Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1917, Captain Richard Aveline Maybery M.C. and bar, 21st (Empress of India) Lancers and 56 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, was killed when his plane was shot down over Bourlon Wood near Cambrai in France.
His widowed mother’s only son, he was educated at Connaught House in Weymouth and Wellington College. He went on to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst and won first place in field engineering tactics and strategy. In November of 1913 he joined 21st Lancers and went to India, where he was seriously wounded. After recovering, Captain Maybery found horse-riding too painful, so chose to take up flying, for which he returned to England and made a record-breaking flight on a surveillance plane. He went to France in June of 1917 with 56 Squadron.
Captain Maybery was awarded the Military Cross for his actions behind enemy lines in July of 1917, the citation for which reads: “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty as leader of offensive patrols for three months, during which he personally destroyed nine enemy aeroplanes and drove down three out of control. On one occasion, having lost his patrol, he attacked a formation of eight enemy aeroplanes. One was seen to crash and two others went down, out of control, the formation being completely broken up.” Later in the year he earned a bar to his military cross for his leadership of an offensive air patrol; he did not have time to actually receive the bar as his plane was shot down over Bourlon Wood, near Cambrai.
Captain Maybery lies buried in the Flesquieres Hill British Cemetery in France. A marble plaque dedicated to his memory is situated in Brecon Cathedral, the offices for which were once his family home. Captain Maybery’s mother, Lucy Maybery, a commandant at the Penoyre hospital for injured servicemen, was in January of 1918 awarded the MBE for her wartime work with the Red Cross. On her son’s headstone are the words: “Fly on, dear boy, from this dark world of strife on to the promised land of eternal life”.
Richard, from Brecon in Wales, was 22 years old.