William Arthur Bond
Temp. 2nd Lt.
Born on 27th June 1889, the son of Mr & Mrs A Bond of “Sherwood” Carisbrooke Road, Stoneygate Leicester, husband of Aimee Constance Bond (formerly Mc Hardy) of 33 Cavendish Square Oxford St London. Aimee and William married on 23rd January 1917 at the St Marylebone Registry Office near her Oxford Street home.
His father was Arthur Bond, a Sub-editor of the Paris Daily Mail, his mother Elizabeth. William had one younger brother Alfred Ernest and one older sister, Leila who were living in Chesterfield in 1901.
In September 1914 he joined the 20th Hussars and went to the Dardanelles in July 1915 but in October he was invalided home. After a period of sick leave he transferred to the 7th Battalion as a 2nd Lieutenant (T/Captain) 40th Squadron + Kings Own Light Infantry.
He received his certificate for flying on 23rd November 1916 on a Maurice Farman Biplane.
He won the Military Cross at Ypres in July 1916, rescuing a wounded soldier from no-man’s land under enemy fire. Later he won the Decoration MC + bar.
He served in Gallipoli and was killed in action on 22nd July 1917 (27) near Lens and he was buried at Pas de Calais, France and is commemorated on the Arras Flying Services Memorial.
In September 1917 Lieutenant W A Bond was reported missing. It appears his aeroplane was brought down out of control.
In 1911 he was living with Joe B Mellor at 70 Beech St Paddock. Joe was a proof reader at a newspaper, William aged 21, was single and a sub-editor at the Huddersfield Examiner.
Information discovered from the internet:
Captain William Arthur Bond MC (27 June 1889 – 22 July 1917) was a First World War flying ace credited with five aerial victories. Bond was woundedwhile serving in the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry in the Dardanelles in 1916. After transferring to the Royal Flying Corps, Bond was posted to fly Nieuport fighters in No. 40 Squadron in early 1917. He flew Nieuport No. B1545 to five victories in a month, beginning on 10 May and ending on 9 June 1917. He was appointed flight commander in July. On the 22nd, he was killed in action over Sallaumines while flying Nieuport No. B1688. Cause of his death is disputed; he is said to have either fallen to the guns of a two-seater observation plane from FA 235, or to anti-aircraft fire.
Temp. 2nd Lt. William Arthur Bond, 1st Bn. (attd. 7th Bn.), Yorks. L.I.
23rd June 1916 London Gazette : Military Cross
For conspicuous gallantry when on patrol. An enemy patrol was met and bombs were exchanged, one of which wounded both 2nd Lt. Bond and another officer. The enemy retired and opened machine-gun fire, which again wounded the other officer. 2nd Lt. Bond -and Private Garnett at great risk brought him in over 200 yards under heavy machine-gun fire.
16th August 1917 London Gazette : Distinguished Service Order ie a bar
T/Lt William Arthur Bond MC Yorks LI & RFC
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty while on patrol he attacked at close range a hostile machine, which was sent out of control and shortly afterwards he attacked another which stalled and fell sideways. On another date he flew over the lines at about 50 feet and attacked a hostile balloon, bringing it down in flames.
He was reported missing in the Huddersfield Examiner on 17 August 1917.
Daily Examiner 27 September 1917
Captain W A Bond MC Yorks Light Infantry & RFC previously reported missing is, we regret to learn, stated in the German list of British losses during July to have been “brought down and is dead”. Captain Bond will be remembered as a very promising journalist. He was on the sub-editorial staff of Huddersfield Examiner and afterwards joined the Paris staff of the Daily Mail. He enlisted in 20th Hussars when war broke out, was commissioned in The Kings Own Light Infantry and was afterwards transferred to Royal Flying Corp where he did brilliant service. The major of his platoon, in a letter, described him as a wonderful pilot and magnificent patrol leader. The sad news has been received with great regret by the staff of the Huddersfield Examiner and Mrs Bond and the other members of the family will have their sincere sympathy as well as that of many friends in Huddersfield. Captain Bond, who was the eldest son of Mr & Mrs A Bond of Tennyson Avenue Chesterfield, formerly of Milnsbridge is the third journalist connected to Huddersfield to make the supreme sacrifice. The other two are Lieut. A M Scott, son of Mr & Mrs E J Scott, Springbank, Fartown who was on the Paris editorial staff of “The Times” and Corporal H K Dickinson who was sub-editor on the staff of Huddersfield Examiner.
After his death, his wife Aimee (later Aimee Stuart) wrote An Airman’s Wife about him.
Her book included letters which they had written to each other. It is a fascinating read as he writes about his exploits flying over enemy lines and what happened on the various sorties. Aimee wrote plays and film scripts and in 1924 she married Philip Stuart and they continued to write and produce plays together.
Born in Glasgow in 1887, Aimee died in Brighton, E Sussex in 1981, aged 94.
Films she wrote included Jeannie (1941), Man of Evil (1944), Lace on her Petticoat (1951), Wicked Lady (1953). She wrote a comedy Lady Clara (1930) and Nine till Six.