Air Mechanic 2nd Class
Frederick Samuel Firth


About Frederick Samuel

  • Name
    Frederick Samuel
  • Initials
  • Surname
  • Date of Birth
    25 December 1897
  • Birth town
  • Resided town
  • Commemorated
  • Nationality
  • Place of death
  • Date of death
  • Married
  • Occupation
    Engineering Fitter

Service Information

  • Army

  • Service Number
  • Rank
    Air Mechanic 2nd Class
  • Regiment
    Royal Flying Corps


Frederick Samuel Firth was born in Grimsby, Lincolnshire on 25 December 1897 to Samuel, a sea captain and Florence (nee Spindley).  Frederick was an only child.  In 1901, Frederick, aged three was living at 147 Willingham Road, Clee, Grimsby with his mother Florence M (24).  Frederick attended Edward Street Senior Boys School from May 1906 to September 1911, when he left to attend Clee Boys Grammar School.  In 1911, he was living with his mother at 456 Weelsby Street, Clee, Grimsby.  His father is not on either the 1901 or 1911 census, but as a sea captain, he may have been at sea.

Frederick enlisted as a 2nd Air Mechanic with the Royal Flying Corps on 12 May 1916. He was promoted to 1st Air Mechanic in December 1916 and Acting Corporal in November 1917. He transferred to the Royal Air Force as Corporal Mechanic on 1 April 1918, and was discharged on 4 May 1918.

When Frederick passed through Peterborough East Station on 14 October 1916 he was stationed at Aircraft Park, Chelsea.  He wrote in the visitors’ book “per ardua ad astra”, which translates as “through adversity to the stars” and is the motto of the Royal Air Force.

Frederick married Annie Welham at Roundhay, Leeds on 10 October 1925.  He was living at 26 Camberley Street, Leeds and gave his occupation as motor engineer.  From his marriage certificate his father, Samuel was described as a retired sea captain.  Frederick and Annie had two daughters, Joan (1926) and Mavis (1930).

In 1939, Frederick and Annie are living with their two daughters at 15 Jessamine Avenue, Leeds.  Frederick is a garage proprietor and motor engineer.  His parents are living at 3 Jessamine Avenue and his father is a garage labourer, maybe working with his son. Frederick died in Leeds in 1970, aged 72.

Do you recognise Frederick’s story?  Can you tell us more?

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