9th Battalion Canadian Engineers
To:- O.C. No.11 Squadron.
Royal Air Force.
- - - - - - - - - - -
On the 12th of July 1917, my cousin Capt. Charles Eric Robertson, Flight Commander of your Squadron, returning from a flight was shot down by enemy planes, somewhere Southeast of MONCHY, according to information available. He was accompanied by Sergeant Carr of your Squadron.
Since this part of the country has come into our possession I have been endeavoring to locate his grave.
Southeast of L’ESPERANCE Corner (ARRAS-CAMBRAI) at p.31. b.8.4. Sheet 51 b. France, we have found the grave of two of the British Royal Flying Corps, which has above it an inscription in German "Two unknown British Airmen, shot down 12-7-17." The framework of a British aeroplane is lying beside it, headed in a Northwesterly direction. As this is the date and the locality where my cousin and his observer were brought down it is reasonable to suppose that this is their grave. The canvas and framework are gone from the plane so the plane number is unascertainable. Some one has written on the board the words "B-(obliterated)-fighter 23858 B.B."
I enquired when in England lately, at the R.A.F. and they informed me that this must be an engine number as they have no record of any plane of that number.
On behalf of his parents and his widow, I am very anxious to ascertain definitely if this is my cousin’s grave.
Would you be kind enough to look up the records of your Squadron and let me know all the particulars you can with reference to this case, the plane number, engine number, full particulars of Sgt. Carr, (name number etc) whether this location would be about correct, whether or not the German Flying Corps dropped any news concerning them, the names of any living pilots or observers who were with them on this flight, were any other R.F.C. brought down in that part of the country on that date.
I may add that Lieut. Duncan was Capt. Robertson’s regular observer but did not accompany him on the afternoon flight as this was the second flight Capt. Robertson had made the day he was brought down. If you are unable to furnish this Information, possibly you could direct me to the proper place of enquiry.
A reply at your earliest convenience would greatly oblige me as I wish to erect a cross while I arc in this neighborhood.
(sgd) N.R. Robertson,
Commanding 9th Battn. Cdn. Engrs.