Category Archives: RFC / RAF

Harry Ingle Hayden

Harry Ingle Haydon
2nd Private 276601 Royal Air Force

Division 24


Harry Ingle Haydon was the second son of Alfred John and Sarah Ann Haydon of 3. Brighton Road, Reading. The 1901 census indicates that he had seven siblings. Harry was then 15 and no occupation is recorded. Alfred, his older brother was 24 and his youngest brother was 3 years old.   Like their father, older brother Alfred and three of his sisters worked at Huntley and Palmers biscuit factory.

In July 1909, Harry married Emily Amelia Petteford. The 1911 census indicates that Harry and Emily were living in Henley and that Harry was working as a grocers assistant.

There are no details of Harry’s military service. He died on pneumonia 12th November 1918 aged 33 years.  At the time of registration the family home was given as 9, Salisbury Road, Reading.

Harry’s grave number 16528 is marked by a CWGC war pattern headstone.

Mary Florence Alice Sparkes

Mary Florence Alice Sparkes
901 Women’s Royal Air Force

 Division 55


Mary Florence Alice Sparkes  was the daughter  of Henry Sparkes, or Purbrook, Portsmouth.  She died on the 6th November 1918, aged 37.  Hers is a registered war grave with a CWGC war pattern headstone.  Grave number 14973.

 It is believed that Mary was born in Reading to Henry and Lucy Sparkes. The 1891 census indicates that she had a sister called Lily but no further details can be found on Ancestry UK.

William Spencer Smallwood

William Spencer Smallwood
2nd Lieutenant
22nd Squadron Royal Flying Corps and General List.

 Division 79 Extension

Smallwood WS photo Smallwood WS grave

William Smallwood died on 25th January 1918, aged 19.  He was the son of William and Ellen Rebecca Smallwood, of  Knaresborough Lodge, Alexandra Road, Reading.  He is commemorated on the family grave. Number 16384.   The inscription states that he was killed in action and interred at Lapugnoy Military Cemetery.  The grave location is VIII. A. 13.

 The site of Lapugnoy Military Cemetery was chosen in 1915 in preparation for the British offensive which took place in September around Loos.  Further burials,  in great number, took place in 1917 during the Battles of Arras.  The dead were brought mainly from casualty clearing stations but in May and August 1918, fighting units used the cemetery.

 The author does not known exactly what action William Smallwood was participating in when he was killed but in the days before his death and on the day he died there was a great deal of aircraft activity and bombing action in the Flanders and Northern France.

 The 1911 census indicates that the family consisted of two sons and a daughter. It is believed that William’s brother lived into his eighties and may have spent some time in Canada or the USA.