Thame Remembers 2nd Lieutenant Ethelbert Godwin S Wagner
Ethelbert Godwin Stockwell Wagner was born on 12th March 1893 in Taiping, Perak, part of the Malay Federated States, where his father was a Deputy Commissioner of Police. Upon returning to England, he was admitted to Bedford Modern School, in January 1900, and then from 1904, he was one of a number of Wagner brothers who attended Lord Williams School in Thame.
After leaving school, he went on to medical school at Birmingham University before joining the Royal Engineers, embarking for France on 22nd August 1914. Having attained the rank of corporal, he received a commission into the 1st Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment in August 1915. Subsequently he was attached to the Royal Flying Corps, and after 6 days flying training in MauriceFarman biplanes at 5 Reserve Squadron, Castle Bromwich, Birmingham, he was awarded his flying ticket on 6th September 1916.
Posted for operational duties with 32 Squadron, and flying a DH-2 aircraft, 2nd Lieutenant Wagner was shot down and killed on 7th January 1917 while flying in combat over Beugny in France. He was aged 24. He was the ninth victim of Oberleutnant Erwin Boehme, who went on to become one of Germany’s premier flying aces.
Initially buried in the German cemetery in Beugny, his final resting place is in the Achiet-le-Grand Communal Cemetery Extension, a few miles south of Arras. Remembered in Thame on the Lord Williams’s School Memorial Board, his name is also recorded on the Ipoh War Memorial in Malaysia.
The Thame Remembers Cross was delivered to Achiet-le-Grand Communal Cemetery Extension, Pas de Calais, France on 19th April 2015 by Michael Hutson