King Edward’s School and the Great War

Memorial Roll of Honour 1914 - 1918


Conaty, Desmond George

Lieutenant ▪ Royal Air Force

Desmond George Conaty, born on 20th May 1896, was admitted to King Edward’s School in January 1908. He was the middle son of George and Emily Conaty of ‘Mayfield House’, Taylor Road, Kings Heath. His brothers, Neville and Thomas, were also Old Edwardians, though it would appear that neither of them served during the war.

Desmond does not appear in the School magazines because he stayed at KES for only two years, and the School lists reveal that he did not excel academically. The 1911 Census records that Desmond’s father George was a consulting mechanical engineer; however, he died shortly after this census was taken. Desmond’s mother, Emily, died on 1st November 1914. After leaving School, Desmond worked as a motor engineer in Birmingham for two years.

Desmond began his military career as a Corporal in the motor-cycle section of the Royal Engineers, before being severely wounded in September 1915. Once recovered, he joined the Royal Flying Corps as a Second Lieutenant and was sent to Egypt. He was promoted to Lieutenant (in the newly-formed RAF), and acted as an instructor. Desmond was killed in a flying accident at Alexandria on 26th July 1919 and is buried in Alexandria (Hadra) War Cemetery.