Other Relative||
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