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Harold John Mason, Age 27

Air Mechanic 2nd Class, 8130, Royal Flying Corps.

Royal-Flying-Corps cap badge
Royal Flying Corps Cap Badge.

Harold was the son of William and Anne Elizabeth Mason of 38 Lawley cottages, Horsehay.

Prior to joining up he had worked as a pattern maker for the Lilleshall Company and whilst serving with the RFC was stationed in Farnborough.

He was home on leave, when on the 4th March 1916 he was killed in a road accident near his home, when he was struck by a lorry belonging to Messrs. Myatt & company of Wolverhampton.

According to records he has a special memorial at Shrewsbury General Cemetery, Plot 10 Grave 303A and is also remembered at Lawley (St John) Cemetery.

Transcript of the obituary notice from the Wellington Journal 18th March 1916:

Quite a gloom was cast over the district by the tragic death of Harold John Mason while home on 48 hours’ leave. As reported in last issue he was returning from Dawley when he was accidentally run over by a motor-lorry, death resulting within two hours.

He was a member of the Royal Flying Corps and was greatly esteemed by all who knew him, as was evidenced on Wednesday afternoon (March 8) when his remains were laid to rest in Lawley Churchyard.

The service was fully choral, the “Dead March” being played by the organist (Mr. H. Peake) on the mourners entering and leaving the church. The service was conducted by the Vicar (Rev. G. H. White), the choir chanted the 90th Psalm, and the hymns, “Jesu, Lover of my soul”, and “The King of Love”, were sung in church. Then the cortege proceeded to the grave, where the Vicar performed the last rites. Owing to the military authorities learning too late of the sad occurrence there was not time for a firing party of deceased’s comrades to be sent to the funeral, but on Saturday morning last two members of the Royal Flying Corps journeyed from headquarters to Lawley to convey to the relatives an expression of the deepest sympathy of the regiment.

They proceeded with a member of the family to the Vicarage, and the Vicar conducted them to the churchyard, where after a short prayer and the usual salute they placed on the grave a beautiful wreath subscribed for by the Royal Flying Corps Rigging Department, of which deceased was a member. They also expressed regret on behalf of the military authorities and deceased’s “pals” that the funeral had not been of a full military character.

Many letters of sympathy have been received by the family, including those from the King and Queen, Earl Kitchener, and the Officers in Command of the Royal Flying Corps. There were many beautiful floral tributes, among them being one from the family, and others from Miss E. Groucott (Newport), Mrs. Bill (Stourbridge), Mrs. Hanbury (Stourbridge), Mrs. Foulton (Stourbridge), Workmen Pattern Shop Horsehay Co., Workmen Pattern Shop Lilleshall Co. (New Yard), Members R.F.C., “Pals from Lawley”, Mrs. R. Jones (New Works), Mr. and Mrs. G. Stratford (Wolverhampton), Mr. and Mrs. Plant (White Horse), Mr. and Mrs. T. Healey and family (Ketley Town), Mr. and Mrs. Cheshire and family (New Works), Mrs. A. Sumnall (New Works), B. Jones and family (Iron-Bridge), Mr. and Mrs. Jeffries (NewWorks).

This next info was CREATED BY: PAULA49468.
Harold John Mason was an Air Mechanic 2nd Class, official number 8130, with the Royal Flying Corps, and was accidentally killed whilst on leave on 4th March 1916 near his home in Horsehay, Shropshire. The story goes that some barrels fell off a lorry and knocked him into a ditch and killed him. His father, William Mason, had a knock on the door and was asked to help find a person that had been knocked down and whilst looking he discovered that it was his own son that had been killed.

He was buried in St. John’s Churchyard, Lawley, Shropshire, but when the churchyard was cleared his memorial stone was erected in Shrewsbury Cemetery. Apparently he was buried with full military honours.

Mason H J 8130 HS1
Shrewsbury General Cemetery, Plot 10 Grave 303A.
Mason H J 8130 HS2
New headstone 23rd November 2015 at St John's Church Lawley.

Commonwealth War Graves
Buried St John Cemetery, Lawley