Sumbitted by John Young.
My great uncle David Stevens Gibson Turnbull, the elder brother of my grandmother, was born in Edinburgh on 7th September 1890. Educated at The Edinburgh Academy and Uppingham School he went on to Edinburgh University. There he learned to fly, although he did not qualify as a pilot at that stage.
He married early in 1914 and emigrated to Australia where he planned to start life in Harvey, West Australia, as a fruit farmer. However, following the outbreak of war on 4th August 1914, he returned to Scotland to fight for his country.
Initially he joined the Black Watch as the family had strong connections with my home town of Auchterarder in Perthshire. He was posted to 3/6th Battalion one of the sister battalions to that in which his brother-in-law (Major TE Young) was already serving. However, he had the flying bug and on 25th March 1916 he joined the Royal Flying Corps. He initially trained as an Observer but after a short period with No3 squadron RFC in France he returned to train as a pilot. He gained his pilot’s licence at Shoreham on 5th June 1916.
He joined No 10 Squadron RFC, equipped with BE 2c aircraft, on 8th July 1916 and a few days later made his first operational sortie. He flew on operations for the next 7 months; engaged in artillery spotting, light bombing and aerial photography. Having survived this operational tour he was posted back to England for duty as a ferry pilot with the Air Ministry Directorate of Aircraft Equipment.
On 11th April 1917 he was detailed to deliver a brand new BE 12a from the factory at Coventry to a training unit at Ripon racecourse. Unfortunately he was blown off course and ended up near Preston where he had to make a forced landing after a stay wire broke. After 3 days he took off for Ripon but for some reason landed at Knaresborough. After checking his bearings he took off from the short field on Crag Tops but failed to clear the hedge at the end of the field. The aircraft struck trees and plunged in to the River Nidd, killing Lieutenant Turnbull instantly. His widow found his body in the river ten days later and he was buried in Dean Cemetery in Edinburgh. A plaque in his memory is near the door in the parish church at Knaresborough.
Explore more memories from the ribbon
Edmund was born around 1885. Little is known of Edmund’s early life. In 1901 the sixteen year old Edmund was living at Park House, the Gayle home of a local solicitor called Simon Willan. Edmund worked there as an office boy. By the beginning of the war Edmund was married to Agnes Waggett and had a son, William, and a daughter, Nora. By then Edmund was employed in helping to run Strands Farm at Simonstone near Hardraw. Edmund enlisted at Leyburn joining the 9th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment. Private Edmund Staveley was killed on the 9th June 1917 during The Battle of Messines. He was 32 years old. He is buried in the Military Cemetery at Poperinge. Edmund’s brother, Lister, had already been killed the previous year during the Somme offensive.
Frank Walker joined the 4th (Territorial) Battalion East Yorks in Sept 1914. He served as a private in France until being commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in July 1916 with the 11th Battalion East Yorks (2nd Hull Pals). During the 1st Battle of Ypres in April 1915 the 4th Battalion East Yorks were mentioned in a dispatch from Major General Edward Bulfin (Yorkshire Regiment Green Howards) the Commander of the 28th Division. Also mentioned for ‘good service’ in the dispatch were the 8th Battalion Durham Light Infantry and the 4th Battalion Yorkshire Regiment. Frank was promoted to temporary Lieutenant in January 1918 and acting Captain on the 14th October 1918. Frank would survive the war. In November 1917 the Battalion were based at Mont St. Eloi near Arras. It was here leading raiding party action that, in January 1918, Frank would be awarded Military Cross. The award appeared in the London Gazette on the 23th April 1918. The citation read: ‘For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during a daylight raid. He led his party across a long open stretch of ground to the enemy second line. After clearing the enemy trenches and taking prisoners he successfully effected a difficult withdrawal under heavy fire.’
Submitted by Jennifer Bullen daughter in law of Lieutenant Bullen. Tempest Carey Bullen was born on the 28th of May 1898 in North Shields. He is listed in the 1901 census along with his father Tempest Carey, his mother Edith, brothers William and Harry and sisters Edith Anna and Kathleen. His father’s occupation is listed as “ship broker”. The family were living in the Percy ward of Tynemouth and must have been comfortably off because they had a servant called Ada George and a nursery maid called Elizabeth Knox. By 1911 the family had moved to Woodbine Avenue in Gosforth. In the census Tempest’s mother Edith is listed as head of the family so it is likely that Tempest senior was deceased. His elder brother (aged 15) is now an apprentice Fitter. They have a boarder, Hugh Robson (an apprentice Ironmonger) and a servant called Mary Jane Malpas. Jennifer recounts that Tempest was under age when he first tried to enlist and was promptly sent home! He persisted and subsequently joined up and went on to be awarded the Military Cross in 1918 aged about 20. He survived the war and his death is recorded in 1976 in South Shields.