Church of St Nicholas and St Peter ad Vincula, 6 Church Lane, Curdworth, Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, Warwickshire, B76 9EY
Details on cross:
Wooden propellor Grave Marker with central metal roundell
Engraved in script:
In Memory of
Lt. Sidney Woodrow
Australian Flying Corps
who died in an
Sept 23 1916
Text type: Script
Cross dimensions (millimetres please) : Cross measurements unknown
Sidney Woodrow was born in Buangor in the state of Victoria, Australia in 1886 and settled in Neutral Bay, a suburb of Sydney in New South Wales with his wife Ellie Gertrude. Prior to the outbreak of World One War he had been working within the military. He had served two years with the Royal Australian Artillery followed by another four as a Military Staff Officer within the Australian Imperial Force.
Upon being promoted to Lieutenant on the 6th of January 1916 he joined the no.1 Squadron of the Australian Flying Corps before being subsequently sent overseas to Egypt. He embarked on the HMAT Orsova -A67 (His Majesty’s Australian Transport) from Melbourne on the 16th of March for Egypt. Two of the photographs in full uniform of Lieutenant Woodrow are most likely to have been taken during his time. The Number 1 Squadron would go on to serve in the Middle East, the Sinai, Palestine and Syria throughout the war.
The need for pilots quickly became a priority and within weeks 28 officers from the unit were sent to Britain from Alexandria for Aeronautical training. Due to the short notice of this posting all Officers in the unit were authorised to go overdrawn on their pay in order to pay for their own equipment and thicker clothing that may be needed for flying in a colder climate.
Sidney Woodrow was based in the Aerodrome in Castle Bromwich for training with the 54th Squadron. Sadly, It is here that there was an incident that led to his death. He was last seen flying into the clouds up to a height of 7000 ft in his 1 1/2 Strutter 2 seater Sopwith serial no.7772. Lt. Woodrow was immediately observed to be falling straight down in a nose-dive with the engine still running. An enquiry was held on the 26th September 2016 hearing eye witness accounts. It was concluded as being an aeronautical accident.
Sidney Woodrow is buried in St Nicholas Church, Curdworth near Birmingham. Close to the main path.
5th Jan 1916 – Promoted to Lieutenant.
13th Jan 1916 – Joined no. 1 Squadron of the Australian Flying Corps
16th March 1916 – Embarked at Melbourne for Egypt: ‘HMAT Orsova’ (His Majesty’s Australian Transport)
28th May 1916 – 28 Officers, 195 NCO’s and Aircraftsmen embarked at Alexandria for the UK for instruction in Aviation: ‘HMAT Briton’ (His Majesty’s Australian Transport)
23rd Sept. 1916 – Killed, in an Aeroplane accident in Curdsworth, castle Bromwich nr. Birmingham.
More information available here on the NNWFHS website.
Survey courtesy of Elin Jones, Photo courtesy of History of Birmingham churches
Date of survey: 24/04/17