George Henry Grimshaw, Second Lieutenant, Royal Air Force
Accidentally killed 8th July 1918 in Scotland, aged 24
Son of George and Annie Grimshaw, of 25 Arbourhay St, Macclesfield.
2nd Lt Grimshaw met his death at 6.10pm on 8 July 1918 near Montrose, Scotland. While carrying out a practice solo flight in Sopwith Pup B7485, the aircraft collided with Sopwith Scout C381 flown by pupil pilot 2nd Lt L M Frederick, of Belleville, Ontario, Canada.
2nd Lt Grimshaw’s death was reported in the Macclesfield Times on Friday 12 July 1918:
KILLED – Second-Lieutenant G H Grimshaw, South Lancashire Regt, attached Royal Air Force, son of Mr and Mrs G Grimshaw, 25 Arbourhay St, Macclesfield, has met his death as a result of an aeroplane accident in Scotland. He and Second-Lieutenant L M Frederick, Belleville, Ontario, collided while flying and both were killed. Mrs Grimshaw has received a letter from an officer which states: “Your son went up into the air to have a sham fight with another pupil, and during the combat they collided. I knew your son personally; he was a keen and daring pilot and an enthusiastic pupil. Even in his last flight he showed risk and ability while fighting the other pupil, which showed that he had the pluck and the stamina which make the pilots of the RAF predominant over the Germans in France. I can only add my deepest sympathy…”
Lieut Grimshaw was 24 years of age and received his education at Daybrook Street School… He attended Fence Sunday School and Chapel. In civil life he was first employed by Messrs Birchenough, silk manufacturers, Macclesfield, and afterwards by Messrs Warner, of Braintree, Essex.
Sec-Lieut. Grimshaw joined up in September, 1914, in the RAMC, and went out to France as a sergeant in 1915. After sixteen months’ service he came over to England and trained for a commission, being gazetted in September, 1917 to the South Lancs. Subsequently he transferred to the RAF and graduated as a flying officer the day previous to his death. His cousin, Sergt J E Grimshaw, is serving with the American Expeditionary Force in France.
The following week, the Macclesfield Times printed a report of the funeral:
The interment of Second-Lieut G H Grimshaw, South Lancashire Regt, attached Royal Air Force, who was accidentally killed while flying in Scotland… took place at the Macclesfield Cemetery on Sunday afternoon. The family mourners were: First carriage: Mr and Mrs G Grimshaw, father and mother; Miss Lizzie Grimshaw, sister; Martin (sic) Percy Grimshaw, brother; Mrs Slack, grandmother; Mrs Dean, aunt. Second carriage: Lieuts. Boyce and Hill, RAF, Montrose; Mrs Oliver, aunt; Mr J Grimshaw, uncle; Mrs Orme, aunt; and Mr A Grimshaw, uncle. Third carriage: Miss Ethel Grimshaw, Miss Lydia Grimshaw, Master Eric Dean (cousins); Mrs Frederick Grimshaw, Mrs J Grimshaw, and Mrs A Grimshaw (aunts)…
Mr C Shaw, headmaster of Daybrook Street School, writing from Colwyn Bay on Sunday, states: “I have just heard of the terrible news of your son’s death. It was a great shock to me, not only because George was one of my boys, but also because I knew how good a young man he was… As a boy at school he gave promise of becoming such a man… It seems but a few days since I last saw him in the company of his pal, Sam Swindells, now, alas! no more! Another good lad gone! Two better boys I never turned out…”
2nd Lt George Grimshaw is buried at Macclesfield Cemetery, Cheshire, in grave ref. P. 13383. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for 2nd Lt George Grimshaw, and he is listed on the Imperial War Museum’s Lives of the First World War website.