King Edward’s School and the Great War

Memorial Roll of Honour 1914 - 1918


Tanfield, Arthur Horace

Lieutenant ▪ No. 59 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps

Arthur Horace Tanfield, born on 18th May 1897, was admitted to King Edward’s School in January 1909, having previously attended Miss Pettigrew’s School, Handsworth. He lived with his father, Arthur, a solicitor, his mother, Minnie, and his two older sisters at 167, Hamstead Road, Handsworth, moving to 18, York Road, Edgbaston, whilst he was still at KES.

Arthur was a pupil of the Modern School, studying a primarily scientific, rather than classical, curriculum. Although he was relatively weak at Latin and English, as well as chemistry, his strength lay in mechanics where he placed 2nd in his class.

Arthur was commissioned into the 3rd Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, Special Reserve, as a Second Lieutenant, on 25th September 1915. He transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in 1916 and was killed in action on 13th April 1917 whilst serving with No. 59 Squadron.

In this action, six RE 8s biplanes from No. 59 Squadron left La Bellevue aerodrome at 0815 hours on Friday 13th April 1917 to photograph the line between Quiery-la-Motte and Étaing. All six aeroplanes were shot down in a matter of minutes by the six pilots of German fighter squadron Jasta 11, led by Baron Manfred von Richthofen, also known as ‘The Red Baron’. Arthur and his observer, Second Lieutenant Ormerod, were shot down by Leutnant Kurt Wolff, their plane falling in flames near Vitry-en-Artois at 0856. Arthur’s body was never recovered for burial, but he is commemorated on the Arras Flying Memorial, France.