WWI M.C. & PAIR OF MEDALS TO LIEUT. F.B. HOLMES, R.F.C. (2 VICTORIES)

The double-victory Military Cross Royal Flying Corps pilot's group, marked up R.F.C., consisting of: WWI Military Cross George V; WWI War Medal to Lieut. F.B. Holmes; WWI Victory Medal to Lieut. F.B. Holmes. Accompanied by British War Relief Society enamel and gold metal badge to Frank's mother, Blanche Holmes.
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Description

Military Cross Gazetted 18 Jan 1917: "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He observed for thirty-seven destructive counter battery shoots, and shot down two enemy aeroplanes which attacked him."

Frank Haddon Holmes was born in West Ham and lived in Charlton and was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant with the 2nd Home Counties Field Company, Royal Engineers (Territorial Force) on 16 Mar 1915, serving at home before being attached to the Royal Flying Corps in Jan 1917 and Gazetted Flying Officer on 25 Apr 1917. Posted to France with 53 Squadron (RE8s) on 9 May 1917. The recommendation of his Military Cross states: "Posted to his Squadron on 12 May 1917, he has been a steady and reliable Artillery Observer to date. He has observed for 37 destructive counter battery shoots during this period, the following being examples - 24th June: Unusually great destructive shoot with 205 RMA 15 ins Hows, using 106 fuse in billets etc., in Tenbrielen. 90 rounds were observed in two flights lasting 5 3/4 hours. 20th Aug: While on artillery observation he was attacked by five Enemy Aircraft. He drove down one and finished a successful shoot. 3rd Sep: He shot down one Enemy Aircraft while on photography over back areas and brought back nine photographs of counter battery areas. 4th Oct: During the attack he went up when no other machine was attempting work. Flying at 900 feet for one hour until his Observer was ill. He zone-called three active batteries. 11 Nov: In spite of aggressive enemy aircraft he completed a K.O. shoot with 188 Siege, giving 20 O.K.s and causing an explosion".

Combat reports detail the flight of 3 Sep 1917, with Holmes as Pilot of RE8 3605 with Observer 2/Lieut. J.B. Pierce: "While over Tenbrielen taking photos, 4 Albatross Scouts approached about 1000 feet above - one detached itself from the formation and dived on the RE8 - the Observer on the RE8 got one drum into the Enemy Aircraft who eventually stalled, side-slipped and nose-dived and appeared to go down out of control. The Observer did not follow him further owing to the presence of other Enemy Aircraft. 20 minutes later on making a further attempt to take the photos, the machine was attacked by 2 Albatross Scouts at about the same place - these were driven off successfully."

Promoted to the rank of Acting Captain in 1918, Holmes was discharged from the R.A.F. via the Unemployed List on 28 Mar 1919.