John Frederick William Akers (Ha. 1912-14)


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Lieutenant, Royal Sussex Regiment, attached R.F.C
Born: March 16th 1899
Died: July 20th 1917

Age at Death: 18

Shot down and killed over Ostende, Belgium, July 20th 1917

Son of William D. Akers of Brighton.

Grave reference A19 Ostende New Communal Cemetery, Belgium

A donation to the memorial statue has been made in honour of this soldier by Scott & Sandra Clark.

To the boys who gave their lives so that our boys and girls can live their dreams.

John Frederick Akers
Frederick Akers was born on 15th March 1898 in Bath, Somerset. He was the elder son and second child of William Akers, a surgeon, and his wife Eleanor (nee Powell). At the College Akers was a member of the OTC but left in 1914 aged 16 to join the Territorial Force in which he was initially attached to the 1/6th Cyclist Battalion, Sussex Regiment which was stationed in Norfolk throughout the war. On December 22nd 1914 he received a temporary commission aged just 16.

However when he turned 18 Akers, applied for a transfer to the RNAS and on receiving his Aviator’s Certificate on 1st May 1917 was commissioned as a Flight Officer in the Royal Navy. He was attached to 4th Squadron based at Bray-Dunes and Teteghmem, Northern France. The Squadron was by 1917 equipped with Sopwith Camel fighters and was responsible for patrolling the skies above the channel coasts, including behind enemy lines in occupied Belgium. On the 20th July 1917, very shortly after he started his service with 4th Squadron, his aircraft was shot down and he was killed while flying over German occupied Oostende.

His grave is in Oostende Communal Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

Source: LEST WE FORGET PROJECT, Brighton College 2014/15

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