1st September 1916

J.W.R. Wallwork’s service record shows an interesting diversion in his assigned duties. He was attached to the 25th F.A.B. after having been attached to the 42nd Squadron Imperial (I think that should be ‘Royal’) Flying Corps.

This begs an interesting pair of questions: when was he attached to the 42nd Squadron R.F.C, and why?

The when is not indicated in his service record, but answers to both questions can be guessed by reviewing the history of that squadron around this particular date.

This squadron, recently formed, was located to France in August of 1916, operating a mix of aircraft, but mostly BE2s. The squadron participated in the disastrous Battle of the Somme in the Western Front, which raged from the 1st of July to the 18th of November. “On 8th August the squadron deployed to St. Omer, moved to Bailleul on the 15th and then to La Gorgue on 1st September

His previous assignment to the 25th F.A.B. was as Driver. I think it is safe to assume that he may have been assigned to this squadron to help them move their ground assets from one Bailleul to La Gorgue, a distance of around 15km. La Gorgue is only about 20km from Armentieres, and Bailleul is only around 13km from Armentieres, which is where he was likely to be when posted to the 25th F.A.B. Once this need was met he would have been sent back to the 25th. Please note that all distances are measure using Google Maps based on modern-day roads. Actual distances in 1916 may well have been quite different depending on the roads at the time, and matters of war.