Rededication of Fenton Phillips's Grave 12 October 2017

101 years exactly after their deaths in 1916 the graves of Fenton Ellis Stanley Phillips MC and Leonard Cameron Kidd MC were rededicated in a moving ceremony in the Caterpillar Valley Cemetery near Longueval in the Somme Valley.

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Courtesy Julian Ironside

Second Lieutenant Fenton Phillips, the son of the Rector of Bow, was killed whilst on a reconnaisance mission flying over the front line near the viilage of Le Sars in the afternoon of 12 October 1916. His pilot, Lieutenant Leonard Kidd was killed at the same time. They were buried side by side in un-named graves in the Commonweath War Graves Commission Cemetery in Longueval. Until now Fenton Phillips's  headstone was engraved "A BRITISH AIRMAN (OBSERVER) OF THE GREAT WAR - KNOWN UNTO GOD".

Painstaking research by Steve St Amant, a former Royal Canadian Navy officer, showed that both airmen had been Royal Flying Corps officers, and that both had been awarded the Military Cross. It was this that led to identification of the graves link.

New headstones have been erected, showing full details of both men. The graves were rededicated, with full military honours, in a service arranged by the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (Ministry of Defence) link.

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