MILITARY CROSS, G.V.R.; 1914-15 STAR ‘26843 SPR. T.C. LOWE R.E.’, BRITISH WAR AND VICTORY MEDALS ‘CAPT. T.C. LOWE R.A.F.’
M.C. London Gazette 16.9.1918 Lt. (T./Capt.) Thomas Clelland Lowe, R.E. and R.A.F.
'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in carrying out numerous successful reconnaissance’s and taking a large number of successful photographs, on several occasions driving off enemy aircraft. He has repeatedly carried out long reconnaissance’s, showing great determination in overcoming difficulties and completing his duty. When attacked by seven enemy aeroplanes he and his observer engaged them and drove one down out of control.'
Thomas Clelland Lowe an electrician from Cambuslang, Glasgow, was born on 28 May 1892 and enlisted into the Royal Engineers as a sapper on 12 August 1914. Initially serving with 5th Company, he was posted to France on 30 April 1915 and was recommended for a Commission in a tunnelling company on 25 February 1916. He was discharged on being appointed to a Commission on 12 March (LG 30/3/16) and posted to 250th Tunnelling Company, serving with this unit on the Western Front until 12 November 16 when he joined the Royal Flying Corps as an Observer (on probation). A copy of the War diary for 250th Company in 1916 is included with the research. This mentions Lowe a number of times.
Posted to 9 Squadron R.F.C in mid November 1916, on 23 January 1917, he and his pilot; 2nd Lieut. J.G. Kidd, flying BE2e 7163 were credited with a victory over a Halberstadt , which was reported to have burst info flames and dived to earth 1 Km West of Combles. According to the combat report:
“Whilst calling up our battery to do artillery observation, one E.A. passed over us at about 800 feet distance. Our anti-aircraft guns were firing all round the machine and he turned to bank towards his own lines. As he turned, observer opened fire and fired nearly a double drum of tracer ammunition which seemed to enter his machine. Two minutes afterwards he burst into flames and dived to earth. The double drum works splendidly”.
Copies of the Squadron Record book (up to Jan 1917) and detailed article on 9 Squadron, both included with the research, noting various other combats Lowe was involved in. Lowe was Gazetted as Flying Officer (Observer) on 9 March 1917 and served with 9 Squadron until June 1917. He then trained as a pilot, completing his training; he was appointed Flying Officer with 51 Wing, serving on the Italian Front from 23 January 1918.
Lowe was appointed Temporary Captain and given command of 'Z' Flight (Bristol Fighters), on its formation in March 1918. Initially operating as a flight with 28 Squadron (Sopwith Camels). 'Z' Flight, consisting of 6 pilots and six observers,………………….
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Condition NEF, Sold with a very large quantity of comprehensive research, including; Complete RE and RAF service records, medal rolls and MIC, copy Gazettes and recommendations, combat reports, Copies of recon photographs taken by Lowe in Italy, copies of Squadron Record books, War diary for 250th Company, article from Cross and Cockade about 9 Squadron, others on air service on the Italian front. Also a copy of ‘Offensive Patrol’ and other research.
A very fine gallantry group awarded to a Tunneller, who flew as an Observer and then a Pilot with the RFC and RAF, commanding a special flight on the Italian Front, claiming two aerial victories before being wounded in action. Ex Spink 2004.