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Commemorative letterpress scroll for Second Lieutenant Hugh Pater, West Yorkshire Regiment and RFC. Commemorative letterpress scroll for Second Lieutenant Hugh Pater, West Yorkshire Regiment and RFC. Commemorative letterpress scroll for Second Lieutenant Hugh Pater, West Yorkshire Regiment and RFC. Commemorative letterpress scroll for Second Lieutenant Hugh Pater, West Yorkshire Regiment and RFC.
Commemorative letterpress scroll for Second Lieutenant Hugh Pater, West Yorkshire Regiment and RFC.
(WORLD WAR I: Royal Flying Corps.)

Commemorative letterpress scroll for Second Lieutenant Hugh Pater, West Yorkshire Regiment and RFC....

[mounted together with:] embroidered RFC "wings" and photograph of Second Lieutenant Hugh Pater (showing him in his uniform with regimental badges of the West Yorkshire regiment), contemporaneously framed and glazed by Wilfrid Coates, Sunderland (with his label).

Availability: In stock

Published: [1919]

Stock Code: 106445

OR On display in 100 Fulham Road


A very poignant memento from the Great War: the assemblage is accompanied by an autograph letter signed from Pater to his mother, written on the day of his death: "My dear Mother, I had my first "crash" on Monday "today" scored through in an R.E.8 smashing the propeller and taking a wheel off the undercarriage, so I shall not go to France till Friday at any rate. If I can finish my time today or to-morrow I might get some leave. The weather here is appallingly windy and it is impossible to fly at present. Ives was sent to France a week or two ago; I do not expect to see him out there as I shall be flying a different type of machine. I knew Kirkup very well indeed as he got his "wings" here and then went to South Carlton airfield, Lincolnshire. He was a splendid fellow. Love to all, your loving son Hugh" (dated April 17th, on a letter card postmarked Lincoln, 9.30 pm 1917). The Kirkup mentioned in Pater's letter is Captain Philip Austin Kirkup MC of No. 45 Reserve Squadron RFC, born in Sunderland and also killed in an accident, while flying an FE8 on 11 April 1917. He and Pater are buried in adjacent graves in the same cemetery, at Ryhope Road, Sunderland.
"In October 1916 the British Government set up a committee regarding the idea for a commemorative memorial plaque that could be given to the relatives of men and women whose deaths were attributable to the Great War of 1914-1918" (greatwar.co.uk). Then, in October 1917 it was announced in The Times newspaper that a commemorative scroll would also be issued to the next of kin, in addition to the bronze plaque (with an accompanying letter from the king). "By January 1918 the wording on the scroll was being discussed. The committee found the choice of words very difficult and asked for advice from numerous well-known writers. Among those approached for suggestions was Rudyard Kipling, whose only son John was missing in action, believed killed, at the Battle of Loos in late September 1915. However, even with this help the committee couldn't make a decision on the words. Dr Montague Rhodes James, Provost of King's College Cambridge, was then asked if he would write a draft for the wording. With a few changes the Provost's text was accepted by the committee. King George V asked if the King could be included in the scroll wording and the draft text of "at the bidding of their country" was changed to "at the call of King and Country". The novelist Mr Charles Keary suggested amendments to the drafted final line in the text from 'The remembrance of them shall long be honoured in the land which they loved and died to save' into 'Let those who come after see to it that his name be not forgotten'. The text was to be printed in calligraphic script beneath the Royal Crest followed by the name of the commemorated serviceman giving his rank, name and regiment, this time individually written in calligraphic script" (ibid). Also present are two further copies (one framed and glazed) of the photograph by Gladstone Adams, Whitley Bay (Adams himself served in the RFC as a reconnaissance officer, one of whose duties was to identify and help bury Manfred von Richthofen, the "Red Baron" after he was shot down); two newspaper clippings recording Pater's death and funeral.
Hugh Pater (1888-1917) was born in Jarrow and enlisted as a private in the Royal Fusiliers (Public School Battalion) on the 3rd September 1914, was gazetted a 2nd Lieutenant with The West Yorkshire Regiment 15th June 1915, being attached to the Royal Flying Corps in August 1916. He obtained his Pilot's Certificate 4193, on the 6th February 1917 at Military School, Catterick Bridge, flying a Maurice Framan Biplane. He received his certificate on the 14th April 1917. He was killed in an aerial accident at Scampton Camp near Lincoln, on Tuesday, 17th April, while acting as an observer. There is a telegram sent to London informing of his death, it reads: "2/Lt H Pater as passenger was killed in an aeroplane accident at Scampton this afternoon machine RE8 ait sic engine Ras 4a can next of kin be informed and cause of accident running into machine on aerodrome when taking off. Aeronautics 37. Lincoln". His body was brought back to Sunderland and lay overnight at Sunderland Parish Church. He is buried in the same grave as his father, Septimus Pater, who was Rector of the church during the War. The present framed memento would have hung in the family home. A most moving relic and a testimony to the bravery of those men who joined the fledgling Royal Flying Corps.

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Window mounted framed and glazed (590 x 265 mm overall, scroll measures 256 x 149 mm, photo measures 124 x 80 mm). Accompanied by a folder of material from national archives and record offices.


A few stains to card mount otherwise in very good condition; small portion torn from top left hand corner of ALS.


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