Freeman, Russell Herbert


Born the fifth of eight children of William Robert and Anne Freeman of 103 Westbourne Terrace, London, and brother of Alan Gurth Freeman (C 1911-1916). His father was a building and stone contractor, whose family had been quarry owners near Halifax. His grandfather moved south to become a partner in Mowlen, Freeman and Burt, a building firm associated with many important London building projects. Russell Freeman entered Mr. Cook’s House from the Reverend F.G. Page’s school at Eastbourne, was a House Prefect and a member of O.T.H. XV. On leaving Winchester he paid a short visit to Germany before going up to Christ Church, Oxford to read Medicine.

On the outbreak of war he was gazetted to the 3rd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment. He went to France on January 1st 1915, and was invalided home with paratyphoid in the spring of that year. On his recovery he joined the Royal Flying Corps and served in Egypt, winning the M.C., the Croix de Guerre with palms and was mentioned in Despatches.

He returned to England in June 1917 and was appointed instructor at the Central Flying School, with the rank of Squadron-Commander. A few months later he returned to France. On July 21st 1918, whilst flying a Sopwith Camel, he was in combat with an enemy aircraft but was thought to be safe. He was last seen flying in the direction of Belleau on the Marne.  A Camel was claimed in combat at Fere-En Tardenlois that day by Lt H. Von Bulow of Jasta 36. From the records it is unclear how or when his body was recovered although the CWGC website lists his grave details.

Source: http://www.chch.ox.ac.uk/cathedral/memorials/WW1/Russell-Freeman

War: World War 1

  • Surname: Freeman
  • Forenames or initials: Russell Herbert
  • House: C
  • Years in School: 1907-1912
  • Rank: Major
  • Regiment: Royal Air Force
  • Date of Birth: 27th January 1894
  • Date of Death: 21st July 1918
  • How Died: Killed in action
  • Location in War Cloister: Outer E1
  • Decoration: M.C., Croix de Guerre, with palms
  • Burial Site: RAPERIE BRITISH CEMETERY, VILLEMONTOIRE: Grave VII.D.2