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ยป Allen Algernon Bathurst APSLEY
 
 

Allen Algernon Bathurst APSLEY

Lord Apsley

Service number 12995

Born: August 3rd 1895,
Died: December 17th 1942

He was the elder son of the 7th Earl Bathurst and his wife, Lilias Margaret nee Borthwick.

After leaving Eton, he served with the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars from 1915 until 1918, winning the MC in 1917 and the DSO in 1918.

On the 30th September, 1918, near Damascus, he was sent out with a troop of 20 men and a Hotchkiss gun to seize the Kadem wireless station. Near Kadem Station he was held up by a body of the enemy, whose strength was double his own. He charged, killing 12 with his sword, the remainder being put to flight. On arrival at his objective it was found that the wireless station had been destroyed already, and the enemy, who had been strongly reinforced, was threatening to cut off his troop. This officer carried out the retirement of the troop in perfect order, and, when attacked by the enemy from a flank, another charge was made, inflicting loss and enabling him to get away intact. Throughout this mission he showed splendid gallantry and marked ability to command.

He matriculated in 1919. He visited Australia in 1920, sailing on the Victorian from Liverpool on July 17th to Canada en route for Sydney.

In the summer of 1922, he visited Iraq where the issue of the mandate was the subject of bitter dispute and both sides wooed him because his family owned the Morning Post and he was on the Board.

Later in 1922, he was elected Member of Parliament for Southampton, retaining the seat until 1929. He served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Under Secretary of State for the Overseas Trade Department from 1922-24, the Minister of Transport 1925-29. After his defeat in the 1929 election, he was chosen to fight Bristol Central and held the seat from 1931 until his death in 1942. He was appointed PPS to Sir Thomas Inskip, the Minister for Co-ordination Defence in 1936. [His widow won the seat after his death.]

In 1923 he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Gloucester.

He married Viola Emily Mildred Meeking on 27 February 1924. They had two sons. With his wife, he was involved in an unusual adventure. Because of complaints about the treatment of emigrants who received an assisted passage to Australia, he was sent out under an assumed name and was, subsequently, joined by his wife. Together they wrote a book about their experience, The Amateur Settlers. They returned via New York in November 1925.

 

In 1924, he instigated the Apsley League in the Southampton Lawn Tennis Association. He was President of the UK Pilot’s Association in 1925. At sometime he was chairman of Western Airways, Western Air Transport Company and a director of The Morning Post.

The Apsleys visited Australia, again, in 1935, crossing from Sydney to San Francisco on the SS Ventura in October.
He remained a member of the Territorial Army between the wars, and was awarded the Territorial Decoration (TD) in 1929. He was promoted to brevet major in 1930, and to substantive major in 1938. He was called up at the outbreak of war, serving with the1st Royal Gloucestershire Hussars and with the Arab Legion in 1941 and 1942.
He was commanding the Legion in Malta when he was killed on December 17th 1942 when Halifax DT542 - NF-Q of 138 Squadron crashed on take-off from Luqa, Malta bound for Gibraltar. Seventeen men were killed.
He is buried at. Malta Cappucini Naval Cemetery  Plot E. Coll Grave 4
Major Lord Allen Algernon Bathurst APSLEY DSO MC TD, died 17th December 1942.
A Handley Page Halifax four-engined aircraft belonging to No. 138 Squadron, arrived at Malta from the Middle East, en route to England via Gibraltar. The six man crew were all Polish serving in the Royal Air Force, Flying Officer Krzysztof L. DUBROMIRSKI, Flying Officer Zbigniew IDZIKOWSKI, Flying Officer Stanislaw PANKIEWICZ, Sergeant Alfred E. KLENIEWSKI, Sergeant Roman WYSOCKI, and Flight Sergeant Oskar F. ZIELINSKI. Besides Lord Apsley as passengers, there was another Army Officer, Major Arthur David Curtis MILLAR, Indian Army, three RAF Officers from 138 Squadron, Squadron Leader Jefferson Heywood WEDGWOOD DFC, Flight Lieutenant Peter EARLE, Flight Lieutenant Leonard Arthur VAUGHAN DSO DFC, and six RAF airmen from 138 Squadron, Sergeant Dennis SPIBEY, Sergeant Alexander Clubb WATT, Corporal Douglas Sidney HOUNSLOW, LAC Cyril Dennis BROWNE, LAC Richard CLEGG and AC1 Stanley Edward KELLY.
After the plane had been re-fuelled it took off in the dark at around 4.a.m. and shortly after it was airborne and had passed over Zeitun, a loud explosion was heard and it crashed onto fields and caught fire. The six-man crew and all the passengers were killed

 

His wife succeeded him as Member of Parliament for Bristol Central.

 

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