Brasell, Lieutenant Jack Stanley

No 67 (Australian) Sqn RFC

Jack Brasell was born in Wanstead, Essex, England in 1889. He worked as an Engineer before the War and was one month past his 26th birthday when he enlisted in the AFC at Melbourne on 22 July 1915. He was promoted to Sergeant after only a week’s service and was transferred to ‘C’ Flight of No 1 Sqn at Laverton, Victoria, on 10 March 1916; he departed from Australia on HMAT A67Orsova six days later. After arrival in Egypt in April he was originally posted to No 14 Sqn RFC, and after a period of instruction with Nos 22 and 23 Reserve Sqns RFC at Aboukir, Egypt, he was he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in June 1916 and then Gazetted as a Flying Officer in November 1916. A further promotion to Lieutenant came in February 1917, before he was posted to No 67 (Australian) Sqn on 15 May 1917.

He was killed in action on 25 June 1917 when flying No 67 Sqn’s first, and at that time only, BE 12a, the newly-delivered A6322, from Deir-el-Belah aerodrome as the escort to a reconnaissance mission. The Australian aircraft were attacked by three enemy aircraft over Tel el Sheria, after which the BE was seen going down in a steady spiral behind the Turkish lines. Ltn Franz Schleiff from Flieger Abteilung 300 was credited with bringing down Lt Brasell’s aeroplane south east of Kafie; the BE was the second of Ltn Schleiff’s eventual total of 12 confirmed victories before his flying career ended when he lost a hand in combat while flying as commander of Jasta 56 on the Western Front on 27 March 1918.

At first it was hoped that Lt Brasell was a Prisoner of War, but his death was confirmed by the enemy the next day, when a message was dropped from an aeroplane over No 67’s Sqn’s aerodrome. The enemy account stated that Lt Brasell had been hit in the head during the airborne fight, and that he had died immediately after landing. The Germans buried the pilot with full military honours.

Lt J S Brasell has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel 60 of the Jerusalem Memorial, Palestine.

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