Captain Thomas Frederick Le Mesurier - DSC & 2 Bars

Date of Birth 6 February 1897
Age at Death 21
Date of Death 26 May 1918
Service Number
Military Service Royal Air Force
Merton Address 10 Church Lane, Merton Park
Local Memorial St. Mary's Church, Merton Park

Additional Information

Thomas was the son of Ernest Le Mesurier, a quantity surveyor at the war office. He attended Rutlish School and St. John’s college in Hurstpierpoint, Sussex
Thomas joined the Royal Naval Volunteer reserve in 1914, but was then commissioned in 1915. Having obtained his aviators certificate at Upavon in 1916 he transferred to the Royal Naval Air Service. He distinguished himself by the number of enemy aircraft downed and several successful bombing raids, earning himself a Distinguished Service Cross and 2 bars. Having been at school at St. Johns College, he was known for painting his aircraft in the school colours of Green, Brown and Blue.

The second bar was “For gallantry and consistent good work. He has at all times displayed the utmost gallantry in action, and by his determination and skill has set a very fine example to the pilots of his squadron. On the 23rd April, 1918, in spite of bad weather conditions, he successfully dropped bombs on the Ostend Docks from a height of 800 feet amidst very intense anti-aircraft and machine-gun fire.”

On the morning of 26 May 1918, Le Mesurier and his observer, Second Lieutenant R. Lardner, were flying an Airco DH.9 on a test flight when they were engaged by German Marine Flak near Schoorbakke and suffered severe damage to the aircraft. Le Mesurier managed to pilot the stricken aircraft back towards his own lines, but crashed after the port wing folded up crossing over the trenches at 20 feet. The aircraft was completely wrecked, but salvaged on 27 May and taken to No. 8 Air Park. Lardner was killed instantly, and Le Mesurier died later. Thomas was buried in Dunkirk town cemetery. He is also commemorated in St. Mary’s Church Merton Park.


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