E.J.Wilkins

29 Oct 2006 1,019 views
 
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photoblog image Southampton Old Cemetery

Southampton Old Cemetery


Eric Rowland Moon

Southampton Old Cemetery is closed for new burials. It is not a sombre place, and is a sanctuary to wildlife. It is the burial place of many important an interesting people from the area including Squadron Leader Eric Rowland Moon who died during a routine training flight in a Flying Boat at Felixstowe, on 29th April 1920.

He was amongst the early 'pioneers of the sky', the family business 'Moonbeams Ltd' developed the Moonbeam Monoplane No1 in 1910 and the Moonbeam Monoplane No2. They were flown locally, including from fields at Eastleigh, now the site of Southampton Airport.

He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (RAF) in 1917, and Bar (a second DSO) in 1918 for "displaying the greatest gallantry in attempting to save the life of a colleague" when, following engine trouble, their plane landed in the sea.

He was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour.

This picture shows the propeller of the plane in which Squadron Leader E. R. Moon met his death  (previously and erroneously reported in 1917). It has been placed alongside his tomb. Sadly it is beginning to decay, something which the Friends of the Cemetery are hoping to be able to deal with before it's too late, but first there needs to be a change in the law which currently only permits those holding Burial Rights, or their descendants, to give consent for work to be carried out.

The hand-engraved, and slightly corroded, copper plate on the propeller says
"IN AFFECTIONATE MEMORY OF SQUADRON LEADER E. R. MOON, D.S.O. R.A.F
KILLED 19th APRIL, 1920 IN THE SERVICE OF HIS COUNTRY,
ERECTED BY HIS COLLEAGUES OF 230 SQUADRON, FELIXSTOWE"

Further information about E R Moon is here E. R. Moon
and also on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

my vfxy

Southampton Old Cemetery


Eric Rowland Moon

Southampton Old Cemetery is closed for new burials. It is not a sombre place, and is a sanctuary to wildlife. It is the burial place of many important an interesting people from the area including Squadron Leader Eric Rowland Moon who died during a routine training flight in a Flying Boat at Felixstowe, on 29th April 1920.

He was amongst the early 'pioneers of the sky', the family business 'Moonbeams Ltd' developed the Moonbeam Monoplane No1 in 1910 and the Moonbeam Monoplane No2. They were flown locally, including from fields at Eastleigh, now the site of Southampton Airport.

He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (RAF) in 1917, and Bar (a second DSO) in 1918 for "displaying the greatest gallantry in attempting to save the life of a colleague" when, following engine trouble, their plane landed in the sea.

He was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour.

This picture shows the propeller of the plane in which Squadron Leader E. R. Moon met his death  (previously and erroneously reported in 1917). It has been placed alongside his tomb. Sadly it is beginning to decay, something which the Friends of the Cemetery are hoping to be able to deal with before it's too late, but first there needs to be a change in the law which currently only permits those holding Burial Rights, or their descendants, to give consent for work to be carried out.

The hand-engraved, and slightly corroded, copper plate on the propeller says
"IN AFFECTIONATE MEMORY OF SQUADRON LEADER E. R. MOON, D.S.O. R.A.F
KILLED 19th APRIL, 1920 IN THE SERVICE OF HIS COUNTRY,
ERECTED BY HIS COLLEAGUES OF 230 SQUADRON, FELIXSTOWE"

Further information about E R Moon is here E. R. Moon
and also on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

my vfxy

comments (11)

Hi Ellie smile
A very nice one, love the color and explanations are very interresting !
EJWilkins: Thanks Zeblgleb. I was shown this memorial during a guided walk round the cemetery, could not remember all I was told, it was quite difficult to find this information.
Great feeling shown to the subject. nice work smile
EJWilkins: Thanks Daniel
what a beautiful story to go along with the pic.
EJWilkins: Thanks Jen, I have a few shots of memorials I hope to be able to learn more about the individuals before I upload them.
This is an unusual cross but it's so nice. Thanks for the story.
EJWilkins: Thanks Florence.
  • chris p
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 29 Oct 2006, 10:34
Excellent Ellie, well done. That's another piece for a local magazine too. smile

Really hope they can preserve that cross as it's so unusual.
EJWilkins: Hi Chris, thanks. The 'Friends' and the local MP are working to get the law changed so that essential work can be carried out on a lot of the memorials. This is one of the most fragile.
  • Ginnie
  • United States
  • 29 Oct 2006, 12:53
A unique grave stone, indeed! It's good to get historical information from other countries, Ellie, so thanks for this entry of a significant event in your country's past.
EJWilkins: Thanks Ginnie. To the left of the shot you can see the 'main' memorial erected by the family, which is quite grand, but not as poignant as this piece of the propeller from the wrecked plane put there by his friends.
  • dafredo
  • France
  • 29 Oct 2006, 14:37
Interesting! I like your piece of history, an it's great sometimes to remember!
EJWilkins: Thank you Dafredo. I think it is important to remember, and sometimes important to catch pictures before some things are lost for ever.
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 29 Oct 2006, 16:08
Nice - you also did a bit of research!
EJWilkins: Thanks Louis, I did, and I think it was worth it. smile
  • Monika
  • Estonia
  • 29 Oct 2006, 17:38
This looks wonderful _ although it's a cross on the cemetary ... beautiful!
EJWilkins: Thanks Monica, there are many unusual and beautiful memorials in old cemeteries.
  • Suzanne
  • Canada
  • 29 Oct 2006, 18:43
What an interesting photograph and story. Thank you for sharing them.
The cross and plate are incredibly unusual and appropriate. I do hope it stands the test of time before it is preserved in some way. One would think that E.R. Moon's descendants would be taking care of this right away. I hope it happens soon. It is truly beautiful. Very nice photo, Ellie!
EJWilkins: Thanks Suzanne. I think they're hoping to replace it with a replica, keeping the original safe. I don't know if he had any descendants to take care of the memorial.
  • johnnyg
  • United Kingdom
  • 29 Oct 2006, 19:02
Your right about the law needing changing, The RAF benevolent fund are tyrying to bring this up in Pariliment this year.

I can't wait to see how your Sunday series develope, great capture, nice subject and well done.
EJWilkins: Thanks Johnny,
The 'Friends of Southampton Old Cemetery' site here http://friendsoldcemetery.mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/ (scroll right down) says MPs John Denham and Alan Whitehead support a change in the law, hopefully they'll all work together to do what seems to be the sensible thing.
For my 'Sunday series' I'm going to try to concentrate on memorials and places of worship. We'll have to see what else I can find ;-)

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