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John Aidan Liddell, V.C., M.C.

 
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apanderson
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Location: Stirlingshire

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 1:01 pm    Post subject: John Aidan Liddell, V.C., M.C. Reply with quote

Plaque in the Church of the Holy Rude, Stirling.

UKNIWM Ref: 44728



In loving memory of Captain J. AIDAN LIDDELL, V.C., M.C.,
3rd Battalion Princess Louise's Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
Mortally wounded near Ostend, Belgium with the Royal Flying Corps
Bringing back his observer to safety behind our lines.

http://www.cwgc.org/search/casualty_details.aspx?casualty=2758159

I have no idea what his connection was with Stirling.

There is quite a length paragraph in the Citation section on CWGC site (link above) and also a lamnated poster beside the plaque in the church which unfortunately, is proving almost impossibel to photograph. I intend to go back and try again but in the meantime, the following is a transcription of most of it.

Captain JOHN AIDAN LIDDELL, the St. Omer VC

“With a Smile and a Wave” – The Life of Captain J/ Aidan Liddell VC.

John Aidan Liddell won his VC in the summer of 1915, while on a long range reconnaissance mission, flying out of St. Omer in Northern France.

Aidan Liddell was born 3rd August 1888 in Benwell, Northumberland, the son of a wealthy land and colliery owner. The eldest of six children, he was educated at Stonyhurst College, Lancashire and Balliol College, Oxford where he read Zoology.

In 1912 Aidan joined the 3rd Reserve Battalion of th Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. Aviation also became an abiding passion and he obtained his Royal Aero Club Ticket (No. 781) in the spring of 1914. flying the Boxkite with he Vickers School at Brooklands, Surrey.

On 30th August 1914, on the outbreak of war, he accompanied the 2nd Bn. to the front in France with the rank of captain and was placed in command of the machine gun section of the battalion. He was for forty-three consecutive days in the trenches. For his service as commander of the machine gun section he was mentioned in dispatches, and received the award of the Military Cross on 14th January 1915. He was himself wounded and invalided home.

However, after his recovery, he joined the Royal Flying Corps in May 1915 and returned to the front again on July 23rd. On 31st July, whilst on a flying reconnaissance over the Ostend-Bruges-Ghent area in enemy occupied Belgium, Captain Liddell’s …? (RES/KES?) was raked by enemy machine gun fire and was seriously wounded, including a shattered right thigh. This caused momentary unconsciousness, but by great effort he recovered partial control of his machine when it had dropped nearly 3,000ft. in an inverted dive and succeeded, although fired on?, in re-plotting? The course and, after half an hour, brought the plane back
…….? and throttle control were smashed, as was part of the ……? and cockpit, but the machine and life of the observer were saved. For (t)his action, Captain Liddell was awarded a Victoria Cross. The ….. ? which he so greatly distinguished himself by his supreme ………? To receive Britain’s highest gallantry award as, after having his leg amputated and septic poisoning setting in, he died of his wounds a month later at De Panne, Flanders, Belgium, on 31st August 1915, aged 27.
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spoons



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 4928
Location: St John's Town of Dalry

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 6:59 pm    Post subject: VictoriaCross Reply with quote

Having being awarded the Victoria Cross, he is listed on
http://www.victoria-cross.co.uk/
and the entry reads...........

His grandfather was a Major in the Cameronians Highlanders (sic) which may give a clue why he is commemorated in Scotland.

"LIDDELL, John Aiden
Captain. 3rd Battalion. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, also the Royal Flying Corps.
London Gazetted on 23rd August, 1915.
Born on 3rd August, 1888 at Benwell Hall, Newcastle on Tyne, Northumberland.
Died on 31st August 1915 at La Panne, Flanders.
Memorials at Basingstoke Old Cemetery, Hampshire also the church at Sherfield on Lodden and at St Joseph's Church in Pickering, Yorkshire.
Digest of Citation reads:
Whilst flying on a reconnaissance mission over Ostend, Bruges and Ghent on 31st July 1915, Captain Liddell was severely wounded in his right thigh. He lapsed into unconsciousness, temporarily, but managed by a great effort to recover enough to gain control of his aircraft after it had dropped 3000 ft. Although being fired on, he successfully completed his run and brought his aircraft back to his own lines half an hour after he'd been wounded. The difficult problems that this officer faced in saving the aircraft and the life of his observer cannot be readily expressed, with the control wheel, throttle and one of the undercarriage struts smashed made it seems incredible that he could have completed such a task.
Additional information:. He died a month after his injury when it was thought that he might recover. His wound turned septic and it was decided to amputate his leg. Unfortunately he was never recover from the operation.
Captain Liddell, who also held the Military Cross, was the eldest son of John and Emily Catherine (née Berry) Liddell of Sherfield Manor, Basingstoke, Hampshire. His mother Emily, was the second daughter of Major Henry A Berry of the Cameronians Highlanders.
Education was at Mrs Wares Preparatory School at Frognal Hall, Hampshire. He attended Stonyhurst from 1900-1908 where he was known as 'Oozy' Liddell because of his fondness for messing about with engines and chemicals. He then went on to Balliol College, Oxford where he distinguished himself. "
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DerekR
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.crossandcockade.com/pdf/Liddell.pdf

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Aidan_Liddell
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Adam Brown
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Location: Edinburgh (From Sutherland)

PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 8:35 pm    Post subject: Re: John Aidan Liddell, V.C., M.C. Reply with quote

apanderson wrote:
3rd Battalion Princess Louise's Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.....I have no idea what his connection was with Stirling


It's likely to be the 3rd Argyll's connection to Stirling rather than Capt Liddell's connection why the memorial is in this church.

The 3rd (Special Reserve) Bn Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders was based at Stirling Castle unitl 1917 and this church seems to be the regimental church of the Argylls.

By the way I see the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Stirling has a website with details on it's memorials

http://www.holytrinitystirling.org/memorials.htm

Adam
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spoons



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 4928
Location: St John's Town of Dalry

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2007 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As luck would have it, I was in Basingstoke at the weekend and taking a shortcut from my sons house to the city centre via the cemetery. He mentioned that he had noticed mention of a VC on a gravestone and wondered if I was interested? As my camera was to hand I took the opportunity. Small world eh? There are 3 family members on the other sides of the stone (photos available).



and his entry from CWGC

Name: LIDDELL, JOHN AIDAN
Initials: J A
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Captain
Regiment/Service: Royal Flying Corps
Unit Text: 7th Sqdn.
Secondary Regiment: Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
Secondary Unit Text: and 3rd Bn.
Age: 27
Date of Death: 31/08/1915
Awards: V C, M C
Additional information: Son of John and Emily C. Liddell, of Sherfield Manor, Basingstoke.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: E. R.C. 2257/8.
Cemetery: BASINGSTOKE (SOUTH VIEW OR OLD) CEMETERY
Citation: An extract from "The London Gazette," dated, 23rd Aug., 1915, records the following:-"For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty on 31st July, 1915. When on a flying reconnaissance over Ostend-Bruges-Ghent he was severely wounded (his right thigh being broken), which caused momentary unconsciousness, but by a great effort he recovered partial control after his machine had dropped nearly 3,000 feet, and notwithstanding his collapsed state succeeded, although continually fired at, in completing his course, and brought the aeroplane into our lines - half an hour after he had been wounded. The difficulties experienced by this officer in saving his machine, and the life of his observer, cannot be readily expressed, but as the control wheel and the throttle control were smashed, and also one of the under-carriage struts, it would seem incredible that he could have accomplished his task."
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