Lt Edgar Francis Wanklyn COBBOLD

Born1895 Earls Barton, Northamptonshire
Died1916 Killed flying near Beauchamps, France
FatherRev. Robert Russell COBBOLD (1853 – 1925)
MotherMary Elizabeth (Cora) WANKLYN (1864 – 1936)

Biography and Notes

Like his elder brother he went to Marlborough College arriving in January 1908 and leaving in the summer of 1912 (C3). He was commissioned a Lieutenant in the Cheshire regiment in 1914 but transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in 1915. He died flying near Beauchamps on 12th January 1916 very soon after arriving in France.

He is commemorated in the Memorial Hall at Marlborough, in the church at Earls Barton and on the Royal Flying Corps Memorial in the Army Museum of Flying.

Another memorial in the church at Hitcham reads as follows:

Enter thou into the joy of the Lord.
Edgar Francis Wanklyn Cobbold, 7th Battn. Cheshire Regiment and The Royal Flying Corps. Fell January 12th 1916. Resting at Harbourdin, Aged 20.

Anthony Cobbold
August 2013
With assistance from the archivist at Marlborough College.

A book by Serge Comini, President of the Association 'Abbaye de Beaupre, Etude et Sauvegarde du Site (La Gorge, Nord)' published in 2018 tells the extraordinary story of the 300 airmen who passed through a military aerodrome, first temporary and later permanent, on the site of the 13th century Cistercian Abbey of Notre-Dame de Beaupre-sur-la-Lys (La Gorgue, northern France) during World War I.
One such airman was Edgar Francis Wanklyn Cobbold. After schooling at King's School, Ely and Marlborough College, Wiltshire, Edgar was commissioned into the 7th Bn. the Cheshire Regiment on 25th of March 1914. He transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in 1915 and obtained his pilot's licence (no.1149) in February that year having trained on a Maurice Farman Biplane at the Central Flying School, Upavon, Wiltshire. On 14th April he was promoted 2nd. Lt. (Temp. Lt.) and Flying Officer. Only 2 days later he was posted to No. 8 Squadron and a month after that to No. 10 Squadron for further training. By October 22nd 1915 Edgar was flying with No. 20 Squadron but on 3rd December 1915 he embarked for France as a member of No. 16 Squadron. On 12th January Edgar and Lt. Charles Valentine Geary Field were on a reconnaissance mission following enemy artillery on board BE.2c. No.1712 at an altitude of about 4,000 ft. when their aircraft was attacked by enemy anti-aircraft fire. Despite trying to avoid the fire by banks and dives their plane was hit, exploded and burst into flames. The two pilots were seen to fall from the burning plane and their death was confirmed by the International Committee of the Red Cross on 26th January that year. They died at Ligny. Edgar is buried at Cabaret-Rouge British cemetery, Souchez

Life Events


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