John Glaisher
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Group Captain

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Forename (s)

John Malcolm



Award for Gallantry

Distinguished Flying Cross

Citation from the London Gazette

"On May 25th, 1918, while proceeding on a bombing raid, they were attacked from behind by ten enemy scouts near Becordel. Lieutenant King [Glaisher's Observer] opened fire on their leader, who went down, diving vertically, emitting clouds of black smoke, being last viewed still diving vertically at about 500 feet from the ground. After some minutes further fighting, Lieutenant Glaisher was able to fire a long burst at another of the enemy scouts.  This machine fell completely out of control and was last seen in the same plight as his leader. They then proceeded with the raid and dropped their bombs.

They have both carried out work worthy of high merit in reconnoitring, from very low altitudes, the enemy trenches, and have shown invariably a fine spirit of determination."

On War Memorial


On Porch Triptych










How died





Group Captain


Royal Air Force

Unit text




Date of Death


Additional Info

Son of H. C. and Lizzie Glaisher; husband of Nora G. E. L. Glaisher, of Chiddingfold, Surrey. M.A.

Service #


Grave/ Memorial Reference

1. J. 5.



Biographical Info

John Glaisher started his service life in the Army during the Great War, the medal rolls showing him as a Sergeant in the 10th Royal Fusiliers, later commissioned, rising to Lieutenant before being transferred on 17 July 1917 to the RFC. He won his DFC in May 1918 while flying Royal Aircraft Factory RE8 Reconnaissance/Bombers [known as "Harry Tates"] in 6 Squadron. Between the wars he was promoted Flight Lieutenant in July 1925 then the London Gazette records periods during the early 30's when he was placed on half pay as a result of RAF peacetime cut-backs. Later he was promoted to Squadron Leader in October 1935, then Wing Commander in November 1938. His service during WW2 is still unknown but he was promoted to Group Captain in March 1941

On the 19th October 1945, John was being transported home on a Liberator III [Serial number BZ928 a Consolidated B-24D-20-CF Liberator four engined bomber of American manufacture] operated by 144 Maintenance Unit. Taking of from Maison Blanche Airfield just out side Algiers, the flight had been airborne for about 30 minutes when its port outer engine failed. The Pilot (Flight Lieutenant Donald Sclater) turned back for Maison Blanche but while rejoining the landing circuit in a turn to port the plane, heavy with fuel and down on power, stalled and side slipped into the ground, about 5 miles short of the runway, catching fire and exploding on impact. In addition to John, the flight crew of five and nine other passengers [including a Wing Commander and five Squadron Leaders] also died.

The London Gazette lists home at time of death as "Combe House, Winscombe" which is presumably his parents address.

Research Info

Presumably the Winscombe address is his Parents home, where is it ?


The RE8 [above] was the RFC’s standard Reconnaissance/Bomber aircraft and by 1918 was both underpowered and underarmed. The Liberator III [Below] served both with RAF coastal command to hunt U-Boats and in Africa, India and the Far east as a heavy bomber. The plane here is shown in Far East markings as after V-E day, many RAF Liberators were prepared for the final assault on Japan and the red centre was removed from the RAF roundels to prevent confusion with Japanese aircraft.

Liberator III02