The Shotwick 9 – South Africa and England.

The last two stories belong to a South African and a Englishman born in France.

Lieutenant Hugh Robert Fuhr

RAF 67th Training Squadron – died 10am 14th June 1918 – aged 19

Born on August 24th 1898, he was the eldest son of Harry Augustus and Marie Elise Fuhr of 31 Upper Albert Rd, King Williams Town, Cape Province, South Africa.

Before joining the RAF he served with the 12th regiment, South African infantry who were part of the offensives at Ypres and Passchendale, both battles of which he may well have participated.

He died at 10am on the morning of Friday 14th June 1918 on a training flight in an Avro 504. Like a few other of the Shotwick 9 Lt Fuhr stalled the plane whilst turning forcing it to crash into the ground. He was only 19 years old and had seen more of life than we ever will. The only mystery is why he has a rather elaborate monument and grave compared to the small commonwealth headstones of the other pilots ? Somebody funded it and by the looks of things it was tended until recently indicating that he may have had relatives in the area. Only summising but the vase top on his grave indicates somebody would have regularly laid flowers.

Lieutenant Herbert Westgarth Soulby

RAF 51st Traing Depot Station – died 10.50am Saturday 19th October 1918 – age 22

Son of Herbert Walter Soulby and born in Croix de Guerre, France in 1896. Joined the Suffolf Regiment and is highly likely to have been involved in the battle of Ypres in October 1915. On 29th October 1915 he was made 2nd Lieutenant at the age of 19.

It is not known what happened until joining the RAf, suffice to say he survived a lot of action. Sadly, on Saturday 19th October 1918, less than a month before the end of the war, his luck ran out. He was piloting an Avro 504, instructing a passenger, 19 year old cadet Harold Beever from Sheffield. He mis-judge a turn very close to the ground, apparently stalling the plane that then crashed into the ground. Lt Soulby was killed instantly. Cadet Beever was described as “injured serious” and sadly later died of his injuries.

Cadet Beaver was, as far as i can discover, the only passenger to be killed at RAF Shotwick. He is not buried in St Michaels and extensive searches have failed to locate his resting place. His father was Mr N Beever of 51 Glover St, Lawfields, Sheffield. It is assumed his body was returned to Yorkshire and buried locally.

The final resting place of the Shotwick 9. The brave young men who all died learning to fly.

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