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Kelvin Crawford: Thursday 11th April 1918

Kelvin enlisted on 2nd September 1914 in Victoria Street with the Royal Fusiliers as a private.  His attestation form describes him as age 19 years 4 month, having no trade/profession, 5’9” tall, weighing 140lb, 35” chest with 3” expansion, a fair complexion, blue eyes, light hair, Church of England, good physical development, a vaccination scar on his left arm and a scar on forehead.  He had 3½ yrs in OTC at Charterhouse. He was in France with the BEF from 14 November 1914 to 20 March 1916. 

He was posted as officer cadet on 23 March 1916 and granted a temp commission in the Machine Gun Corps on 30th April 1916. On the 26 August 1916 he was put on General List (R.F.C) and Gazetted as a Flying Officer. He shot down his first plane, a Halberstadt on 26 October 1916 on offensive patrol along the 4th Army front, nine days after he joined his brother’s squadron, the 24th. During this engagement, he was slightly wounded in the leg by a bullet splinter and his machine shot about. He shared a further two victories, flying a D.H.2 and a D.H.5, on 20th December 1916 (shared) and 2 April 1917 (shared), both Albatrosses. He was further promoted to Flight Commander (T Capt.) on General List (R.F.C) and Gazetted on the 21 Mar 1917, before scoring his second kill on 3 July 1917, when he and John Andrews shot down an Albatros D.11 flown by Stefan Kirmaier, commander of Jasta 2. He was then promoted to Flight Commander (Capt.) in June 1917 and went on to become one of the founder members of the RAF on 1 April 1918. He was later posted to the 60th Squadron in March 1918.

He was last seen on the 11th April when undertaking an offensive patrol over Bucquoy and he is presumed to have been killed during combat. He was probably shot down by Otto Konnecke at 17:15, while Kelvin was firing on a two-seater.  Konnecke survived both wars.  Kelvin is commemorated on the Arras Flying service memorial, but as the RFC was replaced by the RAF, the brothers are on opposite sides. He is also commemorated on the Charterhouse Roll of Honour.

Kelvin was born in Wandsworth and baptised at Holy Trinity on 7 July 1895 and also went to Charterhouse. For more information on the Crawford’s please read Kelvin’s brother’s page. For more details on his flying career with the RFC and RAF click here.