View Full Version : 114 Sqn in Afghanistan 1919

7th January 2013, 16:47
I was recently shown a short citation (LG 19th September 1920) which says that Observer Offr. Josiah Edward TRUSS, 114th Squadron, R.A.F., was awarded the Military Cross "for bravery against the enemy in the field on July 27, 1919, between Loralai and Quetta".

First of all, does anyone have any idea what actually happened on that day? Secondly, I thought that awards of the MC to aviators ended when the RFC became the RAF in April 1918 and the DFC took over?

I have trawled the 'net until my eyes ache, and cannot find any information about 114 Squadron in Afghanistan - can anybody direct me in the direction I should be going please.

7th January 2013, 18:39
From RAF.mod.uk: No. 114 Squadron, RFC, was formed at Lahore, India, in September 1917, from a nucleus provided by No. 31 Squadron. It was equipped with BE2c's and BE2e's and appears to have taken part in air demonstrations against troublesome tribesmen during the period September 1917 to March 1918. By September 1918, headquarters and one-and-a-half flights were at Quetta, half a flight was at Lahore and one flight was in Aden. The squadron was redesignated No. 28 Squadron in April 1920.

In Jul 19 I suspect 114 Sqn was supporting units opposing the Afghan incursion in what is known as The Third Afghan War. Loralai and Quetta are both in Pakistan. Regards, Terry

7th January 2013, 20:20
Truss's award was for a ground action, entirely appropriate for the MC. A DFC - for gallantry in the air - would have been totally inappropriate. There was a sprinking of MCs to RAF officers between the wars for gallantry in Iraq and Palestine. And of course, the RAF gained a number of MCs during WW2.


7th January 2013, 20:32
Further to Jim's reply,
I don't know what the official publication is that deals with military awards but this found in various books and websites in relation to the Military Cross.

"In 1920, the terms were altered to clearly state the award was for gallant and distinguished services in action and that RAF officers could be awarded the Military Cross for gallant and distinguished services on the ground as opposed to flying."

I was thinking maybe the airfield was attacked by tribesmen or something similar and he distinguished himself in the defence of it.


8th January 2013, 15:10
If you Google Josiah Edward Truss you should come up with an entry "Medals 12-13 Dec 2012". Clicking on that will bring up a catalogue with a photo and a little more on Truss, but not on the incident. Regards, Terry

8th January 2013, 15:49
"troublesome tribesmen in Afghanistan" seems have a somewhat modern ring? They ain't gone away - or become less troublesome!! My old Headmaster had been involved in WW2. "They" would come to within 6 feet of max rifle range and fire on the sports pitches on Wednesday afternoons. Some "quelling" was required! Eventually, it was agreed that "They" wouldn't fire on the sports teams on Wedneday afternoons, and "We" wouldn't go "quelling" on Fridays!
Lot of folk have tried to make "homo sapiens" out of the inhabitants of that benighted country - but with dismal failure!
Peter Davies

11th February 2013, 16:41
Hi Terry,
I have just spotted your post and would like to thank you kindly for passing on the information. I presume that the tender was from 114 Sqn., so will see if any records survive which may throw even further light on this incident. I guess Truss must have done rather more than simply escape to warrant the award of a Military Cross. The plot thickens!
Thanks to all who commented on this topic - much appreciated.

Josiah Edward Truss, m.c.

"The above named, an RAF officer, was the subject of a post a couple of months ago. The substance being an RAF officer being awarded an MC. According to the LG the award was for an instance of gallantry on 27 Jul 19. Now having access to my copy of "The Third Afghan War 1919 Official Account" I can provide further info. From the account: "Small parties of tribesmen had penetrated as far as the Harnai-Loralai road, and on the 27th July, a gang captured a tender belonging to the Royal Air Force near Raigora, 6 miles north west of Smallan. They got away with two Lewis guns, but one officer and 2 British other ranks escaped to Harnai, and 2 British other ranks escaped to Smallan". While this extract doesn't mention Truss specifically, the date and location would tend to suggest this is the occasion for which he was awarded his MC. Regards, Terry"

13th February 2013, 06:53
My Pleasure