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A letter to Mr Newby

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10th February 1916


Dear Mr Newby,


I trust that by now you will have received the telegram informing you of the loss of your beloved son Cecil.


As his CO I write to confirm the circumstances surrounding the death of 2nd Lt Cecil Newby. Cecil had settled in well here with the 24th and I gave him the responsibility of leading his flight on the morning of the 8th. I commanded the patrol as we set off at dawn to escort an observation flight over the enemy lines. As we crossed the lines I spotted an flight of enemy craft and signalled both flights to intercept.


We engaged the enemy vigourously but one especially brave fellow doggedly pursued the craft we were charged with protecting. Cecil, on seeing the danger to the observation machines, dived on the fellow with total disregard for his own safety. On sensing the growing threat to the mission, Cecil heroically rammed the Fokker.


You may be assured that Cecil gave his life valiantly in the service of King and Country. Although he was only with the squadron but a few days I can assure you Cecil played mess rugby to the utmost of his ability and I had him pencilled in as a ball carrier when we entertain the 18th next week. I have recently received notice that his younger brother Cyril has completed his flight training and is to join the squadron. Please be assured that I shall take young Cyril under my wing and I have no doubt he will do himself and the Newby's proud.


Sir, your obediant servant,


Major L G Hawker

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Well, Prophead, now you know the easy bit of air combat - dying.

Next time, try to last a little longer. It may take all the brothers of Cecil and Cyril, too,

to find one 17 hour pilot among them.

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Be sure to tell Cecil's younger brother that those big metal contraptions on the front of his aircraft actually shoot smaller metal projectiles at amazing speeds. Even capable of damaging an enemy without having to resort to the ramming tecnique that is so much less survivable. :wink:

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