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down: Not Known. Short report as to fate of personnel and machine: Not returned from Bomb Raid on 16-10-16. Signed. R.M. Rodwell Major, Commanding No. 19 Squadron. Remarks by Wing Commander as to whether machine is to be struck off, repaired in Squadron or recommended for transfer to A.D. for repair: Struck off. [Signed] H.C.T. Dowding Lieut.-Colonel. Tidswell’s parents received the following letter from Major R M Rodwell, officer commanding 19th Squadron, which is dated 19th October 1916:

his loss and I particularly heavily, because he was the Senior Flight Commander and my right hand man; he was a great asset to the squadron and to the Mess and in another month he would probably have been promoted to Squadron Commander. Your son left instructions about the disposal of his letters and kit; these are being carried out and his personal belongings will be forwarded to you in due course. Please accept my sympathy in your loss which I believe to be only temporary. Yours faithfully,



I regret to inform you that your son, Captain C. R. Tidswell has not returned from a Flight over the enemy’s lines on the 16th. I have waited two days because it is difficult to make certain for a short time whether a pilot has not had a forced landing a long way off. Your son was the leader of a bomb raid about 7 miles over the lines. He was seen to have dropped his bombs and had turned to come back when some hostile machines were encountered. These were driven off after a short combat and the last that was seen of the leader was when he was gliding down apparently to attack a Hun, but quite as possibly from engine failure. No one saw him attacked or hit by anti-aircraft, and it seems likely that he must be a prisoner. We all feel

Captain Tidswell is buried in an isolated grave close to where he had crashed. Three months after the war ended Robert Henry Tidswell wrote to the Imperial War Graves Commission (IWGC), now the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), asking for his son’s grave to remain where it was; it had been put in order by the Army, a British cross had replaced the German one, and railings were being erected to protect it. Mr Tidswell’s wishes were respected and he bought the ground. His uncle Major Benjamin Ingham Tidswell, 1st (Royal) Dragoons, died on active service on the first Nile Expedition on 18th June 1885 and was buried at Abu

Simbel temple in Egypt. (In 1884 his horse won the Grand Military Gold Cup and was ridden by Mr J.F. BurnMurdoch.) The family had a granite headstone sent out from England to his grave, which still survives at the temple of Abu Simbel, so perhaps that is why Mr Tidswell wanted his son to stay where he fell. The cross is inscribed: ‘RIP PER ARDUA AD ASTRA’ and on the upper base are the words: ‘CECIL ROBERT TIDSWELL CAPTAIN 1 ROYAL DRAGOONS AND FLIGHT COMMANDER ROYAL FLYING CORPS’ and on the lower base: ‘BORN NOV. 22ND 1880 KILLED IN ACTION WHILE FLYING OVER THE GERMAN LINES OCT. 16TH 1916’ Although his family visited it every year, the difficulties of looking after a grave in such a remote spot soon became apparent and in 1926 Tidwell’s sister, Miss A C Tidswell, wrote to the CWGC from Bosmere Hall seeking help. At that time the grave was surmounted by a rose tree, planted by his mother, and surrounded by a box hedge. The rest of the plot was crazy paved and fenced by

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Household Cavalry Journal 2016  
Household Cavalry Journal 2016