Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1918, Captain Edmond William Claude Gerard de Vere Pery (Viscount Glentworth), the Warwickshire Yeomanry, attached to No. 32 Squadron, R.A.F., was killed in action on the Western Front.
The only son of William Henry de Vere Sheaffe Pery, 4th Earl of Limerick, he was serving as a lieutenant in the Warwickshire Yeomanry when the Great War broke out. He later transferred to the R.F.C., qualifying as an observer, then joined No. 32 Squadron in October of 1917, and spent some time as an instructor before being sent to France. He was remembered as “the grandest man in the squadron, one of the boys, a fine chap” - it being noted that he didn’t care for his title being used.
On the day of his death he set off early in the morning on a sortie with another flyer – they attacked two German aircraft over Etaing but came under heavy fire themselves. The other flyer, First Lieutenant Parr Hooper, reported that the Captain’s aircraft went into a spin, but showed no flames, smoke nor visible damage. Captain Pery struggled to maintain control of his aircraft as he came under intense ground fire, and before the plane went down First Lieutenant Hooper thought he saw him jump clear as the tail broke off. Several days later it was discovered that he had not survived.
After the war ended, on the 2nd of December, one of the other pilots wrote “yesterday the C.O. and I went up to the awful area to look for the grave of Viscount Glentworth who was shot down just after I came to the squadron in May. We found it and what was left of the machine and put up a cross.” He noted that “To a gallant British airman” was written in German on a piece of broken propeller. Captain Pery is now buried in the Vis-en-Artois British Cemetery, Haucourt, Pas-de-Calais, in France.
Edmond, of Dromore Castle, Pallaskenry, Co. Limerick, was 23 years old.