Lt George Frederick Delmar-Williamson, Captain Douglas Ridely Clunes Gabell and Lt Patrick Wright Anderson

 By Patrick Anderson, nephew of Lt Anderson, and wife Diane Anderson, relative of Lt Delmar – Williamson.

DELMAR  -WILLIAMSON , George  Frederick ,  Lieutenant ,  born 10th January 1899 in London  the only son of  Frederick Delmar -Williamson  and Emily R Delmar -Williamson, and a relative  of Colonel CYPRIAN BRIDGE  who fought in the  New Zealand wars of the mid 1800s.  He was educated at Glyngarth school and  Cheltenham College between 1913 – 1915 after which he was accepted at the Royal Military College Sandhurst. He was commissioned first into the famous  Black Watch and then later attached to the Royal Flying Corps  obtaining his wings  at Vendome in February 1917 following training in Oxford.

He served on the Western front  from march 1917 and highly commended for photographic and reconnaissance duties there, but was invalided  home in August 1917  suffering from concussion.  On recovery he was with the Home Squadron on air raid duty  including ant zeppelin missions  and in march 1918  was appointed a flying instructor  at Yatesbury, Wiltshire .

On the 12th July 1918  as an officer  of a newly formed  RAF since 1 April 1918, he was test flying an RE8  ( No C2236 ) over Chippenham whilst serving with 13 Training Sqn RAF  .  The new machine collapsed in mid air  and in the crash , both he and his co pilot  Captain Gabell were both killed.

Lt  Delmar – Williamson , Black Watch , RFC &RAF was buried with full military honours  in Leckhampton Churchyard.  There are photos of him and the funeral in “The Graphic” of 20thJuly 1918.  His family address was  Firs Lodge Leckhampton listed on the CWGC index.

Lt Delmar -Williamson’s co pilot on that fatal day was  GABELL , Douglas  Ridley Clunes ,  Captain,  Gloucester Regiment , RFC &RAF dwf 12 July 1918. He was born on 28th November 1897 the son of Rec Arthur C Gabell, Rector of  Swindon Village and acting vicar in charge  of  St John’s Church  Cheltenham. He attended Cheltenham College between 1912-1915. He was buried  on 16th July 1918  at  Swindon Village near Cheltenham . There is a photograph of him in  “The Graphic ” of 20th July 1918.


WRIGHT – ANDERSON, Lt  Patrick, Black Watch. He was a corporal in the St Andrews University OTC, whilst studying Maths and Science, until just before the start of WW1 when he went off to war. He served in France, and Salonika with the  Black Watch and then served in the RFC &RAF as an observer flying DH 4’s. He received serious wounds received in action in France in 1918 but died of these wounds on 2nd November 1921, missing the cut off date for CWGC casualties. As a result, he is not listed as a war casualty as the CWGC date was  31 Aug 1921.  He was listed on the Scottish National War memorial the castle Edinburgh only in 2012.   He is buried at home in Arbroath in a non war grave.



2 thoughts on “Lt George Frederick Delmar-Williamson, Captain Douglas Ridely Clunes Gabell and Lt Patrick Wright Anderson

  1. I was interested to read Patrick Anderson’s entry for Lt Delmar-Williamson. There is a page dedicated to his memory on the Leckhampton Church website (>about us>WW1 centenary). It includes a photograph of his grave and also one of the plane in which he and Capt Gabell died. I recall the late Miss Juliet Morrison (who used to tend the grave and who will have been a relative of Mrs Anderson) inviting me to see in her flat a splendid full-length portrait of the lieutenant in highland costume. Capt Gabell’s clergyman father made a benefaction to the Delancey Fever Hospital in Leckhampton, and one of the wings was named after him. The hospital has now been converted into apartments, but Gabell Road, within the precincts, recalls his involvement.

  2. A further comment: Col Cyprian Bridge’s widow is commemorated on the same grave as Lt Delmar-Williamson: IN LOVING MEMORY / -OF- / MARY LOUISA METCALF. / WIDOW OF / COL. CYPRIAN BRIDGE, OF 58TH REGT / WHO DEPARTED THIS LIFE / OCTR 29TH 1908 / AGED 89 YEARS.
    In St Philip and St James’s church, Leckhampton, there is a fine memorial to another Cyprian Bridge, Lieutenant-Colonel, who died in Cheltenham in 1843. This is by the same artist (William Montague Gardner) who carved his monument at St Nicholas’s Church, Harwich.

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