St John Mildmay, Bouverie Walter

He was the only son of the Reverend Arundell Glaxtonbury St John Mildmay (C 1872-1875) Vicar of Old Wolverton, Buckinghamshire and Alys, nee Pleydell-Bouverie. He was one of an old Wykehamist family, and a Count of the Holy Roman Empire. He came to Southgate Hill (Du Boulay’s) from Stonehouse, the Reverend W H Churchill’s school in Broadstairs. From childhood he showed a strong mechanical streak and whilst still at school fitted up his home with electric light. He was a member of the OTC.

On leaving Winchester he volunteered for the Royal Flying Corps and became known as a skilful pilot. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in August 1917 and gained his “wings” on 17th October. He trained at South Charlton and then at Castle Bromwich, and was eventually posted to 70 Squadron, RFC, which was then equipped with Sopwith Camel fighter aircraft. On 1st April 1918 his squadron transferred from the RFC to the newly formed Royal Air Force.

St John Mildmay was accidentally killed while flying at Doullens in France on 16th April. His commanding officer wrote to his parents: “We have so far been unable to discover the cause of the accident, because the machine was so broken on reaching the ground. Your son was so young, and such a plucky fellow, that we all took to him at once, and we looked upon him, with a little more experience, as likely to prove one of the best pilots we have ever had in the squadron.”

He is commemorated on the Wolverton War Memorial and also by a plaque in Old Woverton church: To the Glory of God and in loving memory of Bouverie Walter St. John Mildmay 2nd Lieut. 70th Squadron Royal Flying Corps only son of the vicar of this parish who was killed whilst flying at Doullens April 16 1918 aged 19 years buried at Gezaincourt France “Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of thorns” Rev.8.10

Further details of Lieutenant Mildmay’s career can be read here:

War: World War 1

  • Surname: St John Mildmay
  • Forenames or initials: Bouverie Walter
  • House: C
  • Years in School: 1912-1917
  • Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
  • Regiment: Royal Air Force
  • Date of Birth: 25th February 1899
  • Date of Death: 16th April 1918
  • How Died: Killed in flying accident
  • Location in War Cloister: Outer G4
  • Decoration: NA