View Full Version : Flying Officer F/O Arnold Wall 60 Sqn NWF Westland Wapiti Incident 1930/1931

16th October 2015, 13:17
I have a reference to a story in Marshal Sir David Lee memoirs 'Never Stop the engine when its hot" (I do not have book) in which he relates the story of this pilot who was flying a Westland Wapiti. He was hit by stone thrown by small Indian boy from the road at Miranshah. He was blinded in eye, managed to land, but his sight could not be saved and injury ended flying career. Indeed he was Transferred to Stores branch on probation Jan 1932. He was also MiD N/W Frontier of India April 23-Sept 12 1930 and joined 60 Sqn from 18.4.30

Long shot but can anyone ID the actual date and incident?

Kind Regards


Errol Martyn
16th October 2015, 19:59

According to a record of service I have for him he was posted to 'Depot, United Kingdom, Supernumerary, Non effective, sick, 22.11.31'
Then 'Depot, United Kingdom, Supernumerary, leave to 13.3.32, 16.12.31'


17th October 2015, 04:23

26071 F/O Arnold WALL RAF.


29th September 2023, 03:07
From the Indian National Archives https://www.abhilekh-patal.in/jspui/handle/123456789/2928220

Around 7th August 1931

Regret to inform that Flying Officer Wall, RAF, Miranshah when flying low over bombing range this morning was struck in face by tone thrown by unknown person and has lost his right eye.

Scouts mounted infantry immediately 'baramptaed' all individuals found in neighborhood of occurrence. enquiry proceeding.


Errol Martyn
29th September 2023, 09:12
From Colin Hanson’s By Such Deeds – Honours and awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1923 – 1999;

WALL, Group Captain Arnold, OBE, mid.
133518; Born Christchurch, 11 Jan 1908; RAF 2 Sep 1926 to 24 Feb 1951, 31028; RNZAF/Res. 30 Jul 1956 to 11 Jan 1963; Pilot, then ASD (Equipment)
Citation Mention in Despatches (26 Jun 1931): In recognition of gallant and distinguished conduct in operations, North-West Frontier, India, 23 Apr-12 Sep 1930. Served as a pilot in England with 7 Sqn RAF (Virginia), then in India with 60 Sqn RAF (Wapiti), where he lost an eye during active service.
Citation Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KB1950): Not available - awarded for service with the RAF. After his change of ‘Branch’ his ground duties included - forming the RAF Catering Branch 1940-1942; instructing at RAF Staff College 1942-1944; Deputy Director Air Staff Policy 1944-1947; Germany 1948-1950, including equipment duties during the Berlin Air Lift.
Following retirement from the RAF he returned to NZ, joining the RNZAF Reserve. Died Nelson, 3 Jul 1998.


29th September 2023, 09:27

A little snippet from the Shepton Mallet Journal of August 12th 1932:

Ston Easton
An interesting announcement, made on Wednesday, was that of the engagement of Flying-Officer Arnold Wall, R.A.F., only son of Professor Wall, of Chirstchurch, New Zealand, and nephew of the Dowager Duchess of Somerset, and Miss Christine Elizabeth - "Betty" - Hippisley, only daughter of Commander and Mrs. Hippisley, of Ston Easton Park. Flying-Officer Wall is at present under instruction at Henlow Camp, Bedfordshire, and is attached to the stores branch.



29th September 2023, 10:25

India General Service Medal.

Name: Wall, A.
Rank: F/O.
No.: - .
Clasp: 6 - NW Frontier 1930-31.

Campaign: NW Frontier 1930-31.
Squadrons Present: 5, 11, 20, 27, 28, 39, 60.

India General Service Medal Roll 1908 - 1935 to the RAF.
Uckfield:Naval & Military Press,2001 (Reprint).


29th September 2023, 13:54
Merged into an existing thread...

Which I discovered by going to this page..


29th September 2023, 15:02
I knew I had brought this up before.... not just under 9 years ago though.

29th September 2023, 15:45
I knew I had brought this up before.... not just under 9 years ago though.

Time flies by when you're having fun...!

29th September 2023, 16:10
Updated my post with the snapshot from the archive..

29th September 2023, 21:00
Okay thanks to Errol giving us the final rank and name


I was recently loaned the private albums of the late Group Captain Arnold Wall, RAF, who was an old family friend. His daughter has very generously allowed me scan to scan and upload some photos that may be of interest.

The son of noted etymologist and botanist Professor Arnold Wall CBE, Arnold Wall was born in Christchurch, NZ in 1908 and attended Christ's College. In 1926 he joined the RAF, and in due course was posted to the North-West Frontier where he flew Westland Wapiti aircraft with 60 Sqn.

In 1931, while flying from Miranshah in present-day Pakistan, he was hit by a stone from a shanghai wielded by a goatherd. While he managed to land safely he lost his right eye, ending his flying career. Arnold remained in the RAF until after WWII, eventually rising to the rank of Group Captain, and gaining a mention in dispatches.

He returned to Christchurch with his wife and daughter in 1951, where he joined the NZ Broadcasting Service. Later he worked for A.W. & A.H. Reed Publishing, where he eventually became senior editor. He retired to Nelson in 1973, where he lived until he passed away in 1998.

After the recent Photobucket issues I decided not to hotlink the pictures here, but instead to place them in a Flickr gallery, which is linked here (http://redirect.viglink.com/?key=71fe2139a887ad501313cd8cce3053c5&subId=1103027&u=https%3A//www.flickr.com/gp/152605332@N02/9Fdx33). These photos illustrate aspects of service life in the inter-war RAF at home and abroad, as well as quite a few interesting aircraft of the era. I have included the captions from his album, but have also fleshed them out where I can.