186468 AC2 Alexander McCaw RAF

186468 AC2 Alexander McCaw RAF 1918

Alexander McCaw was born 7th June 1898 in Randalstown, Country Antrim, Northern Ireland, son of Alexander McCaw and Matilda Hanna. World War 1 was raging in central europe and on 15th April 1918 at the age of 19 Alexander McCaw enlisted in the newly formed Royal Air Force (RAF). On 2nd June 1918 he was posted to RAF Catfirth in the Shetland Islands off the north east cost of Scotland. There he worked at 21 Balloon Base located at Gremista, a little hamlet on the northern edge of Lerwick, 10 miles south of Catfirth. The base was responsible for the supply and maintenance of Kite Balloons, which were used on board Royal Navy ships for extended range observation (an attempt at over-the-horizon reconnaissance) and consisted of a basket attached to the balloon that an officer sat in while aloft. It was used for reconnaissance but also for observing fall of shot in gunnery.

On 14th October 1918 186468 Pte 2 Alexander McCaw was transferred to 7SD an RAF Stores Depot in Mexborough near Doncaster, Yorkshire. On 1st January 1919 186468 Alexander McCaw was reclassified as AC2 Aircraftsman 2nd class / labourer / aircraft hand. 186468 AC2 Alexander McCaw was demobilised / demobbed from the RAF on 9th October 1919 and joined the RAF Reserves.

On 18th August 1920 he married May Teal in Doncaster. It was said that they had met while she was working as a chamber maid at a hotel in Doncaster. He was billeted there whilst working at RFC Doncaster a WW1 aerodrome situated at Doncaster Racecourse. He raised 8 children: Bella, Winifred, Alexander, Kathleen, Sheila, Kenneth, Roy and Michael. Alexander McCaw died at the age of 84 on the 11th July 1982 in Doncaster.

WWI Cap Badged
Royal Flying Corp WW1 Cap Badge Royal Air Force WW1 Cap Badge
Royal Flying Corps
Royal Air Force

If you have any further information regarding: RAF Catfirth, 21 Balloon Base, 7SD or the medal ribbon worn by Alexander McCaw on the photo above please contact me.


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Last updated on: Wednesday, 13 June, 2007 14:54