Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (13 January 2021)

Date of Auction: 13th January 2021

Sold for £5,500

Estimate: £3,000 - £4,000

Six: Group Captain D. W. Bayne, Royal Air Force

India General Service 1908-35, 3 clasps, North West Frontier 1930-31, Mohmand 1933, North West Frontier 1935 (F/O D. W. Bayne. R.A.F.); 1939-45 Star, 1 clasp, Battle of Britain; Africa Star, 1 clasp, North Africa 1942-43; Defence and War Medals 1939-45; Coronation 1953, unnamed as issued, mounted as worn, good very fine, the three clasp IGS rare to a RAF Officer (6) £3,000-£4,000


David Walter Bayne was born in Gladstone, Queensland, Australia, on 17 April 1908, and emigrating to England was educated at Haileybury College. He joined the Royal Air Force as a Flight Cadet at R.A.F. Cranwell in 1926 and was commissioned Pilot Officer on 15 December 1928. Posted to 12 Squadron at Andover, he served overseas with 5 (Army Co-operation) Squadron at Quetta, India, from 21 January 1930, flying Bristol Fighters, moving to 20 (Army Co-operation) Squadron at Peshawar on 1 September 1933.

Back in England and serving with 3 Squadron at Duxford he was seriously injured when landing at night in fog in a Bristol Bulldog. One leg was amputated resulting in him being taken off flying duties for just over two years while he attended various R.A.F. hospitals and rehabilitation units. Equipped with a wooden leg he returned to flying in mid-1937, and became a great friend of Douglas Bader, who had lost both legs in a Bulldog crash in 1931.

On 1 July 1937 Bayne was appointed to the staff at Uxbridge and moved on to the HQ staff at Kenley on 8 August 1938. He was advanced Squadron Leader in the Administration Branch on 1 January 1939 and served during the initial stages of the Second World War as Sector Controller at Kenley. Charged with the re-formation of 257 Squadron, initially with Spitfires at R.A.F. Hendon, before re-converting to Hurricanes, it was with this squadron between 1 and 22 July 1940 that he flew about twenty sorties during the early stages of the Battle of Britain.

At the end of July 1940, and now 32 years old, Bayne was, against his will, promoted to Wing Commander and posted to Fighter Command HQ at Bentley Priory, the official reason given for his transfer off operational duties being ‘it was impractical to have an operational commander with a wooden leg’ (although of course his great friend Bader, who was given Squadron Command, had two wooden legs!). Nevertheless, he served with great distinction at R.A.F. Bentley Priory, and remained in service post-War, serving as Military and Air Attaché in Rio de Janeiro. He retired with the rank of Group Captain on 29 August 1955, and died in Dorset on 11 June 1986.

Sold together with the recipient’s identity tags; a 3 Fighter Squadron silver and enamel lapel brooch; and the recipient’s Club de Aeronautica Pass, with a photograph of the recipient.