Sergeant Observer William George DYKE, DFM & DCM

18th Squadron, Royal Air Force
Died of Wounds, Graylingwell War Hospital, Chichester, Sussex, 14th August 1918, aged 25

  • Buried: Nuneaton Attleborough Cemetery, Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Grave 577
  • Awarded Distinguished Conduct Medal (1917), Distinguished Flying Medal (1918), British War and Victory Medals
  • Son of William James and Ellen Dyke
  • Husband of Helen Dyke [nee Lloyd]. Married 27 Nov 1915 at Attleborough
  • NNWFHS Memorial: Nuneaton WW1 Other Regiments

Links to Relevant Information

Military, Census and Family History Information

  • Born 4 Nov 1893 and Baptised 10 Jun 1905 at Attleborough, Warks
  • Educated in Church of England School, Attleborough
  • Lived at 26 Lutterworth Road, Attleborough [1901]
  • Lived at Pinfold Cottages, Attleborough [1911]
  • Employed as a House Painter [1911]
  • Enlisted 21 Oct 1915 in 12th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment
  • Transferred to 6th Battalion Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry (Sgt 33964) and served in France from 21 Sep 1916
  • Transferred to Royal Flying Corps in July 1917

    Circumstances of His Death
    William was wounded on a flying mission on 28 Jul 1918 during an encounter with "eight enemy machines". He suffered wounds to his back and later had a foot amputated. He was invalided home, to Graylingwell Hospital on 9 Aug 1918 and died on 14 Aug 1918. His commanding Officer said of him "Your husband was the best observer I ever had and whatever he was given to do, I could always depend on it being done if it was at all possible. His Flight Commander wrote "You will doubtless be aware by now that he has been awarded the D.F.M. I feel very proud of him as he was not only one of my best observers but a very dear friend. His Pilot wrote "You could not wish to meet a braver or more honest fellow. He was the friend of everybody in the squadron and was acknowledged by all the officers to be the best Observer in the whole list".

    Citation for Distinguished Conduct Medal
    While serving with the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry: "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. His company was held up by an enemy machine gun, which was causing severe casualties. He went forward under heavy fire and succeeded in destroying it, thereby removing a very serious menace".

    Citation for Distinguished Flying Medal
    While serving with 18th Squadron, RAF: "On all occassions this N.C.O Observer has carried out his work conscientiously and well, notably when engaged on photographic service, obtained excellent results often under very difficult conditions. Since joining his present squadron he has taken part in twenty-nine bombing raids, ten photographic flights and fourteen reconnaissances, may at low altitudes. On four occasions he has encountered large formations of enemy aeroplanes, and has himself shot down out of control three machines"

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