prev exp 'over 500 hrs' on D.H.9a - he joined the RFC as a cadet in Nov 1917. However, his time in the RAF was short; he moved to 137 Squadron in June 1918, and graduated with good marks in October 1918, but he was moved to the unemployed list in May 1919.
After a year out, he was given a short service commission in July 1920, but this did not go well:
- He was reprimanded for 'failing to take proper precautions ...of secret despatches' in October 1920;
- He went 'absent without leave' from the 5th to the 11th December 1920. (Actually, on the 20th he married Gertrude Maude Mickle at Lambeth Registry Office), and was again reprimanded;
- Finally, he was court-martialled for 'disobeying a lawful command given by a senior officer' and was dismissed His Majesty's service in May 1921.
He then married Dorothy Mary () and they lived in Sevenoaks, Kent. He worked in the leisure industry, then when WWII came along, in the Hurricane Repairs Section of Gloster Aircraft Co.
Joan and Mark 1942
He met Joan Durham Witherby (q.v.) when she joined the ATA in 1942, and they had a son together in November 1945, who remembers his mother telling him that "she was still flying missions with the ATA whilst pregnant".
During his time in the ATA, he flew 35 different types of aircraft. He was initially assessed as an "above average pilot who, although somewhat out of flying practice proved himself a safe and steady pilot, possessing good judgement."
In Feb 1943 he was appointed as Officer Commanding, No 5 FPP, then O.C. the Training Pool from Aug-43, and finally O.C. No 1 FPP from Nov-44. He performed his duties in "an eminently satisfactory manner" and also managed to do a fair number of ferry flights himself, including a few on Halifaxes.
Mark in 1945
In 1946 he was one of the 13 members of the ATA to receive the OBE for his services during WWII.
Apparently, he referred to his OBE, as for Other Bugger’s Efforts.
d. Sep 1981, Chichester
Download ATA Pilot Personal Record (.zip file):