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Information from Clive Wood, 2008
Second Lieutenant Eric Arthur Cave

24th Squadron Royal Flying Corps

Stone in Rushden CemeterySon of Mr Arthur and Mrs Alice Cave

Aged 22 years

Died 13th February 1916

Commemorated Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille
Grave VIII. E.4
And in Rushden Cemetery
Grave C.98

Born at Rushden. Had been appointed as an instructor at Farnborough shortly before he died.
The Rushden Echo Friday 7 May 1915, transcribed by Nicky Bates

Royal Flying Corps - Rushden Gentleman Accepted for Difficult Work

E A CaveMr Eric A Cave, son of Mr Arthur Cave, of Rushden, has been successful in passing for the Royal Flying Corps. Mr Cave is a journalist by profession, and at present holds a responsible position at Bradford on the editorial staff of the "Yorkshire Observer". Prior to leaving the county he was on the staff of the "Northampton Echo" and subsequently on that of the "Northampton Independent". He went to Whitehall last Tuesday week, and was subjected to his tests on the following day.

Candidates for the Royal Flying Corps have to be very expert in blending colours at a distance. There are at the present moment, we understand, 650 applicants and of these, we are informed, more than half can be of no service to the corps, not coming up to the required standard. Candidates are divided into six classes, as follows:- Improbable, probable, fair, very fair, good and very good. Mr Cave has we understand, passed as "Good". He made his first application for admission four or five months ago, and received his papers since. He received two years' education in Germany and for a further two years resided in Naples. In consequence he is an expert German and Italian linguist and has also a good mastery of the French language, so he should prove of immense service to his country. We wish him success in his military career.

The Rushden Echo Friday 18 February 1916, transcribed by Nicky Bates

Rushden airman Killed - Well-known Local Family Bereaved - Second-Lieut Eric Cave of the Royal Flying Corps - A Victim of the War - Scholar and Journalist

The sincere sympathy of the inhabitants of Rushden and district is extended to Mr and Mrs Arthur Cave, of "Nenehurst", Kimbolton road, Rushden, who received a cablegram on Monday afternoon conveying the sad news that their only son, Second-Lieut Eric Cave, of the 24th Squadron Royal Flying Corps, had been killed in action on the Western front on Sunday last.

The deceased officer, who was 22 years of age, was well known and respected, not only in his native town of Rushden, but also in Northampton, where for some time he was a member of the literary staff of the "Northampton Daily Echo" and later of the "Northampton Independent". Subsequently he left the county town for Bradford, Yorkshire, having secured an appointment upon the editorial staff of the "Yorkshire Observer" where he continued his journalistic labours up to the time of his enlistment in the Royal Flying Corps on July 5th, 1915.

He proceeded to the Flying School at Brooklands for instruction in aviation, with a view to obtaining his pilot's certificate, which was granted him, together with his commission, on his birthday, August 9th.

When the gallant officer met his death he had practically only just arrived at the fighting front, having crossed the Channel in his aeroplane, but a week previously.

The late Lieut Cave was a most popular officer, and prior to his enlistment was held in high regard by his journalistic confreres both at Bradford and Northampton.

He was educated at Kent College, Canterbury, and he was and accomplished linguist, speaking German, French and Italian fluently, his knowledge of the three languages having been perfected during prolonged visits to each of the three countries where those languages are spoken.

The following tribute is from the editorial columns of the "Northampton Daily Echo":-

"The members of the staff of this paper have heard with the greatest regret of the death of their old colleague, Second-Lieut E A Cave, of the Royal Flying Corps. For little over two years Eric Cave was a member of the reporting staff. The strain of the work was too much for him in the then state of health, and he was threatened with the return of old lung trouble. In 1911, acting on medical advice, he spent the winter in Italy, and returned to this country completely restored to health. After a few months with the 'Northampton Independent', he joined the staff of the 'Yorkshire Daily Observer', and was doing first-class work when he joined the Army. I have no doubt that had he lived he would have made a name for himself. He was a fine linguist, had keen artistic instincts, and literary ambitions and abilities that would have carried him far. When scarcely out of his teens he translated some of G. K. Chesterton's stories into German. These were accepted by a German publisher, but owing to no arrangement as to copyright being agreed to, were not published."

A member of the "Northampton Daily Echo" staff writes:-

"The death that Eric Cave died was one he would have chosen. He joined the army out of pure love of adventure, and I have no doubt was fearless in the face of the enemy, for he possessed a courage physical and moral greater than that of anyone I know. For several months he and I shared 'diggings' in Northampton, and no memories are more pleasant than of our long talks then, sometimes far into the night. He was an omnivorous reader, and few men of his age had a wider knowledge not only of English, but of German and French literature. Before joining the 'Echo' staff he had spent two years in Germany, and no war would have ever killed his love of German music and literature. He wrote on music with real discernment and ability."

Wellingborough News, February 18 1916, transcribed by Clive Wood

Rushden Airman Killed on Active Service in France

We deeply regret to record the death, on active service of Mr Eric Cave, of the Royal Flying Corps, only son of Mr Arthur Cave, Kimbolton-road, Rushden. The family had a wire to say he met his death on active service on Sunday. The dead soldier only flew to France a week previous to his death. The utmost sympathy will be extended to all of the dead hero's family.

Note: Father was Managing Director of Standard Rotary Machine Co Ltd

The Wellingborough News Friday 10 March 1916, transcribed by Nicky Bates

How Lieut Cave Died

Further details of the sad death of Lieut Cave, RFC, son of Mr A Cave, Kimbolton road, Rushden, are to hand. Lieut Cave had been above the German lines to the height of 10,000 to 12,000 feet, with a camera. It is believed that the dead airman, if not frozen to death, became so numbed with cold that he lost control of his machine.

The Rushden Echo Friday 10 March 1916, transcribed by Nicky Bates

The Late Lieut Eric Cave - Rushden Airman's Fate - No Details Yet to Hand

A report has been published by an evening contemporary [the Wellingborough News presumably] purporting to give details of the manner of death of the late Lieut Eric Cave, of he Royal Flying Corps, whose death was recently reported in the "Rushden Echo". The probable source of our contemporary's information is a letter that has been received in Rushden from a local RAMC man. The letter describes the death of an officer of Lieut Cave's squadron, who whilst engaged in photographic reconnaissance above the German lines at a height of 10,000 or 12,000 feet became frozen so that he was unable to restart his engine or plane down, with the result that he fell into the aerodrome and was instantly killed.

From information we have received we are able to state that the officer whose death is thus described was not Lieut Cave, as in another letter from the same source, the officer's name is given, and it is not that of Lieut Cave. Mr Arthur Cave, of Rushden, we understand has written for further information regarding his son, to Major Hawker, the late Lieut Cave's CO, and also to the RAMC man, a former employee of the Standard Rotary Machine Company, whose letter, we presume, gave rise to the unauthenticated report, but up to Thursday morning he had received not reply from either.

The Roll of Honour. Marquis de Ruvigny. London, Standard Art Book Company. 1917-1918 Volume 1, page 63, transcribed by Nicky Bates

Cave Eric Arthur. 2nd Lieut, Royal Flying Corps, (24th Squadron), only s of Arthur Cave of Kimbolton road, Rushden, Northamptonshire, Managing Director of the Standard Rotary Machine Company, by his wife Alice, dau. of Jonathon Boothman of Hazelhurst, Bamford, near Rochdale; b Rushden, 9 Aug. 1893; educated Kent College, Canterbury; also in Germany and Naples. He was an enthusiastic traveller, and an accomplished linguist, and at the time of joining the R.F.C. was on the editorial staff of the "Yorkshire Daily Observer"; gazetted 2nd Lieut R.F.C. (Special Reserve) 5 July 1915 and was killed in action in France 13 Feb. 1916. Buried at Villers Bocage, six miles north of Amiens. Major Hauker, V.C., D.S.O., Commanding 24th Squadron, wrote to his mother: "Your son was a good pilot, and handled the machine very well; unfortunately while planing down to land, about 4 p.m. 13 Feb., he made too steep a turn; the machine got out of control and dived to the ground before he had time to recover control again. Help arrived within two minutes of the accident, but there was nothing to do. Death was instantaneous; at least, he did not suffer any pain. It is very sad for us losing a comrade by such an unlucky accident". Unmarried.

Steven A. Spencer (Editorial Artist - Bradford Telegraph & Argus) has sent us photos of the Company's Memorial
The Memorial
The panel with Lieut Cave's name
The Memorial

This bed was endowed by Mrs A Cave:

In memory of Arthur Cave, Rushden
died suddenly Feb 21st 1927

2nd Lieut. EA Cave RFC
killed in France Feb 13th 1916
aged 22 years

From a brass plaque at
Northampton General Hospital Archive

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