A Poppy
A Poppy

Memorials & Monuments
on the Isle of Wight
- St Helens -
- St Helen's Church : S W Caws Memorial -

Location

In St Helen's Church, St Helens, Isle of Wight
 
See map on www.streetmap.co.uk
 
IWM War Memorials Archive Record

The Memorial is not recorded by the War Memorials Archive
 
Historic England Listing Status

St Helen's Church is Listed Grade II. Since the Memorial forms part of the fittings of the Church, it is assumed to be covered by the Listing.
 
Description

Brass memorial plaque

Memorial

St Helens St Helen's Church S W Caws memorial
 
Royal Aero Club index card S W Caws
 
S W Caws' index card from the Royal Aero Club

image courtesy Ancestry.com. Great Britain, Royal Aero Club Aviators’ Certificates, 1910-1950 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2008. Original data: Royal Aero Club. Royal Aero Club index cards and photographs are in the care of the Royal Air Force Museum, Hendon, London, England.
 
De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour S W Caws
 
S W Caws entry in de Ruvigny's Roll of Honour
 
Royal Aero Club index card S W Caws
 
S W Caws' medal Index Card
 
image courtesy Ancestry.com. British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2008. Original data: Army Medal Office. WWI Medal Index Cards. In the care of The Western Front Association website.
Inscription


IN LOVING MEMORY OF
STANLEY WINTHER CAWS, R.A.F.
ONLY SON OF DOUGLAS CAWS, GRANDSON OF SILAS HARVEY CAWS
OF THIS PARISH
KILLED IN ACTION AT A HEIGHT OF ELEVEN THOUSAND FEET
IN FRANCE, SEPT 21ST 1915 - AGED 36
ATTACKED BY THREE GERMAN PLANES, ONE OF WHICH HE SHOT DOWN
ALSO SERVED THROUGH THE BOER WAR

HE DIED FOR FREEDOM AND FOR HONOUR


 

Further Information

Son of Douglas and Harriet Caws, of The Lodge, Sea View Bay, Isle of Wight. Born in 1879. The family are shown at Oscar Cottage, in Seaview on the 1881 Census, and at Circular Road in Seaview on the 1891 Census.
 
Caws served as Trooper 20347 S W Caws 106th Coy 4th Bn Imperial Yeomanry (Paget's Horse) during the South African war. He is commemorated on both the Newport South African Memorial and the Ryde South African Memorial.
 
Following this he travelled to Canada and established something of a reputation as a Frontiersman. See the account of Caws on the Legion of Frontiersmen website.
 
Caws was killed in action while flying BE2c serial 2004, with Observer Lt William Hodgson Sugden-Wilson who was taken Prisoner of War. Sugden-Wilson was from W Somerset Yeomanry attd RFC. He was interned in Holland, and released on 25 Nov 1918. He survived the war and was married in 1919.
 
The Times of 25 Oct 1915 reported the event as follows :
 
"A FIGHT IN THE AIR
 
LIEUTENANT S W CAWS, Royal Flying Corps, of Seaview, Isle of Wight,officially reported missing, is now stated to have been killed while attacking hostile aircraft. He was in charge of an aeroplane with Lieutenant S Wilson as observer. Lieutenant Wilson, who is a prisoner in Germany, has written to his parents stating that they were attacked by hostile machines and had a great fight lasting 15 minutes in which they expended all their ammunition. Lieutenant Caws was shot dead when they were 11,000 ft up, a bullet passing through his neck down to the heart, through the instrument board, and hitting Wilson's leg."
 
The Times of 5 Nov 1915 continued to report the event as follows :
 
"LIEUTENANT S W CAWS, Royal Flying Corps,who is officially reported as killed to-day, was the only son of Mr Douglas Caws, of Sea View, Isle of Wight. He was shot dead on September 21 during a fight in the air as described in The Times of October 25, and was buried with military honours by the Germans. Lieutenant Caws went through the South African War as a trooper with Paget's Horse. At the declaration of the war last year, he was on an important and remunerative expedition in North-West Canada , but he gladly relinquished all to serve his country, and came to England with the 1st Canadian Contingent. In February 1915, he was transferred to the Royal Flying Corps. His commanding officer writes of Lieutenant Caws :- "We are all most awfully sorry to hear about your son. One can ill afford to lose the type of man that he was. He was always willing to do anything, and was liked most awfully by all, both officers and men. I am so glad that he was given a military funeral."
 
It would that seem that subsequently Caws' grave was destroyed as he is listed on the Arras Flying Services Memorial has having no known grave.
 
CWGC record ...
 
Caws is commemorated also on the St Helens Church Memorial (Lych gate) and at the two memorials outside and inside Seaview St Peter's Church.
 
Information from The Times Digital Archive and John Bloodworth.



 
 

 
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