Airman 2nd Class 54843 John Thomas Darby Bate

Bate John Thomas 96 419x600

Died Home on Sunday, 4th March 1917, age 20.
Buried in Grave C. Ded. 174A. at Tipton Cemetery, Staffordshire, United Kingdom.

Royal Flying Corps, R.T. Centre.

Son of John Thomas Bate, of 10 Court, 2 House, New Rd., Great Bridge, Tipton.
Born: Unknown, Enlisted: Unknown, Resident: Unknown.

Never served abroad.
Medal entitlement: No medal entitlement.
Airmen's Papers at National Archives survived and transcribed.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/395332/

Genealogical Data

Birth of John Thomas D. Bate registered December quarter 1896 in Dudley.

John Thomas Darby Bate was the son of John Thomas Bate and Sarah Ann Bartley; he was born in December quarter 1896 which was the same quarter in which his parents married. Although his parents can be traced in 1901 living at 140a Toll End Road, Tipton, and in 1911 at 5 Eagle Passage, Tipton, on neither occasion was John living with his parents. On the 1911 Census, his parents stated that they had 5 living children from 9 births, but only 4 were living with them - the fifth presumably being John Thomas Darby. Given the closeness of his birth and his parents' marriage, it is possible he was brought up by another family member.

I was contacted in February 2019 by Donna who took an interest in the 3 Tipton airmen who died in the Great War as she is related to Edward Selwood, one of the 3 airmen. Donna's diligent searching found John Bate living with his grandmother Mary Gibbons in 1911. Mary Bartley married Richard Gibbons in June quarter 1884, Mary had already given birth to a daughter, Sarah Ann Bartley in 1878 - she was John Bate's mother.

1911 Census
57 Alexandra Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Richard Gibbons (52, Puddler, born Tipton), his wife Mary (50, born Tipton), and John Bates (sic) (14, Grandson, born Tipton).

Death of John Thomas Bate registered March quarter 1917 in Cambridge, aged 20.

Personal Data

John enlisted with the Royal Flying Corps on 28th January 1917, he died just 5 weeks later on 4th March 1917. John Bate is commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial as J Bate, the CWGC shows him as JTD Bate.

Action resulting in his death

John died at Eastern General Hospital, Cambridge on 4th March 1917 from Cerebro Spinal Meningitis. He was buried in Tipton Cemetery on 11th March 1917, as he was still serving with the RFC he was entitled to a Commonwealth War Graves headstone.

There were only 3 Tipton casualties in the Royal Flying Corps/Royal Air Force. Strangely all 3 served only in the UK, and all 3 are buried in Tipton Cemetery.

Newspaper Cuttings