The Roy Bartlett Collection of Awards to the R.N.A.S., R.F.C. and R.A.F.

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Date of Auction: 7th March 2007

Sold for £170

Estimate: £150 - £200

Pair: Lieutenant G. B. C. Way, South Lancashire Regiment, attached Royal Flying Corps, who flew as a pilot in No. 23 Squadron on the Western Front and was seriously injured on returning from an operational patrol in July 1917

British War and Victory Medals (2 Lieut., R.F.C.), the second with officially re-impressed naming, very fine or better (2) £150-200


George Blake Cowley Way, a native of Newport on the Isle of Wight, who was born in August 1898, was appointed to a commission in the South Lancashire Regiment direct from the R.M.C. Sandhurst in 1916. Later that year, however, he was seconded to the Royal Flying Corps, and commenced pilot training at Reading. In 1917, having gained his “Wings”, he served on the home establishment in No. 50 Squadron (January-April), No. 49 Squadron (April to May) and No. 56 Squadron (May to June), in which latter month he was posted to No. 23 Squadron, a Spad unit, in France. But as confirmed by the following extract from squadron records, his time at the Front was short-lived:

‘Machine left aerodrome at La Lovie at 6.35 a.m. on 24 July 1917, in pursuit of an enemy aircraft, and on returning at 7.15 a.m. the machine side-slipped near the ground and crashed, becoming a total wreck ... Pilot admitted to hospital with broken nose, several teeth knocked out and general contusion of face.’

Employed at the Air Ministry from April 1918 until March 1920, Way returned to the South Lancashire Regiment in the latter month, and was placed on the Retired List as a Lieutenant in June 1927.