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John Rawsthorne Tyrer: Tuesday 9th Otcober 1917

John became a Second Lieutenant in the 7th Batt. Manchester Regiment T.F. He obtained his Royal Aero Club Aviators’ Certificate at the London and Provincial School at Hendon on 21 February 1917 in a bi-plane, and on the 15 April he was put on General List (R.F.C), being Gazetted as a Flying Officer on the 1 September. He was killed in action in an aerial collision over Polygon Wood 8 months later.  The Royal Aero Club magazine of 15 October lists John as killed. The Battle of Polygon Wood, part of the larger Battle of Passchendaele, had taken place a few days earlier. 

He is buried in Bard Cottage Cemetery near Ypres in Belgium. His headstone (in Plot 5, Row A 37) lists both the Manchester Regiment and the Royal Flying Corps, as well as the emblem of the Royal Air Force (which did not come into existence until after he died). The reason for this is because when headstones were being put in place, airmen who died serving with the RFC, before it became the RAF, were given headstones with the emblem of that later service. Over time, the CWGC plans to replace these when stones are renewed, with ones bearing the emblem of the Royal Flying Corps. His family chose to add the inscription “Until the day dawns and the shadows flee away” on his headstone.  

John was a native of Liverpool born 2 February 1895. His parents, Thomas Grace and Sarah Ellen lived at “Danesfield” 33 Henderson Road.  Thomas was a manager of a local brewer.  There were at least three other children all younger than John, Ellen Gran, Dorothy Margaret and Arthur Edward, born 1900.

As well as being on the SMM Memorial, he is also commemorated on the Holy Trinity War Memorial.  He is the only person to appear on both memorials.