The McCudden Brothers
The three sons of Sergeant-Major William H.
McCudden & Amelia McCudden (nee Byford) of "Pitlochry", 37 Burton Road,
William McCudden, (1891-1915) Royal Flying
Corp. Died: 2-5-1915 age 24
John Anthony McCudden,
Flying Corp. Died: 18-3-1918 age 20
James Thomas Byford McCudden,
D.S.O. & Bar, M.C. and Bar, M.M., Croix de Guerre (France) Royal Air
Force. Died: 9-7-1918 age 23
The reason for the claim to Carlow is that their
father was born in Carlow and at the time of his sons birth's, was based
in England. So by mishap in the fathers posting they were born away from
Carlow, so it a good claim as a third Victoria Cross for Carlow and
Ireland in General.
James McCudden died in a flying accident and not in
combat. On July 9th 1918, his aeroplane suffered engine failure after
taking off and he was killed in the accident.
Major James Thomas Byford McCudden was credited in World War One
with the largest numer of decorations including a Distinguished Service Order
(DSO) and a bar to his Military Cross. Combined with his VC and MM,
McCudden was one of the most decorated combatants of World War One.
- In 1910, James McCudden joined his father in the Royal Engineers as a
15 year old bugler. By the time war was declared, he was an aircraft
mechanic with 3 Squadron in the Royal Flying Corps. One of three
brothers to serve with the RFC, he saw combat in France as an observer
and gunner before returning to England for flight training in 1916. His
talents as a pilot were so extraordinary that he became an instructor
within days of receiving his aviator's certificate. By the beginning of
April 1918, 22 year old James McCudden was the most decorated pilot in
the Royal Air Force. Sadly, he was killed three months later when his
aircraft stalled after take off and crashed to the ground.
James McCudden was born in Gillingham, Kent to ex-Sergeant-Major
William H. McCudden and his wife Two of his brothers Willie
(killed in 1915) and John (killed in 1918) also served in the Royal
Flying Corps and became an ace before his death in 1918..
Note: The McCudden family also hold the sad
record of most KIA from the same family of Ireland in the Great War.
Mr Terry Curran c.2007
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© 2001 County Carlow