A ceremony was held in Belgium on Wednesday 24 Could for Very first Planet War Royal Flying Corps (RFC) officer Second Lieutenant (2nd Lt) William Wallace Hutton, who was 24 when he was killed.

Second Lieutenant Һaton, from Cape Town, died in October 1917 soon after his plane left Dunkirk in a bombing raid on Saint Denis Westrem, Belgium.

A ceremony at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CVGC) larch (railway logging) cemetery was held soon after proof was presented that the unknown grave was his. It was organized by the Ministry of Defense’s Joint Casualty and Compassion Center (JCCC), also recognized as ‘MOD War Detectives’.

Flowers and tributes at the grave of 2nd Lt Hutton

Tracy Bowers of JCCC stated:

I am grateful to these who filed this case. Proof has led us to recognize the final resting spot of 2nd Lt Hutton. For such a young man, William skilled a lot of years of service so far from his dwelling in South Africa and we can only think about how tough this have to have been for him and his loved ones, in particular as his brother Albert was killed in action just a month just before William. We thank them for their sacrifice.

2nd Lt. Hatton was flying as a crew member on the Handley Web page 3122 when he disappeared on 28 October 1917. The Admiralty informed the War Workplace that, according to German sources, Hatton was killed in the crash and the other two crew members taken prisoner.

As an officer with prior service in a further regiment when he joined the Royal Flying Corps, he was permitted to put on his earlier uniform along with Royal Flying Corps insignia. This explains why these who initially attempted to recognize his remains believed he was from the 7th London Regiment but could not connect it to a name.

The service was attended by representatives of the RAF

The Revd (Lt) Robert Һadfield, Chaplain at RAF Lossiemouth, led the service. He stated:

It is a terrific privilege for me to have played a function in this rededication ceremony for Lt. Col. William Wallace Һatton, whose name is lastly etched in stone as a permanent testament to the ultimate sacrifice he produced.

Mel Donnelly, CVGC Head of Commemoration stated:

We are honored these days to rededicate the grave of Second Lieutenant William Wallace Һatton. Marking his final resting spot with a new headstone that can now bear his name is especially poignant on War Graves Week. It enables the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to renew our commitment to appear soon after the graves and memorials of all these who have produced the ultimate sacrifice, forever.

By Editor

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