Remembering the Fallen in World War One

From Robert Powell

Today I remember my Great Uncle Lt Lindsay Carlton Powell who flew with 23 Squadron RFC. He was killed in action whilst flying over the Cambrai Road in FE2b No 5235. He was the observer in the front of this pusher engined plane which was flown by 2nd Lt Allen. They were attacked by several Fokkers from behind and as Allen tilted the plane down so Powell could shoot back over the wing from the front mounted gun, Powell was hit in the head by enemy fire. Allen brought the plane down, but Powell died that day on the ground. He now lies in Avenses Le Comte Cemetery. Lindsay was the only son Henry James Powell and Margaret Carlton. He joined the Scots Greys before being attached to 23 Squadron RFC. He was born in 1895 and lived in Brixton and he died aged 21. By a previous marriage to Elizabeth Shapland, Henry James Powell had another son, Henry Shapland Powell, my grandfather who served in the First Word War in Gallipoli and Egypt – and survived.

Lest We Forget….


Arthur David Bishop’s War Medals – the Africa Star


Along with his grandfather’s blood-stained wings, Richard sent me this photo of his grandfather’s war medals.

group of medals

On the left we see the Africa Star

The Africa Star

The next medal is the 1939-1945 Star

1939-1945 Star

Then the Air Crew Europe Star

Air Crew Europe Star

The Defence Medal

WW2 Defence Medal

Finally the War Medal 1939-1945.

WW2 War Medal

Each one has a meaning. Here is the description of the Africa Star.


The Star was awarded for one more day’s service in North Africa between 10th June, 1940 and 12th May, 1943, both dates inclusive.

The Star was awarded for the following qualifications and operations:

Navy and Merchant Navy – Any Service at sea in the Mediterranean between 10th June, 1940 and 12th May, 1943, and or service in support of the campaigns in Abyssinia, Somaliland and Eritrea. Naval service ashore in the same areas as the army would also qualify. Members of the Merchant Navy who took part in the operations off the coast of Morocco between 8th November, 1942 and 12th May, 1943 would also qualify.

Army – The qualification is the entry into North Africa on the establishment of an operational unit. Service in Abyssinia, The Somaliland’s, Entitres, Sudan and Malta.

R.A.F – The qualification was to have landed in, or flown over, any of the areas previously mentioned (except West Africa), or territory occupied by the enemy.


Since the Africa Star was awarded for one more day’s service in North Africa between 10th June, 1940 and 12th May, 1943, both dates inclusive, this means that Arthur David Bishop was in North Africa sometime between 10th June, 1940 and 12th May, 1943, both dates inclusive, before being posted to an Initial Training Wing, then to No. 14 P.A.C.T. which opened in June 1943.


No 14 Centre, Preliminary Air Crew Training Wing was formed on 20 June 1943 at Cheltenham and presumably disbanded on 2 March 1945. (Source)

Since Arthur David Bishop was born September 24, 1925. He probably enlisted  on September 24, 1942 when he was 17 years-old unless he lied on his age and enlisted earlier. My guess is that he enlisted in the RAF as a ground crew, served in North Africa, and then asked for a transfer for air crew training.

Without his record of service there is no way of knowing.

Next time, this medal will shed more light on what happened to this unsung Mosquito pilot…

Air Crew Europe Star

The Air Crew Europe Star


Order of wear

Campaign medals are not listed by name in the order of wear prescribed by the British Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood, but are worn in order of the date of the campaign for which awarded.[14]

The order of wear of the Second World War campaign stars was determined by their respective campaign start dates and by the campaign’s duration. This is the order worn, even when a recipient qualified for them in a different order. The Defence Medal and War Medal are worn after the stars.[15]

Source Wikipedia

Information about 23 Squadron Association AGM and Reunion Dinner 2018


The 23 Squadron Association AGM and Reunion Dinner will be held on Saturday 6th October 2018, at the Double Tree Hotel, Brayford, Lincoln.

The AGM will be held at approximately 3:30 pm in the Double Tree Hotel.

The Reunion Dinner will be held at 7:00 for 7:30 pm and will be a traditional dining in night format. Dress will be formal [Black Ties, Dinner Suits, Ladies Formal]. The evening will begin with a drinks reception at 7:00 pm in the Viewing Gallery where drinks will be served.

Dinner will take place in the Cathedral Ball Room at 7:30 pm – menu below (please indicate in the return section if you wish the vegetarian options for 1 or 2 guests). The whole evening will be accompanied by musical entertainment.

The cost will be £58 per person.

As last year we hope to hold a small raffle to help raise funds for charity and to support the Sqn Association.

Whilst there are many alternative hotels available in Lincoln, the Double Tree Hotel is pleased to offer preferential rates for accommodation for guests wishing to stay. For 10% discount off their best available rate please phone or contact the Double Tree Hilton and quote G23SQ. The hotel offers limited parking for guests and is situated in the middle of lower Lincoln near to Brayford Pool overlooking the water.
. Double Tree Hotel, Brayford Wharf N, Lincoln LN1 1YW
Tel: 01522 565188 and quote booking code G23SQ

Starter 1: Smoked Salmon Plate with Gherkins, capers, horseradish cream, pea shoots
Starter 2 [veg]: Roasted Beetroot Salad with Goat’s cheese, orange, walnut dressing
Main 3: Feather Blade of Beef with Chive mash, carrot puree, baby carrots, crispy parsnip, red wine reduction
Main 4 [veg]: Roasted Vegetable Charlotte with Fondant potato, seasonal vegetables, balsamic reduction
Dessert 5: Lemon Crème Brulee with Ginger biscuit
Dessert 6: Sticky Toffee Pudding with Vanilla ice cream, toffee sauce

Drinks and wine will be included within the meal costs along with port.

In order to secure your place at the dinner and to allow us to pay the hotel in advance we would please ask that your remittance is paid by the 1st September 2018. If you wish to attend, please return the section below with the appropriate remittance as soon as possible (cheques payable to ’23 Sqn Association’); or you may wish to use the electronic bank transfer option (Barclays Bank – sort code 20-65-20 / account number 40850004).

Please return the section below to Mr Colin Woolfson, 33 Ridgeway, Nettleham, Lincoln LN2 2TL (01522 889049) and for emails to

We very much look forward to seeing you at the 23 Sqn Association Reunion.

23 Squadron invitation

Message from Janine Harrington

Interested to read about 23 Sqn Association Reunion in Lincoln. Wish I’d known earlier as I could have circulated it to our members through our quarterly magazine ‘Confound & Destroy’ of which I am Editor. Perhaps it’s a good idea to link re events for the future? Our Reunion is always held in May and includes all Squadrons under RAF 100 Group, including 23 Sqn. Next year’s is 17 – 19 May 2019. Over the weekend we have a number of events going on, with a main Dinner on Saturday evening with old-time Singers and dancing … absolutely wonderful!! As a founding member of RAF 100 Group Association, I have supported and worked with veterans and families for over 20 years. I’m also Secretary worldwide, and author of 28 published books through which I promote their wartime role. So little is still known about them, while I remain passionate about preserving both their history and stories for the future. Our youngest at this year’s Reunion was a 14 year-old Air Cadet, the oldest 98 years. We stay in touch daily, sharing every aspect of our lives … it’s the reason I refer to them as my ‘Kindred Spirit Family’. Each member precious, valued, loved. Please write to the main email address which will get to me direct. I’d be happy to hear from you.

The Journey – Information from Aviation Safety Network (ASN) on Robert Bruce Madge

This is the only information on Bruce’s father that I could find on the Internet last week as we start this journey into the past.

Date: 31 October 1942


Type: de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito NF Mk II

Owner/operator: 23 Squadron Royal Air Force (23 Sqn RAF)

Registration:DD691C/n / msn:

Fatalities: Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 2

Other fatalities:0

Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)

Location: RAF station Bradwell Bay, Essex, England. – United Kingdom

Phase: En route

Nature: Military

Departure airport: RAF Bradwell Bay, Essex

Destination airport: RAF Bradwell Bay


Mosquito DD691/O –

Take off 21:25 hrs

Intruder for Beauvais.

Returned with engine trouble.31.10.1942

Crew: F/Sgt (1066745) Robert Bruce MADGE (pilot) RAFVR – Ok
Sgt P.R. JAMES (nav.) RAFVR – Ok


ORB 23 Sqdn RAF

Copyright © 1996-2018 Aviation Safety Network (ASN)

For what I know Sgt. P.R. James was probably Robert Madge’s navigator for most of his operations.
If this is a fact Sgt. James could be also on this group picture, but according to Bruce Madge he can’t seem to find his father on his father’s group picture.

About that picture, Robert Madge can’t be the second airman in the back on the right. That pilot is Donald Bentley about whom I wrote a lot on this blog.
This brings me to reflect upon how this blog works.

And how to search for anyone who might have been related to 23 Squadron…
To be continued…