Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Frank Howard Kirby

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Group Captain Frank Howard Kirby VC CBE DCM (1871-1956), early aviator and a recipient of the Victoria Cross

1871 November 12th. Born in Thame the son of William Kirby, a Commercial Traveller in Hardware, and his wife Ada Fuller

1906 Appointed a regimental sergeant major at Chatham

1909 Married in Kent to Kitty Jolly - one daughter

1911 April. Gazetted with an honorary commission as a lieutenant, appointed a quartermaster, and posted to the newly formed Air Battalion of the Royal Engineers.

1912 He attended the first course at the Central Flying School, Upavon.

Subsequently transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and commissioned as an Equipment Officer. Kirby was appointed the Stores Officer at the Central Flying School.

Served at No 1 Aircraft Depot at Saint-Omer in early 1916, and with No 3 Army Aircraft Park in July 1916.

In December 1916 he became commanding officer of No 1 Stores Depot at Kidbroke.

He went on to achieve the rank of lieutenant-colonel.

He remained in the Royal Air Force after the end of the First World War and was granted a permanent commission as a wing commander in 1920.

Appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in July 1926.

Retired, with permission to retain the rank of group captain, in December 1926.

1956 July 8th. Died in Sidcup.

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