He was enlisted in the 133rd (Norfolk's Own) Battalion in Simcoe, Ontario as a Lieutenant on January 1, 1916. However somewhat puzzling in his service file is a notation dated October 2, 1916 "S.O.S. Permitted to resign - inefficient". His last pay day was November 1, 1916. However in researching the background of Henry Lloyd Hammond, we were investigating his death on August 4, 1918 and how he came to be piloting a British heavy bomber of the period (Handley Page 0/400) in the skies over France. I was sure that his statement as having one year in the C.O.T.C. was relevant so when I could not locate his name on either the McGill or U of T Honor Memorials, I looked farther afield. Sure enough I found his name on the Memorial Roll of the Ontario Agricultural College in Guelph graduating in 1917 on the Honor's List. I am suspecting Henry's father, George, was an area farming and political friend of Lt.- Col. Arthur Clarence Pratt, Officer in Command 133rd Battalion and the long-time MPP (1909-1919) for South Norfolk, Country and born just down the road in Lynedoch. Pratt was no doubt more than an acquaintance to Sir Sam Hughes therefore released Henry Lloyd legally by using the excuse that he wasn't efficient. What we didn't know as while that during his service in the 133rd Battalion AND during his classes at O.A.C. in Guelph, in all probability he was taking flying instruction late 1916/early 1917 at Leaside Aerodrome and ground classes at University of Toronto. He met his future wife, Roselin Kenney, about this time in Toronto. They married November 5, 1917 in Toronto probably after his flight instruction was finished up in Texas and prior to leaving for England.Much of the maintenance and ground crew of the early RAF (Canada) was female. He gave his occupation as farmer AND soldier. She was a housekeeper.
France on 1 April 1918 by renumbering No. 15 squadron of the Royal Naval Air Service. No. 15 Squadron RNAS had been formed on 10 March 1918 to operate the Handley Page 0/100 as a night bomber squadron against targets in Germany. Soon after the squadron became part of the Royal Air Force it returned to England to re-equip with the Handley Page O/400 before returning to France as part of the Independent Air Force. After World War I hostilities ended (November 1918), the squadron disbanded on 18 October 1919.
So Lieutenant Hammond was assigned to this 215th Squadron, a night bombing unit fighting the huge-for-its-time Handley Page O/400 heavy bomber. This monster operated with a crew of three - a pilot and two
|Royal Air Force Handley Page O/400 heavy bomber|
Thanks once again for Marika Pirie and her photos and newspaper clippings.