Royal Naval Air Service Group photograph, including Thomas Preston
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|Subject||Preston, Thomas Wakelin|
|Title||Royal Naval Air Service Group photograph, including Thomas Preston|
|Notes||A Royal Air Service group picture taken possibly at Tregantle. Within the photo is my granddad: Thomas Wakelin Preston (b. 1885 - d. 1973) sitting 2nd row from the front, 3rd from the right with a big smile. |
From information I gathered from my father and aunt, I understand that although he suffered with kidney problems at that time and for the rest of his life, he passed C3.
While serving in the Royal Air service, it is understood he moved and carried bombs onto the planes, as well as hanging onto the tails of the planes when they landed.
This job was now and then done by carrying the bombs on their shoulders, and on one occasion during this feat, he once witnessed a bomb slip and slide down someone's back slicing it open to the bones with the tail fins.
Another story is that while he was stationed in France, he saw a man run screaming into the woods never to be seen again.
At some point during his time in France, he succumbed, like many others, to the flu pandemic of the time and came home on leave. On his return to Leicester Railway station, some 9 miles from his home of Fleckney, he found there were no buses running. With the lack of transport, he had to struggle and walk home in the snow, only to collapse at the canal bridge between Great Glen and Fleckney and crawl the last couple of miles home. Someone subsequently had to fetch the doctor, (no phone!) who then came from Kibworth some 3 ½ miles away on horse back. Throughout this at home, my granddad had a large nose bleed which the doctor says had saved his life.
After his leave had expired he was then sent to recover at a military Hospital in Leicester.
Note the naval dark blue jacket, nicknamed the 'Monkey-Jacket', worn by Royal Naval Air Service personnel.
F41668 Thomas Wakelin Preston.
|Item Date||1914 - 1918|
|Item medium||Photographic paper|
|Copyright||The Great War Archive, University of Oxford / Primary Contributor|
|Digital repository||The Great War Archive, University of Oxford|
|Contributor Name||Antony James Preston|