Flight Cadet Owen Drewitt
Thank you to Bernice Forsyth and Mary Day from Capel Local History Group for allowing Dorking Museum to publish their research, and thank you to Lenka Cathersides for additional information.
Owen Drewitt was born on the 10th of April 1897 in Normandy, Surrey to farm bailiff William Wenham Drewitt and Eva Annie Drewitt nee Cole. He was baptised on the 30th of May 1897 at St Nicholas church, Pyrford, Surrey. The family lived in Wyke, Surrey
At the time of the 1901 Census, Eva Annie Drewitt and her son Owen were staying with her brother, farm bailiff, John Cole at Lady Place Farm, Pyrford, Surrey.
On the 20th of September 1909 Owen Drewitt was admitted into the Dorking High School for Boys, from Capel Church of England School. At the time of his admission the family lived at Hill House Farm, Beare Green, Dorking. Owen’s father William was still working as a farm bailiff. He left the Dorking High School for Boys on the 3rd of April 1912 to take up farming.
At the time of the 1911 Census, the family were still living at Hill House Farm. William was working as a steward and Eva was at home. The household further comprised of their son Owen and a servant. The accommodation had seven rooms.
From June 1913 to the 15th of June 1916 Owen Drewitt worked as an engineer’s assistant/turner at Gillett Stephen & Co, Atlas Works, Bookham, Surrey. They were manufacturers of aircraft components etc. (http://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Gillett,_Stephen_and_Co)
On the 6th of March 1917 Owen attested into the Royal Flying Corps. He joined for 4 years with the Colours and 4 years with the Reserve. The Royal Flying Corps was part of the British Army until 1918. His service number was: 64414. At the time of his attestation he lived at Hill House Farm. He had a fresh complexion, brown hair and grey eyes.
From the 19th or 20th of February 1918 Owen trained with No 3 Officer Cadet Wing in Aboukir, near Alexandria, Egypt. On the 21st of January 1918 Owen was posted for training at No 1 Officer Cadet Wing, St Leonards on Sea. Then he progressed through the flying training programme in Egypt.
On the 25th of March 1918 he became ill with measles.
The Royal Flying Corps merged with the Royal Naval Air Service on the 1st of April 1918 to form the Royal Air Force.
On the 9th of August 1918 Owen began his flight training at the No 3 School of Military Aeronautics, in Heliopolis, Egypt. Owen graduated as a Flight Cadet on the 1st of September 1918. He had also practical experience in the manufacture of aero engines and aeroplane fittings.
At the time of his death Flight Cadet Owen Drewitt was part of the 20th Training Wing, RAF in Egypt.
He was killed in a flying accident on the 21st of November 1918 in Alexandria, Egypt.
He is buried at the Alexandria (Hadra) War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt. His grave reference number is: B.95. His headstone bears the inscription: ‘Son of W. W. & E. A. Drewitt of Capel, Surrey, England Thy Will be Done’.
Owen Drewitt received the British War and Victory medals.
Drewitt Family History
Owen’s father William Wenham Drewitt was born in the 4th quarter of 1868 in Bromley, Surrey to farmer, brickmaker and farm bailiff William Drewitt, born about 1842 in Guildford, Surrey and Harriet Catherine Drewitt, born about 1845 in Arrington, Cambridgeshire. William was baptised on the 6th of December 1868 at Holy Trinity church, Bromley, Surrey. At the time of the baptism the family lived in Bromley and William Drewitt was a farmer.
Owen’s mother Eva Annie Cole was born on the 30th of July 1868 in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey to farmer John Cole, born about 1815 in Ashford, Middlesex and Annie Cole. Eva was baptised on the 13th of September 1868 at St Mary’s church, Walton–on-Thames, Surrey. At the time of the baptism the family lived in. At the time of the 1891 Census, Eva was working as an assistant dressmaker of dressmaker Laura Ovenden at 14 Dacre Park, London.
William married Eva, by Banns, on the 21st of November 1894 at St Nicholas church, Pyrford, Surrey. At the time of their marriage William was working as a farm bailiff and lived in Wyke, Surrey. Eva lived in Pyrford.
At the time of the 1901 Census, Owen’s father William Wenham Drewitt lived at Westwood, Normandy, Surrey. At this time William Wenham was working as a farm bailiff.
The 1919, Surrey, England, Electoral Register reads that Owen’s father William Wenham Drewitt lived at Hill House Farm, Beare Green, Dorking, Surrey.
William Wenham Drewitt of Binton Farm, the Sands, Seale, Farnham, Surrey died on the 30th of June 1925. He left £1799, 13s and 6d in the Probate.
Born Normandy, Surrey
Lived Capel, Surrey
Son of William and Eva Drewitt
Regiment 22nd Squadron, Royal Air Force
Date of Death 21st November 1918
Place of Death Egypt
Cause of Death Killed in Action
Cemetery Hadra Cemetery, Alexandria, Egypt