Richard Applin

Richard Applin ©

Date of birth: 3rd June 1894
Place of birth: Wiltshire
Date of marriage: 1916
Place of marriage: Southampton
Service No.: Not known
Rank: Second Lieutenant
Regiment: Royal Flying Corps
Battalion: 19th Squadron General List
Died: 29th April 1917 aged 22 years
Death location: France




This photograph is © Richard Taunton Sixth Form College.  Southampton Cenotaph Families and Friends Group have received permission to reproduce this photograph and extracts from the narrative on the Old Tauntonians’ online War Memorial:

Please do not reproduce the photograph or any wording from this page.  If you want permission to use this photograph or narrative please contact the College on


Life before the War
Richard left a probate naming his wife Margaret Hannah as Administrator:

 “Applin Richard of 27 Westridge Road Southampton second lieutenant general list R.F.C. died 29 April 1917 France. Administration Winchester 18 February 1920 to Margaret Hannah Applin widow. Effects £123 8s 6d”

After researching both the 1901 and 1911 census details, there was no trace of this person, therefore no family details can be confirmed.


War Service
From the Supplement to the London Gazette dated 14th September 1916, it mentions that as from 5th September 1916 Richard was made temporary second lieutenant on probation. He was serving at the Inns of Court, Officer Training Corps.

Highfield School – Richard attended this school and as an “old boy” a biography of his life and war service was published as follows:

Inscriptions – Name recorded on the Bitterne War Memorial and the Southampton Cenotaph.

His name was also found in the Highfield School head teacher’s log listed as an old boy, lost during World War 1. His name can be found on the Highfield School Roll of Honour.

Richard Applin was a Second Lieutenant, with the 19th Squadron, Royal Flying Corps and General List. On the Highfield School Roll of Honour he was serving in the Inns of Court, OTC.

Richard Applin married Margaret Hannah Brown, Oct-Dec 1916, Southampton, Vol. 2c, page 18.

His medal card showed that he went missing in action on 29 April 1917 and declared deceased. His next of kin was Mrs R. Applin (widow), Common Road, Chandlers Ford, Southampton. His address for probate was given as 27 Westridge Road, Southampton.

Arras Flying Services Memorial

Arras Flying Services Memorial

British Build SPAD SVII of the RFC

British Build SPAD SVII of the RFC

He was the pilot of the 49th plane downed by the Red Baron, Manfred von Richtofen and the
is recalled in his autobiography. It took place on a day now nicknamed “Bloody Sunday”
as the Baron and his brother shot down 6 British planes over Arras. 2nd Lt. Applin was the first that day. His plane had already been damaged by the Baron but in a second attack the wings broke off and the plane, on fire, fell into the ground.  He was flying a Spad VII, a single seater, fighter bi-plane, said to one of the best fighters in World War 1. The UK had 185 of these aircraft.

He was 22 when he died.

 The Commonwealth War Graves Commission indicates that there is no known grave. He is commemorated on Arras Flying Services Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.


Tauntons Memorial Window

Tauntons Memorial Window

Old Tauntonians’ Memorial Roll

Time at Taunton’s School: 1907 – 1912

Education and Employment: Richard was born on 3rd June 1894 in Wiltshire.  By 1901 his family were living in Woolston and in 1910 he achieved Matriculation standard in the senior school exam – the only boy to do so with honours that year.

Life during the war: Richard leaned to fly in England, completing his advanced training at the Central Flying School in Upavon.

He married Margaret Hannah Brown in Southampton in 1916 and their home was on Common Road in Chandlers Ford.

He served with the 19th squadron of the Royal Flying Corps and General List in France and attained the rank of Second Lieutenant.  He was shot down by an enemy plane and declared dead as a result of being missing in action.

Richard died on 29th April 1917 aged 23years

Note: There are many in depth references to the attack that killed Richard on the Old Tauntonians’ website.


Researcher: Becky Lonergan
Published: 19th July 2015
Updated: Insert dates here

If you have any additional information about the person named above please complete the Comments section below.

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