N.W.R.(Billie) Mawle

I was recently re-reading Sagittarius Rising by Cecil Lewis describing his adventures in the Royal Flying Corps in WW1. I remember my grandmother always wore her brother’s RFC “wings’ badge with pride. I googled him and found out that he was also a WW1 fighter ace. This was the time when new recruits to the RFC had an average life of three weeks. He started with ┬áSe5 squadron 84 in Northern France on 17 July 1918. By 8 August, three weeks later he had 12 successful hits, amazingly shooting down 3 Fokkers (sic) on one day; he was then severely injured and invalided out. In November 1918 he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Uncle Billie was always kind to me giving me a 21st present of a sturdy leather suitcase with my initials on the side-we now keep dressing up clothes in it-later he gave me a leather writing case, also with my initials. At Cambridge I used a portable British Empire typewriter from his factory in Birmingham. I am sorry I never had the opportunity to hear his war stories. He came to my wedding on 25 September 1971 but died three months later.