Isolated Grave near Etricourt

Historical Information (Source: CWGC)

Capt Cecil Robert Tidswell, 1st Royal Dragoons, 19th Sqdn. Royal Flying Corps. KIA Oct 16, 1916 age 36, whilst flying over enemy lines and "buried where he fell in his burnt and wrecked machine by the Germans"

 

The hamlet of Etricourt is south of the road from Rocquigny to Equancourt on the Canal du Nord. On the hillside west of Etricourt is buried a British airman, killed whilst flying over enemy lines and was buried by the Germans beside his machine.

 

Captain TIDSWELL, CECIL ROBERT

Died 16/10/1916 Aged 36

19th Sqdn. Royal Flying Corps and 1st (Royal) Dragoons

 Cecil Robert Tidswell, the only son of Mr and Mrs R H Tidswell of Wimbledon and Bosmere Hall, Needham Market, was born on 22 November 1880 and educated at Harrow.

 

In 1900 Tidswell took a commission in 7th Bn. King's Royal Rifle Corps but in August the following year joined the 1/Royal Dragoons with whom he had family connections. He served with them in the Boer War, receiving the King's medal and five clasps and later spent much of his service in India where he was promoted to Captain in 1910. The Dragoons sailed for France with the Lucknow Cavalry Brigade and arrived on 7 November 1914.

 

Believing there was no future for the cavalry Captain Tidswell transferred to the RFC in 1916 qualifying as an observer and receiving his commission as "Captain (Flying Officer)" on 2 June. He was made Captain (Flight Commander) eight days later. Soon afterwards he qualified as a pilot "in an even shorter time" and a remark by him survives "Yesterday we were grounded because the wind blew the plane backwards." Tidswell went out to France in July.

 

Surprisingly, neither his squadron nor the type of aircraft have been established. On 16 October 1916 he was shot down flying solo "over the enemy lines in the neighbourhood of Bapaume" and was said to be a victim of Manfred von Richthofen, the 'Red Baron'. Tidswell was "buried where he fell in his burnt and wrecked machine by the Germans" his father later wrote, although his Service Record incorrectly states "Died (P