A Great War hero from Ilford

A biplane bomber similar to those Cap Wilfred Chalmers Jameson would have flown in in 1918.

A biplane bomber similar to those Cap Wilfred Chalmers Jameson would have flown in in 1918. - Credit: Archant

Wilfred Chalmers Jameson, a Royal Naval Reservist, resident at Woodlands Road, Ilford, had been called to active service in August 1914.

He saw action with the Naval Division in the defence of Antwerp, from October 3.

On October 9, the unit lost 57 men in a desperate attempt to halt the advance of the German Army that occupied Antwerp.

Jameson, trapped behind enemy lines, made his way to neutral Holland, where he was interned.

In January 1915, Jameson escaped from Groningen, but was recaptured.

Undaunted, he made a second escape attempt at the end of March and ten days later, was back in England.

Later in the year, Sub Lieut Jameson embarked for the Aegean area, serving with No.2 Wing, RNAS.

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Jameson flew as observer gunner from Imbros Island, carrying out reconnaissance and bombing raids on Turkey.

On December 13 1916, Flight Sub Lieut Alan Murray Waistell, with Jameson as observer, carried out a long distance bombing raid. Waistell crashed the machine attempting to land, both men escaped injury.

Jameson again carried out a bombing raid flying as low as 100ft over the target, returning with their plane shot full of holes.

Carrying two large bombs, in a Farman piloted by Flight Lieut Charles Maitland-Heriot on February 12 1917, Jameson had to leave behind his Lewis gun.

Lieut Emiile Meinecke on patrol from Kale Chanak aerodrome, in a Fokker monoplane, overtook the bomb-laden biplane, attacking from the rear; he opened fire damaging the engine.

Heriot landed and with Jameson set fire to their machine before they were captured.

With the formation of the RAF in April 1918, Jameson was granted the rank of Captain.

Capt Jameson escaped from Afron Kara Hissar on the September 8, he was recaptured on the 14th.

Next day, attempting another escape, Jameson was wounded and carried off by armed brigands, his body was never found.

Listed on the Basra Memorial, Iraq, the Admiralty certified the death of Capt Wilfred Jameson, on or about the 15th September 1918.