Lieutenant Percy Charles Moynihan, 54 Training Squadron, Royal Air Force, was killed in a flying accident at 3:15pm on 22nd May 1918, when his aeroplane collided with a tree on take off from Castle Bromwich.
Percy was born in Islington, London on 14th April 1891, and was the sixth of the seven children of parents George (a surgical instrument maker) and Lydia (née Whitteridge). By 1911, the family was living in Finsbury Park, where 19-year-old Percy was listed as a tailor’s cutter.
It seems that he went into partnership with Percy Nunn and George James Roberts, trading as Nunn & Co., with the business being a wholesale clothiers and contractors. The partnership was dissolved by mutual consent on 10th July 1915, although it was noted that Percy Nunn and George James Roberts intended to carry on the business.
It would seem that the reason for the dissolution of the partnership was Percy Moynihan’s decision to take his aviator’s licence, which he passed on 5th September 1915, in a biplane at the London and Provincial School, Hendon. He then joined the Royal Naval Air Service as a Flight sub-Lieutenant. However, the Durham at War website reports that he was posted to the South Shields Seaplane Base and, in 1917, his commission was terminated as he was deemed medically unfit.
He must have recovered from the affliction, as he was listed in the London Gazette 17th April 1918 as one of the Cadets to be Second Lieutenant (on probation). He was appointed Flying Officer on 10th May 1918, and must then have been posted to Castle Bromwich, where he died whilst training.
He is buried at St Mary & St Margaret’s Church, Castle Bromwich, although his name does not appear on the village war memorial.
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Heritage & Local Studies Librarian
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