Service Number 97965
Unit 12 Squadron
Regiment Royal Air Force
William Stephen Barmstone was born in Brancaster, Norfolk in 1879, the son of William Stephen (Sen) and Elizabeth Vivian Barmstone. William (Jnr) was the only son of six children.
On the 22nd August 1906, William (Jnr) married Flora Rudd in Norfolk where they continued to live for some time in the Brancaster and Hunstanton areas of Norfolk and where their first two children Ivy May (b 1907 in Brancaster) and Reginald Vivian James (b. 1909 in Hunstanton) were born. On census day in 1911, the family was living at Rose Cottage, Hunstanton. However, before 1916 the family moved to Yorkshire and their third child, Hilda Gertrude, was born in Collingham in 1916. Two years later William (Jnr) was listed as an absent voter in the 1918 electoral roll of Collingham due to Naval or Military service.
William Stephen Barmstone's service record has survived and shows that in 1917 he joined the Royal Flying Corps giving his address as The Telephone Exchange, Collingham. He served as a second aircraft mechanic (service number 97965) in 12 Squadron. He gave his trade in the services as carpenter. He went to France to serve on the 3rd November 1917 and in 1918 when the Royal Air Force was formed as a separate service, from the Royal Flying Corps, William transferred to the RAF. He continued serving in France until the 7th February 1919 and he was demobilised soon after. During late 1917 to 1919 No. 12 squadron were based at Courcelles-le-Comte (August 1917- 16 Dec 1917), Boiry-St. Martin (16 Dec 1917 - 22 Mar 1918), Soncamp (22 Mar 1918 - 17 Sep 1918), Mory (17 Sep 1918 - 14 Oct 1918), Estourmel (14 Oct 1918 - 29 Nov 1918), Gerpinnes (29 Nov 1918 - 6 Dec 1918), Clavier (6 Dec 1918 - 19 Feb 1919) and Duren (19 feb 1919 - ).
William (Jnr) held many trades during his working life, listing at various times his trades as Carpenter, Licencee of the Black Horse, Market Gardener and Dustbin man.
After the war William returned to Collingham and lived there until around 1920. However by 1921 Flora, his family and he were living at Throstle Nest Cottage, Thornton near Skipton. We have found entries for William in the electoral rolls until 1926, but in 1929 William and family have moved to 57 Wharf Street in Sowerby. The family must next have moved between 1930 and 1931 to 25 Boston Street in Sowerby and again in 1932 to Town Hall Street in Sowerby. After 1933, we have lost track of William and family in the electoral rolls, but we find them living at The Lodge, Woodlands, Pudsey at the time of the 1939 National Register, where William describes himself as a gardener.
We again lose track of William until the time of his death in 1948 in Lancaster.
Biography last updated 02 August 2021 13:12:34.
1911 Census. The National Archives. Class RG14 Piece 11609
First World War Airmen's Service Records. The National Archives (AIR79).
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