Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1916, Second Lieutenant Charles Cayley Godwin and Lieutenant Philip Challinor Ellis, No. 1 Squadron, the Royal Flying Corps, were killed when their plane was shot down over France.
Second Lieutenant Godwin received his Aviator’s Certificate from the Royal Aero Club in July of 1914. He served with the King Edward’s Horse Regiment before transferring to the Royal Flying Corps in August of 1915. From Alresford in Hampshire, he was 21 years old.
Lieutenant Ellis was one of a family of seven children, whose Scottish father was a rice mill engineer and merchant. Educated at Glenalmond College in Perth, he had served with the Highland Light Infantry before transferring to the Royal Flying Corps as an Observer. From Leek in Staffordshire, he was 23 years old.
On the day of their deaths – with clear skies on the Western Front - they went out on a bombing raid from which they failed to return. Second Leiutenant Godwin and Leiutenant Ellis were reported missing, believed to have been hit by anti-aircraft fire over the area around Ypres, Messines and Armentieres. Enquiries were made as to their fate, including an unanswered query to Berlin towards the end of the war – the date is not clear, but their remains were eventually discovered and they were buried in the Pont-du-Helm Military Cemetery at La Gorgue in France. Lieutenant Ellis is commemorated on the Nicholson memorial in Leek, as well as in the chapel of Glenalmond College. On his headstone are the words, “Be thou faithful unto death & I will give thee a crown of life”.