Holmes, Lieutenant Kenneth Woodfull

No 22 Sqn RFC

Kenneth Holmes came from Melbourne, and was 25 and working as a Civil Engineer, when he joined the 5th Field Engineers in Melbourne on 7 June 1915. He left from Melbourne on HMAT A40 Ceramic on 24 November 1915. After arrival in Egypt he was promoted to Corporal and then transferred to the 4th Pioneer Battalion in March 1916, the month in which he was commissioned. His unit moved to France in June. After a brief period with the 4th Division Salvage Company, he transferred to the AFC in April 1917 and trained as an observer in England before being detached to serve with the RFC in June. On 17 June he was posted to No 22 Sqn, based at Izel-le-Hameau and converting to the Bristol Fighter.

He died of wounds while in German hands after an action over Douai at 17.30 on 11 August 1917
while flying in Bristol F2B A7179 with Lt G L Paget, RFC, who was also killed. A7179 was part of a
Distant Offensive Patrol that fought six enemy aircraft. A victory over a Bristol near Henin was credited to Oblt Adolf Ritter von Tutschek of Jasta 12; it was the 23rd of his eventual 27 victories, and the second over a Bristol from No 22 Sqn on 11 August, having shot down A7169 at 09.10. Lt Holmes was posted as missing in action until 16 November, when a letter confirming his death was received from AM W Richman, also of No 22 Sqn, and the observer in von Tutschek’s other Bristol Fighter victory, who was taken Prisoner of War on the day Lt Holmes was killed.

Lt K W Holmes is buried in the south end of Noyelles-Godault Community Cemetery, France.

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