LUCAS, Thomas Charles Harvey

Facta non vera (Deeds not words)

The crest of course came later, the RAF being formed on 1st April 1918

Lieutenant, Thomas Charles Harvey LUCAS
Aged 19

20 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps
formerly Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Tuesday 6th February 1917

Thomas Charles Harvey Lucas was born on 28th November 1898 in Burwell (Newmarket Q4-1898 3B:522), baptised in Burwell on 22nd February 1898, son of Charles and Annie Elizabeth LUCAS (née BOND ?).

1901 census...Aged 3, he was at High Street, Burwell with his father Charles LUCAS [48] physician/surgeon; his mother Annie E [46] born Earl Soham, Suffolk; sisters Margaret A [10] and Dorothy H.B. [9] all born in Burwell except his mother.

1911 census...Aged 13, he was boarding, together with several other scholars, at The Vicarage, Stow cum Quy, with the Rev Arthur and Margaret COLBORNE.

He was educated at Eton.
Enlisted in Suffolk Regiment on 5th September 1915, he transferred from the Suffolk Regiment to the Royal Flying Corps on 30th July 1916.

Taking off on a reconnaissance mission at 3.11 pm on 6th February 1917,he was last seen in FE2D ser No.A31 of 20 Squadron, in low flying combat over Moorslede. According to Henshaws he was even seen low down, in control after combat. With him was his observer,2nd Lt. J.T. GIBBON. Their downing (his 2nd victory) was claimed by Lt Träger of Jagdstaffel 8 from Rumbeke, Belgium.

Another plane of the unit was lost about the same moment in the same place, A38 of 2nd Lt. ME Woods and Lt. EB Maule ( from Huntingdon) who also were shot down and both KIA. They had taken off at 3.05 PM and were downed by Obst. Fr. von Esebeck, of Jagdstaffel 8 (1st victory).

20 squadron was formed on 1 September 1915, as a fighter-reconnaissance unit of the Royal Flying Corps, and became arguably the highest scoring and possibly most decorated British squadron on the Western Front with 613 combat victories, a posthumous Victoria Cross won by Thomas Mottershead, four Distinguished Conduct Medals, and over sixty Military Crosses and Military Medals awarded to its members. Its ranks included over forty flying aces.

Thomas Charles Harvey Lucas (as a member of D Company, Royal Military College, June 1915)

Royal Aircraft Factory FE2d..............................................Fokker Albatross DIII

photo: Roy Beardsworth

Thomas Lucas is buried in Perth Cemetery (China Wall) Belgium, grave 10:C:15
having been moved from REUTEL GERMAN CEMETERY, BECELAERE, grave 1026)

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details