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John Thomas Gadd, Age 21

Airman 1st Class, 4646, No.3 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps.

KSLI cap badge
Royal Flying Corps Cap Badge.

John proved to be the hardest man to track down whose name is listed on the memorial. In the 1901 census a Tommy Gadd aged 6 is listed as living in Dawley and a T.Gadd is on the memorial but that was as much as I could find out until Phil Morris from Shrewsbury contacted me and pointed me in the right direction.

John was the son of Thomas and Jane Gadd who lived at 125 Winson Green Road, Birmingham at the time of his enlistment. Thomas was a gardener who had been born at Corton, Shropshire whilst his mother Jane worked as a florist, Jane was the daughter of Mr & Mrs John Bache and had been born in Dawley in 1866.

John had enlisted into the RFC in April 1915 and it was flying as an observer with his pilot that he met his death on the 30th September 1917.

In an article that appeared in the Shrewsbury & Wellington Journal it stated that John was the grandson of the late Mr & Mrs John Bache of Dawley and that before the war John was engaged as an engineer's fitter at the works of Messrs. Timbrell and Wrights of Steelhouse Lane, Birmingham, where he was held in the highest esteem.

In a letter received by his parents John's captain wrote 'It is with deepest regret that I have to inform you of the death of your son, J. T Gadd, Observer and first-class mechanic, in a flying accident. His pilot was bringing him down from formation flying practice when the machine got out of control. Your son can have suffered no pain, as death to both was absolutely instantaneous. We buried them both last night and are having crosses erected to their memory. Your son joined us in July, and he has often proved his worth at work. He leaves a gap in our ranks hard to fill '.

The pilot of the plane who was killed alongside John was:
Lieutenant Victor Joseph Woodcock (21)
Victor was the son of Mr George Redfern Woodcock & Mrs Harriet Eliza Woodcock of The Drive, Roundhay, Leeds. Before the war Victor had graduated from Leeds University after studying Science (Engineering). Victor's body lies in the grave next to John's in grave I.D.19.

WWI Medal Rolls Index Card

WWI Medal Rolls Index Card

John is buried at the Rocquigny-Equancourt Road cemetery in grave I.D.20.

Inscription added to head stone by: Mrs. Jane Gadd, 125, Winson Green Road, Birmingham.

Oh Rest In The Lord

Commonwealth War Graves
Buried Rocquigny-Equancourt


victory-medal britishwar-medal 1914-15 Star
Victory Medal British War Medal 1914-15 Star Medal