PRINCE, WILLIAM FRANCIS JOHN

Remember Them

Rank: Second Lieutenant
Date of Death: 30/05/1918
Age: 20
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force No. 1 Observers’ School of Aerial Gunnery
Grave Reference 11. C.R. 49006.
Cemetery CHINGFORD MOUNT CEMETERY

Additional Information:

Born in 1897 at Woodford, son of Herbert (Stockbrokers Clerk) and Sarah Roseanna Prince. 1901: With his family at Cumberland Villa Stanley Road South Woodford. 1911: A Scholar with his family at 2, Woodgrange Villas Peel Road South Woodford. He attended Chigwell School.

He joined 9th London Regiment and was in France from 04-17, the same year that his Father died.

Posted on attachment to the Royal Air Force, in 05-18 he was at No.1 (Observer) School of Air Gunnery, which had its Headquarters and Officers accommodation at the Imperial Hotel in Hythe. There were two airfields for the school, at Dymchurch and New Romney (Littlestone). It is believed William Prince was at the latter location on 30-05-18 when he went into the sea at New Romney to bathe. The official cause of death was accidental drowning in the sea, but a contemporary newspaper reports in the Chelmsford Chronicle and Essex Newsman suggest the accidental drowning occurred after he had been accidentally shot by an airman.

His medal card completed after the war gives the contact address for his awards as Murton House, 29 Higham Road, Woodford Green. This was the address of the Riggenbach family, whose son Francis was killed in 09-18, the same year that saw the death of his Swiss Father Franz. Whether the address is a coincidence, or there may have been a connection between the two families has not been established. The CWGC suggests the Prince family lived at “Fernhurst,” 31, Grove Road, South Woodford after the war.

Memorial: Roll of Honour St Mary’s Church.
Separate Folder: NO.
Principal Sources: Ancestry. Essex Newsman
Qualification: Borough Resident.