Thomas Stuart Nash

Thomas Stuart Nash

Royal Flying Corps which became the Royal Air Force in 1918

Died 9th August 1918 age 29

Lieutenant T.S. Nash – R.A.F.

Thomas Stuart Nash was a son of Rev. Cecil William and Meriel Nash of The Parsonage, Kincardine O’Neil. The Rev. Cecil served as Priest in Charge at Christ Church for 38 years from 1885 to 1923 and is commemorated by a sundial in the churchyard. He himself was born in England but his wife Meriel originated in Haddington. She was a daughter of the Rev. F.L.M. Anderson of North Berwick, and the couple were married at North Berwick in 1885. Their son Thomas was born on 27 March 1889 in Kincardine O’Neil and grew up in the village. In 1891 they were living in the Rectory and had two children – Meriel aged 4 and Thomas, then aged 2 –  and three resident servants – cook, nurse and parlourmaid. Ten years later a third child George appears in the census, younger brother of Thomas by nine years.  Thomas Nash attended Robert Gordon’s College in Aberdeen.

On 7 August 1914 (three days after the outbreak of war with Germany), Nash appears in the outgoing first class passenger list of the “Mooltan”, bound for Sydney under the captainship Capt. R.L. Haddock. His ultimate destination was Penang where he was to take up employment as a merchant in the London firm of Bousted & Co.

In April 1917, Nash returned from the far east and enlisted in the army. He was then technically discharged, being appointed to a temporary commission as “2nd Lieutenant (on probation) on the General List for duty” with the Royal Flying Corps in September that year. From April 1918 (when the RFC became the RAF) he was with the British Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders. A note on his file reads “Since joining the R.F.C. flown DH6 Aircos (trainer bi-planes), Sopwith Scouts and Sopwith Camels”.

Fighter planes of the RAF were deployed on the Western Front as part of an allied offensive launched on 8 August 1918, in which one aircraft in four was lost. Only weeks from the armistice, Nash was wounded on 8 August 1918 at the very commencement of that action, and the next day he died of his injuries at no.61 Casualty Clearing Station. He was 29 and unmarried. He appears to have been highly thought of, his commanding officer commenting:

He was a most gallant officer, always quiet and unassuming, and most highly popular with both officers and men”.

He is buried at Vignacourt British Cemetery and has a memorial window in Christ Church – see