Author Topic: Sidney Andrews 70 Sqdn RFC.  (Read 151 times)

Offline grandarog

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Sidney Andrews 70 Sqdn RFC.
« on: Saturday 11 March 23 17:10 GMT (UK) »
Life and times of
SIDNEY CRAWFORD ANDREWS.
My Uncle and Godfather. Pictured below.

19405.   1.A.M.  S. ANDREWS.  R.A.F.

Uncle Sid never new his parents or where he came from .
    His first memories were of being  called “Sonny” Crawford, adopted by by widow Eliza Andrews of Headcorn in Kent..As such he always thought that Crawford was his mothers name.
   Eliza would never tell him where he came from.
    She renamed him Sidney Crawford Andrews and raised him from about 4 years old. He never had a birth cert which caused him aggro for years. Eventually he was allocated  a Birth Cert when he retired for the DoB 6April 1896.which he had always used.
     When he finished schooling he became a motor mechanic at the village garage. From what I remember he was not allowed to enlist when war broke out in1914 because of his job. However when the RFC needed skilled mechanics, he joined up late in 1915.
      He was posted to Farnborough, and was a founder member of 70 Squadron RFC. Converting ex RNAS Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutters to RFC Spec. He then went to France with A Flight to Fienvillers 31/5/16;  He stayed with 70 Sqdn throughout moving to and fro at forward airfields in France .
    The Squadron re-equipping with Sopwith Camels  and Sopwith Snipes . Eventually after the Armistice he finished up at at Bickendorf Airfield ,Cologne in Germany until he was demobbed in 1919.
     He always said he had a good war, not like a lot of his mates that were in the trench’s. Often regaling me of events and names of places and people I have long forgotten .
    He told me in great detail about Bomber Harris  and how he disliked him and was pleased to see the back of him. As he often said if pilots and observers survived they were only ever on the Sqdn for a few months, never very long.
  He was also very proud of the fact that he had known and worked under his C/O Major Tedder in 1917 (later to become Lord Tedder known as the father of the RAF.)   
    Returning to Headcorn he married my Mothers cousin Nellie Shersby in 1919. They never had any children. His civilian life 
saw him in the Lloyds later Bowater  Lloyds Paper Mills at Sittingbourne and Kemsley.  Until he retired in 1961.
     At the outbreak of WW2 he re-enlisted in the RAF as a Driver /Mechanic. Escaping from France at Dunkirk he then went on to be an Air gunner with 50 Sqdn RAF on Lancasters.
     He must have had a terrible war as he would never talk about it at all except to say “You don’t want to Know” whenever I asked him about anything.
   The only info of this period of his life I have, is a couple of photos found after he died no sign of any medals , he either didn’t claim them or got rid . I have never got round to applying for his records from MoD.
   After the War he resumed his job at the mill until he retired.
 He out lived Aunty Nellie and died at his home in 1972.
He is Buried at St John the Baptists church in the Parish of Tunstall. Sittingbourne .

                This is Compiled as accurately as I can remember from verbal information , 50 years and more ago.
Here he is on 1918 RAF Muster Roll. 19405     Andrews S        28/01/16

                         Roger W Harris . C,Eng.MRAeS.
WAGHORN/E
KENWARD
HARRIS
DIXON
MARSHALL
MERCER
CARE
FAGG
RUSSELL
WOODRUFF      

 All these  Families were Born and Bred in Kent

Offline grandarog

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Re: Sidney Andrews 70 Sqdn RFC.
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 11 March 23 17:14 GMT (UK) »
Researched the Sqdn WW1.History which Sid lived through.

70 Squadron.
 Formed South Farnborough  22/4/16 with Ex RNAS1 1/2 Strutters.
Such was the demand for new squadrons on the Western Front that Number 70 squadron flew out to its new base, flight by flight as they were put together, over a two month period. 70 was the first squadron to fly Sopwith 1 ½ Strutters and straight away earned high praise in its service. In the second half of 1916 whilst fighting in the Somme area the squadron lost 27 of its original 36 pilots and observers over a period of only 9 weeks.

A Flt to Fienvillers 31/5/16;         B Flt to same 3/7/16       ;C Flt to same 1/8/16
1 July 1916 down to only 8 A/c from losses
 27 Sep 1916: Capt Arthur Harris as a Flight Commander,
.Sqn to Auchel 16/12/16,  1 1/2 Strutters
1 Jan 1917: Major Arthur Tedder as Officer Commanding,
 to Vert Galand 2/3/17,
to Fienvillers 2/4/17,
to Boisdinghem 14/5/17,
to Liettres 27/6/17, Sopwith Camels from June 1917
to Poperinghe 8/9/17,
to Marieux 15/3/18,
to Fienvillers 28/3/18
to Remaisnil 16/4/18,
to Boisdinghem 8/7/18,
to Esquerdes 1/8/18,
to Droglandt 22/9/18,
to Menin 23/10/18,
to Fort Cognelee 25/11/18.Sopwith Snipes.
Finally to Bickendorf ,Cologne after Armistice until disbanded.
WAGHORN/E
KENWARD
HARRIS
DIXON
MARSHALL
MERCER
CARE
FAGG
RUSSELL
WOODRUFF      

 All these  Families were Born and Bred in Kent