Lieutenant Alexander Hamilton LOCKLEY

Service No: 1331

Born: Marrickville NSW, 8 May 1898
Enlisted in the Army: 11 October 1916
Unit: No. 4 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps
Died: Air Operations, France, 5 September 1918, Aged 20 Years
Buried: Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez, Arras, Nord Pas de Calais, France
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Edward Lockley, of Ridge Street, Gordon, New South Wales, and the late Margaret Lockley. Born at Sydney
Place of Association: Gordon NSW
Remembered: Panel 188, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Remembered: Gordon Roll of Honour- The Great War 1914-1919, Gordon NSW

The afternoon of September 5th was marked by a very gallant fight by a patrol from No. 4 Squadron, which was defeated and almost destroyed.  Five machines, under Trescowthick (1), had been ordered to co-operate with two formations from other squadrons in a sweep of the Douai area. Through some unfortunate misunderstanding the intended co-operation did not take place, and Trescowthick’s patrol was attacked by three formations of Fokkers at 11,000 feet over Brebieres, south-west of Douai. Trescowthick, leading his force in the orthodox” V “-formation, was flying, therefore, ahead of and below the others. The enemy vastly outnumbered and also had the height of the Australians and attacked from two sides at once. Trescowthick, seeing no support at hand and realising that to accept combat was hopeless, gave the signal to avoid action and dived away, expecting his formation to folIow suit.  It did not.  The four remaining – Taplin (2), Eddie (3), Carter (4), and Lockley (5) – either did not see any signal to break off, or found themselves unable to do so.  At any rate they stayed and met an attack of overwhelming numbers. Lockley was seen by Trescowthick to stall and meet his first oncoming opponent, fire into it from underneath, and send it down out of control. That was the last clear view of the engagement; the four were fighting at a hopeless disadvantage of position, and none of them returned.  Subsequently news was received that all four were shot down, Taplin wounded and taken prisoner, the other three killed.

(1) Lieutenant Norman Charles Trescowthick DFC 1287; Born Clifton Hill VIC, 14 July 1895
(2) Lieutenant Leonard Thomas Eaton Taplin DFC 6994; Born Unley SA 16 December 1895, flying in Sopwith Camel aircraft E1407
(3) Sopwith Camel aircraft E778
(4) Sopwith Camel aircraft B7174
(5) Sopwith Camel aircraft D8136

Extract from Cutlack, F.M. (Frederic Morley) The Australian Flying Corps in the Western and Eastern Theatres of War 1914-8, Angus and Robertson Ltd Sydney, 1941 – Pages 356-7


Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record B2455, LOCKLEY ALEXANDER HAMILTON
National Archives UK RAF Casualty Book AIR 1/969 page 190, 172065
Register of War Memorials in New South Wales On-Line


Richards, E.J. (Edward John) Australian Airmen: History of the 4th Squadron, publisher unknown, c1919

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