|Flying Officer Lionel Edward Ruggles FISHER MC|
No. 6 (Army Co-operation) Squadron, Royal Air Force
Date of birth: 29th January 1897
Date of death: 9th January 1928
Killed on active service aged 30
|Lionel Edward Ruggles Fisher was born at Falkland House, Long Melford in Suffolk on the 29th of January 1897 the only son of Lionel George Fisher, a solicitor, of Falkland House, Long Melford and Florence Jane (nee Meakin later Carlile) Fisher later of 19 Glebe Place, Chelsea and of 29 Dover Street, London.
He was educated at Lancing College where he was in Heads House from September 1911 to July 1913. He was a member of the Officer Training Corps.
He embarked at London on board the SS "Scotian" on the 30th of April 1914 bound for Canada and settled as a rancher near Calgary in Alberta. Following the outbreak of war he enlisted at Halifax, Nova Scotia as Private No. 4 in the 63rd Regiment (Halifax Rifles) on the 28th of November 1914. On his attestation form he moved his date of birth back by one year in order not to be considered as underage. At a medical examination, which had been held on the previous day, it was recorded that he was five feet seven and a half inches tall, that he weighed 130lbs and that he had a fresh complexion, blue eyes and light brown hair. He was transferred to the 2nd Canadian Divisional Cycle Company and landed in England where he served at Shorncliffe. He was promoted to Lance Corporal.
He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 3/4th Battalion Hampshire Regiment on the 28th of May 1915 and embarked at Bombay on board HT "Torilla" on the 26th of March 1916, landing at Basra on the 1st of April where he joined the 1/4th Battalion of his regiment in the field on the 16th of April 1916. He was appointed as Battalion Transport Officer on the 20th of June 1916.
On the 24th of February 1917 the 1/4th Battalion Hampshire Regiment was ordered to attack Turkish positions at the Shumran Bend on the River Tigris. They advanced at 6.15am and covered some 3,000 yards culminating in the capture of a ridge at 7.30am. After beating off a number of Turkish counterattacks their gains were consolidated by the end of the day. Lionel Fisher was wounded during this attack and was admitted to 21 Field Ambulance with shrapnel wounds to the cheeks and lips. He returned to the battalion later in the day.
He was awarded the Military Cross, which was announced in the London Gazette of the 25th of August 1917 and he was mentioned in Sir Stanley Maude's despatches of the 15th of August 1917. He went to India on leave on the 5th of May 1917 and returned from Bombay, embarking on board HT "Tigra" on the 26th of June 1917 and landing at Basra on the 2nd of July. He rejoined in battalion in the field at Baqubah on the 27th of July 1917. He was promoted to Lieutenant on the 1st of July 1917.
On the 2nd of October 1917 he applied for a permanent commission in the 3rd (King's Own) Hussars and he was granted a commission in the regular army with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant in the regiment on the 15th of March 1918, with seniority from the 28th of May 1915. From the 3rd to the 29th of August 1918 he commanded a detachment of troops which occupied Baku. On the 17th of November 1918 he joined the 14th Hussars at Kastin and left for England via Baku on the 18th of December 1918. He embarked for France for service with the 3rd Hussars on the 1st of April 1919.
He resigned his commission in order to return to his ranch as it had been neglected in his absence. He retired to the Royal Air Force Reserve of Officers on the 10th of July 1919. He later decided to re-join the service and was commissioned as a Pilot Officer on probation in the Royal Air Force on a short service commission on the 8th of May 1926 and was posted to Iraq, based near Mosul. He was confirmed in the rank of Pilot Officer on the 8th of November 1926 and was promoted to Flying Officer on the 8th of November 1927.
On the 9th of January 1928 he took off from Hinaidi Airfield near Baghdad as the pilot of a Bristol Fighter aircraft to carry the service mail to Mosul. The aircraft crashed killing him and fatally injuring his passenger, Lieutenant Sidney Gordon Haserick, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry attached 2nd Battalion Iraqi Levies, who died from a fractured skull later the same day.