Cunningham-Reid Brothers of Merton WWI

Duncan Flower Cunningham-Reid

Duncan Flower Cunningham-Reid, above born 1889 in Merton Norfolk, The eldest son of Arthur Morse and Agnes Celina Reid, formally Flower. ( Arthur Morse Reid the rector of Merton during the mid - late 1800s, He  was born c 1855, died in Preston 1909 aged 54)

Observer 2nd Lt Duncan Flower Cunningham-Reid of 29th Lancers, who started training in the first week of the war at the “Inns of Court Training Corps” in the Cavalry, he later offered his services as an Interpreter with the Indian Expeditionary Force. He applied with success then transferred in October 1915 to12 squadron of the RFC. He was killed at the age of 26, as was his pilot Lt Norman Gordon-Smith 19th December 1915 whilst on reconnaissance escort of another British aircraft, surrounded by enemy aircraft Reid and Smith were able to fight off some of the aircrafts over Bruges allowing the other British aircraft to return home with important information, thus saving the lives of those two airmen. The aircraft of Reid and Smith along with a German aircraft fell from the sky , crashing at Oostcamp Belgium.
Both of the British airmen received a full military honourable funeral a high tribute was paid by the enemy to these British airmen for there bravery. The tail end of there aeroplane was used as there original grave marker.
There are conflicting dates for the death of Duncan Flower Cunningham-Reid his grave stone is clearly dated 19th November 1915 which is believed to be incorrect, which may well be amended by the CWGC at some point. The grave of 2nd Lt Norman Gordon-Smith is inscribed 19th December 1915. aged 22. The two grave stones of these brave men stand side by side at the Cement House Cemetery in Belgium. Plot VIIA. D. 8.. Below left is the head stone to Duncan Flower Cunningham.


The image to the right above is the memorial dedicated to Duncan Flower Cunningham-Reid, placed by his mother and brother Alec Cunningham-Reid.

The memorial stands in the Holy Trinity Church at Stratford upon Avon


Alec Stratford Cunningham-Reid

Alec Stratford Cunningham-Reid above born 1895 in Merton Norfolk, The son of Arthur Morse and Agnes Celina Reid, formally Flower.

Alec Cunningham-Reid joined the Royal Engineers in World War 1, later promoted to 2nd Lt, transferring to the RFC of 85 Squadron. In 1918 reported in the London Gazette, “Alec Cunningham-Reid when engaging a column of infantry at a very low altitude, this officer saw a hostile balloon on the ground. he attacked and distroyed. On the two following days he shot down two aeroplanes, also a few days later destroyed a third. ” .

He married firstly, Hon. Ruth Mary Clarisse Ashley, daughter of Lt.-Col. Wilfred William Ashley, 1st and last Baron Mount Temple on 12 May 1927. Alec Cunningham Reid later became a well known figure as an MP. He died on the 26 March 1977 In Valbonne, France.


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