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An emotive Great War Western Front Bloody April 1917 Red Baron Casualty Pilot’s pair awarded to 2nd Lieutenant E.A. Welch, Royal Flying Corps late 8th Service Battalion, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, who was pilot of a B.E.2f aircraft of 16 Squadron employed on a photographic sortie when he was shot down and killed in action on 24th April 1917 by German’s highest ace of the war, Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen, he being the Red Baron’s 47th aerial victory.
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An emotive Great War Western Front Bloody April 1917 Red Baron Casualty Pilot’s pair awarded to 2nd Lieutenant E.A. Welch, Royal Flying Corps late 8th Service Battalion, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, who was pilot of a B.E.2f aircraft of 16 Squadron employed on a photographic sortie when he was shot down and killed in action on 24th April 1917 by German’s highest ace of the war, Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen, he being the Red Baron’s 47th aerial victory.

Product Code: CMA/19941
Price: £2,950.00
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Description:

An emotive Great War Western Front Bloody April 1917 Red Baron Casualty Pilot’s pair awarded to 2nd Lieutenant E.A. Welch, Royal Flying Corps late 8th Service Battalion, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, who was pilot of a B.E.2f aircraft of 16 Squadron employed on a photographic sortie when he was shot down and killed in action on 24th April 1917 by German’s highest ace of the war, Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen, he being the Red Baron’s 47th aerial victory.

British War Medal and Victory Medal; (2.LIEUT. E.A. WELCH)

Condition: official correction to surname on the first as issued, overall Nearly Extremely Fine.

Eric Arthur Welch was born in London on 6th November 1894 and lived in Scotforth, Lancaster, when with the outbreak of the Great War he attested for service on 11th October 1914, and joined as a Private the 8th Service Battalion, King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, being promoted to Corporal on 13th March 1915, he was then commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant with the General List in April 1915 and went on to join the Royal Flying Corps qualifying as a pilot.

Posted to the Western Front in 1916, Welch flew with No.16 Squadron in B.E.2f aircraft. On 24th April 1917 during what became known as ‘Bloody April’ Welch was detailed to take part in a photography mission flying in B.E.2f.A.3166 with Sergeant Amos George Tollervey as his observer. Welch took off at 9.25 am and was then reported as shot down.

It would later be confirmed that Welch and his aircraft had become the victim of none other than Manfred Freiherr von Richthofen, the Red Baron, a Pour le Merite recipient and Germany’s most successful Great War flying ace. Welch’s aircraft was shot down over Mericourt having fallen foul of the Red Baron’s Flying Circus - Jasta 11, and his aircraft was claimed by and then confirmed to have been shot down by Richthofen, his 47th aerial victory. Richthofen would go on to successfully claim 80 aerial victories before he himself was killed in action on 21st April 1918. Welch’s observer was also killed in action in the engagement.   

Welch was initially buried on the outskirts of Petit Vimy to the south west of Lens, and his body lies today in Petit-Vimy British Cemetery. He was the son of Arthur Thomas and Esther Maria Welch, of 17, Queen Street, Lancaster.