TADCASTER

EDWARDS Stearne Tighe

Captain Royal Air Force Gave His Life 21/11/1918 Aged 25 AWARDS Distinguished Service Medal and Distinguished Service Cross. Born Franktown Carleton Place Ontario Canada 13/02/1893. Enlisted Ontario Canada. Son of Edwin Dennis and Annie Caroline Tighe. At the outbreak of war it was reported that Stearne walked 200 miles from Port Nelson where he was working as a Railway Construction worker to join up with three of his pals including his best friend Arthur Roy Brown who was credited with shooting down the Red Barron. Stearne joined the Royal Naval Air Service and attended the Wright Brothers flying training school in Dayton Ohio US, where he attained his ACA certificate on the 13/10/1915, and on the 31st was given the rank of Sub-Lieutenant in Otttowa. Stearne was posted in April 1916 to Eastchurch Airfield in Kent this airfield was used by the RNAS for training their pilots in target practice.

  

 Stearne moved around squadrons throughout the war included a posting for a short time with his best friend Arthur Roy Brown, attaining 16 kills to become one of the top Canadian Aces of the war. He was given the DSC being mentioned in the London Gazzette on 17 November 1917 for recognition of services including: "driving an aircraft into the sea and on the same day he attacked three more aircraft inflicting damage to another aircraft shooting its wings off."  Eventually the pressure told on Stearne and in May 1918 he suffered a nervous breakdown and he was sent home to Canada on leave to recouparate and rest.  On the 18/06/1918 in the London Gazzette on the same page as his best friend Arthur Roy Brown, Stearne was awarded the DSC Bar for conspicuous bravery and brilliant leadership of fighting patrols against enemy aircraft. "On the 02/05/1918 Stearne was leading a patrol of four aircraft when they encountered a hostile formation of eight enemy scouts and drove one enemy plane out of control. Soon afterwards Stearne encountered another formation of six enemy aircraft driving one down only breaking off when he ran out of ammunition."

Stearne was posted back to No 38 Training Squadron at Tadcaster Bramham Moor Airfield in October 1918 as a trainer. Thank you to David Hanson for the following information "Captain Edwards was acting as an instructor at Tadcaster, On 12/11/1918 he was spinning in Sopwith Pup B4181 when he recovered too late and struck the ground, receiving serious head injuries. He died at 05.15 on 22/11/1918 in hospital at York". 

 Arthur Roy Brown survived the war and never forgot his best friend dedicating a plaque to Stearne in the Presbyterian Church in Carleton Place Canada, he is also remembered on the Carleton Place War Memorial. Stearne lies in Tadcaster Cemetery (SEE BELOW) near to another airman 2nd Lt E.F.Reynolds who crash landed in the local area around Tadcaster in December 1918.  Laid to Rest Tadcaster England. Memorial Presbetarian Church Carleton Place Canada.

News of Stearnes tragic accident was reported in the Perth Courier Ontario Canada on the 20/12/1918.

 The final resting place of Stearne Tighe Edwards in Tadcaster Cemetery.

"In loving memory of Captain Stearne Tighe Edwards DSC RAF son of Mr and Mrs Edwards, Carleton Place Ontario Canada who died of injuries received on Armistace Day." "A Brave and Gallant Gentleman."

You can find more details of Stearnes life by visiting www.theaerodrome.com click on Aces then by nation click on Canada and go to page two click on Stearnes name details will follow. Or to read about Roy Arthur Brown Stearns best friend who shot down the Red Barron try www.constable.ca/brown.htm (be aware this will take you away from this site )  If you have any pictures or information please contact me .