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The following notes were supplied by Martin King (1955 - 1962) who writes:-
Attached is the information that I have on A.S.Hett. It is derived mainly from files in the National Archives, and the London Gazette.

ASH tried to teach me French from my time in 3Y until 5UY, after which I failed my "O"-level. (I passed a resit at Christmas, after one term with someone else!). He was my form master when I was in 4Y, and again in 5UY.

Allan Stanley Hett

(Although his father referred to him as Allan, ASH personally signed himself as Alan)

BA S Hettorn 14th February 1898
Lived at “Redholme”, Brigg, Lincolnshire
Parents Henry and Mary Hett. Father was a Solicitor

Education:- Stancliffe Hall Preparatory School, Matlock, Derby  January 1911 – August 1912
Uppingham School, Rutland  September 1912 – April 1916

18th January 1916.
Father wrote to War Office to state that ASH had given his name to the War Office on January 10th, and had been medically examined at  the time. Was it true that he could not apply for a Commission in the Flying Corps until he was aged 18½. He needed to know in order to decide when ASH would leave school.

30th January 1916
War Office replied that 18 was the eligible age for the RFC, but there was a long waiting list.

April 11th 1916
Mother wrote to the War Office to state that ASH had now been conscripted, and was to enlist on May 10th. Was it still possible for him to join the RFC, as he had already passed the medical and sent in an application.

April 18th 1916
A report by the Commanding Officer of the Uppingham School Officers Training Corps informs us that ASH had left the Corps on April 6th as a Lance Corporal. He had qualified at Musketry in 1913, had attended annual Camp in 1913 and 1914, but did not possess Certificate A.
As to his General efficiency – “He has not shown very marked ability as a leader”.
He had been in the 1st XV Rugby Football and 3rd XI Cricket.
A confidential note attached to this report states:
“With reference to attached application on behalf of Acting L. Corporal A. S. Hett, although he is fully qualified by birth, and educational and athletic attainments to apply for a Commission, I am unable to state that his work in the Uppingham School Contingent, O.T.C. was sufficiently satisfactory to warrant my personal recommendation in respect of that part of his School training.”

April 20th 1916
ASH wrote personally to the War Office to see if he could join the RFC. Failing that he would join the Oxford Cadet Corps.

15th May 1916
Letter from the War Office tells ASH that he has been selected for appointment as 2nd  Lieutenant  on probation to the Royal Flying Corps, Special Reserve. He is to present himself to Christ’s Church College, Oxford, on 27th May 1916. Notification to appear in the London Gazette.

27th May 1916
2nd Lt. on probation (London Gazette 30/5/16)

1st June 1916
Posted to No.5 Reserve Squadron.

3rd July 1916
Posted to No.15 Reserve Squadron.

4th July 1916
Gained Royal Aero Club Aviators Certificate at Military School, Birmingham. Certificate taken on a Maurice Farman Biplane

13th July 1916
Posted to No.55 Squadron for Higher Instruction in Aviation.

25th July 1916
Now in 55 Squadron, based at Lilbourne, near Rugby.
While practising dual control of an aircraft, Type BE2d, No.5838, ASH was injured in an accident. The plane, piloted by Lt. G.S. Rogers was “stalled” in an attempt to regain control after an engine failure. ASH suffered a fracture to the base of the skull, and a double fracture of the lower jaw, with loss of teeth. Temporary dental splints were fitted to straighten out the lower jaw.
Lt. G.S. Rogers was killed in a mid-air collision on 10th August 1916

17th August 1916
Result of Medical Board held in Lincoln
“He has recovered from the first disability. He has the lower jaw in a metal splint both outside and inside, and the fractures are uniting.
Unfit General Service for a period of 3 months, unfit Home Service 2 months, and unfit light duty 6 weeks.
Leave granted until 1/10/16”

16th September 1916
A letter from the dentist.
“7, Market Place, Brigg
Dear Sir,
A patient of mine 2nd Lt A.S.Hett of 8th Wing RFC had a bad fall at Rugby about 7 weeks ago and fractured the base of his skull and the ramous and mental process of his lower jaw. His upper front teeth were knocked out and as far as I can judge from his appearance now the alveolar margin was split and the anterior edge driven upwards. A dental splint was fitted to the lower jaw a fortnight after the accident and the lower jaw straightened to some extent under an anaesthetic. This has now come out.
I am afraid there will be considerable difficulty in fitting him with a denture. Can you tell me what steps he ought to take about this? I applied to York but they tell me there that he belongs to the southern Command. His home is here so it would be convenient if he could go somewhere in this district.
Yours very truly
Walter S. Frith”

2nd October 1916
Result of Medical Board held in Lincoln
“He has now no symptoms of his first disability. The fractures of the lower jaw are firmly united and in good position.
Unfit General Service for a period of 2 months, unfit Home Service 1 month, and unfit light duty 3 weeks. The Board recommend this officer be granted three weeks sick leave.”

23rd October 1916
Result of Medical Board held in Lincoln.
“He has completely recovered from his disability. The Board consider this Officer fit for Service at Home.
Unfit for General Service 1 month”

21st December 1916
Result of Medical Board held at Adastral House (Kingsway, London)
“He is fit for home service.
Unfit General Service for a period of 1 month, but fit for Home Service.”

25th January 1917
Result of Medical Board at Adastral House.
“He has now no symptoms
Unfit General Service for a period of 1 month, but fit for Home Service.”

29th January 1917
Promoted to Flying Officer (London Gazette 20/2/17)

1st February 1917
Posted to No.55 Reserve Squadron

11th March 1917
Employed as Ferry Pilot, Coventry Air Acceptance Park

19th March 1917
Called for Medical Board, result unknown

April 17th 1917
Result of Medical Board at Air Board Office.
“He has had no symptoms since October 23rd 1916.
P. good. Balancing good
Non-smoker
Should try heights of 12,000 to 15,000 ft prior to posting.”

May 19th 1917
Granted 2 weeks sick leave as he is suffering from nerve shock

May 30th 1917
Result of Medical Board at Air Board Office.
“Since the last Board, he has had another aeroplane accident, in which he was stunned for a few seconds, but otherwise not damaged. Now suffers from headaches.
To be re-boarded on completion of leave as to flying capabilities.
Fit with 3 weeks leave.”

1st July 1917
Promoted to Lieutenant (London Gazette 15/9/17)

July 7th 1917
Result of Medical Board at Air Board Office.
“He has recovered. Fit”

25th October 1917
Posted to Lympne, Kent, Air Acceptance Park

22nd February 1918
Posted to E.T.B. No.4 Training Squadron

4th March 1918
Posted to No.4 Training Squadron as Asst Instr

5th April 1918
Posted to 123 Squadron as Assistant Instructor

7th November 1918
Posted to 119 Squadron

18 November 1918

On this date ASH became ill with Influenza and Pneumonia.
On February 17th 1919 he was given 2 weeks leave, and to await posting on his return.

March 7th 1919
Transferred to Unemployed List

He was just 21 years old!

9th August 1919
Received letter stating that he had been over-issued with Flying Pay for the period 17.2.19 – 6.3.19. Requested that he should send a cheque for £7-4-0 to repay this.

10th October 1919
Cheque received at Air Ministry

During his time in the Royal Flying Corps, and Royal Air Force after 1st April 1918, ASH flew the following types of aeroplane:

BE.2e
BE.2c
BE.2b
BE.12
BE.12a
RE.8
Bristol Scout
Sopwith Pup
Sopwith Camel
Sopwith Dolphin
Bristol Fighter
SE5
DH.4
DH.5
AW’s
FE.2b
FE.2d

It would appear that ASH never actually flew in combat, although he may have delivered aeroplanes to France from Lympne, in Kent.

Contribution from Robin Thirlway:-

Alan Hett - the present comments I feel are too severe. In his Obituary in the Wycombiensian, I recall the comment “He did not need to be with his class to be in charge of it - merely on his way to it.” That was certainly true but his lessons were always only 50% French and his commentary on civilised behaviour and day to day matters I found interesting. At Easter 1949 he took seven of us on a bicycle tour from Dieppe, Rouen, Vernon, Paris, Noyon, Beauvais, Neufchatel, and back to Dieppe - a thoroughly enjoyable trip 


 

 




 


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