The Men from Hyde – William Victor Henry Loveland

Henry was born in Guildford in 1887, son of William and Lizzie Loveland. His family were living in 4 Egbert Road, Hyde by 1916.

Henry emigrated to Canada and was living in 45 Eugene Apartments, Norwood, Manitoba when he decided to enlist on January 20th 1916 in the Canadian Infantry, 38th Manitoba Battalion. On his Attestation Form he gave his height as 5’ 8” , his hair as fair, and his eyes as blue. He declared he had 5 years of military experience in the Wessex Transport ASC.

By early 1917 it is clear the Henry had learned to fly and had been attached to the Royal Flying Corps with the rank of Lieutenant. His base in England seems to have been Hythe.

The Canadian records then him as “killed, rather than missing in action”. The village near which he died was Gouzeaucourt, 10 miles south of Cambria. His body was later exhumed from Equancourt Wood, and now lies in the CWG cemetery of Villers Hill. April 1917 was a particularly dangerous time for an Allied pilot, with the average hours over the battlefield before death reckoned to be less than 18. German Albatros fighters were grouped in Hunting Squadrons and shot down 245 British aircraft in April, killing 211 pilots with another 108 captured. It was not until the Sopwith Camel could be brought into service with fully-trained pilots that the advantage could be regained.

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