531665, Flight Cadet, Joseph Lawrence SMITH
192nd Night Training Squadron, Royal Air Force
Badge not awarded until later
Joseph was from Manitoba, Canada, but born 26th January 1894, the son of Samuel Smith in Dunseith, North Dakota, USA.|
He enlisted in the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force on 14th March 1916 in the Canadian Army Medical Corps.
He was 5feet 6 inches (167.6 cm) tall, chest 33.75" to 36" (84.5 to 91.4 cm) and weighed 142 lbs (64.4.kg). Brown hair and eyes, and Church of England, an art student. His next of kin was his father, address given as Lac Dubonnet, Manitoba, Canada. He was posted to the 11th Canadian Field Ambulance and via S.S. "Adriatic" arrived in UK on 29th May 1916.then posted to the CEF in France on 10th August 1916
He contracted mumps and was admitted to No.7 General Hospital at St. Omer on 22nd March 1917, returning to his unit on 9th April. On 7th October 1917 he was attached to CAND for commissioning in the Royal Flying Corps and proceeded to 2 R.F.C. Wing at Hastings on 3rd November, but was back at CambAD at Shornecliffe on 9th May 1918, before resigning from the Canadian Army to joined the Royal Air Force on 7th June 1918.
At RAF Newmarket with 47 Wing, RAF, he was undergoing instruction as a pilot. He flew FE2B ser.No.5748, with instructor Lt K.Loughlin on 17th July 1918 in who, recording Smith as competent, left the aircraft and Smith took off on his first solo. All went well until coming in to land, realising he was too high, attempted a stall turn at about 400 feet but the aircraft spun in and crashed. He was removed from the aircraft and taken to sick quarters were he very soon died. The result of the enquiry was that the pilot had overestimated his own capabilities.
His will was made in favour of his brother, the Rev George C Smith, Hole River, Manigotogan P.O., Manitoba.
On 5 September 1917 No.192 Squadron was formed at Gainsborough. It was an advanced night flying training unit operating from Newmarket with F.E.2bs. It's function was to train pilots for night bomber and home defence squadrons until the end of the war. It disbanded in December 1918 and reformed on 4 January 1943 at Gransden Lodge from No.1474 Flight. The unit's role was radar countermeasures.
RAF Newmarket itself was relinquished to the Jockey Club again in May 1919.
click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details