Donald Walter Bryce Black

Date of birth: October 1892
Place of birth: Poplar, London
Service No.: 110009
Rank: Second Lieutenant
Regiment: Royal Flying Corps
Battalion: Not known
Died: 3rd January 1918 aged 25 years
Death location: Norfolk


Life Before The War
Donald was the youngest of 3 siblings born to Hugh and Flora, nee McDonald, who married on 31st August 1885 in Poplar.

Hugh was a Marine Engineer, born in Scotland in 1861 he died on 3rd December 1916 in Southampton.  Flora was also born in Scotland, in 1860.  She died in Southampton in 1914.

Donald’s older siblings were:

Margaret Flora M.D.   b.1886 Poplar and d.1966 Winchester.
Married George Gear in Southampton in 1909.

William Hugh b.6th August 1888 Scotland and died 26th February 1918. War casualty.  To read more of William’s story please select the link to his name.

In 1891 Hugh and Flora were living at 9 Harrup Street, Poplar, with their two older children.  In the census of 1901 Donald was living with his mother and siblings at 97 Abbott Road, Bromley.

Prior to enlistment Donald was an Accountant. Donald married Lilian May Moody in Southampton in June 1917.  Sadly Donald never saw his daughter who was born after his death:

Donalda Mary   b.1918 Southampton and d.2004 Epsom.
Married Basil M. Gow in Surrey in 1946.

Following Donald’s death Lilian remarried to John Victor Line in 1921 in Southampton. They lived in Surrey and Lilian passed away in 1994.


War service
Donald enlisted on 4th April 1917.  He transferred to the School of Aeronautics and held the rank of Second Lieutenant in the Royal Flying Corps. He was based at Norwich Aerodrome, where he was presumably in training for a possible transfer to the Western Front.  One day a plane he was flying solo caught fire in the air; he is known to have lost consciousness before the plane hit the ground. He died on 3rd January 1918 at Thorpe Saint Andrew in Norfolk.

Donald’s probate was on 7th June 1918 in Winchester, it reads:
Donald Walter Bryce of Alma Road, Southampton – second lieutenant  Royal Flying Corps, died 3rd January 1918 at Thorpe Saint Andrew Norfolk . Probate was given to William  Frederick Steele, Shipping Clerk £666 5s 8d.   

Donald attended Trinity College Cambridge and is remembered on their War Memorial:
Black Donald Walter Bryce 2nd Lieutenant, Royal Flying Corps. Died 3rd January 1918 aged 25. Son of Hugh and Flora Black; husband of Lilian. M. Black ,nee Moody. Buried at Southampton Old Cemetery, Hampshire.

He is buried at Southampton Old Cemetery, Grave Ref. 48.G.100

UTW BLACK,Donald Walter Bryce   2nd Lieutenant

Researcher: Brenda White
Published: June 2014
Updated: Mark Heritage, 3rd May 2015

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