and promoted second lieutenant. He went to France in May 1918. William was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for action in France. The London Gazette stated:
‘On 4th November 1918 after bombing enemy troops and transport, this officer attacked, from a very low altitude, two companies of enemy infantry, turning their orderly retirement into a rout. On numerous occasions the damaged state of his machine has born testimony to his boldness in pressing home his attack on various ground targets.’
Supplement to the London Gazette, 7 February 1919 (31170/2044)
In July 1919 he attended an Investiture at Buckingham Palace and was decorated by the King. He was also promoted to flight lieutenant at this time.
William was killed in a motorcycle accident near Gilwern in August 1921. He was returning from playing in a football match for Hereford Thistle Football Club. Since leaving the services he worked as an agent and salesman for Messrs Nott, Motor Engineers in Brecon. His funeral was held in St David’s Church, Brecon and both his brothers attended, as well as military personnel from the Barracks and members of the Hereford Thistle Football Club. His grave is in St David’s Churchyard.
His mother lived at Redcot in Brecon until her death in 1931.
Lieutenant Williams Eustace Palk
Royal Air Force
Died on August 27th, 1921, aged 26
Buried in St. David’s Churchyard, Brecon
William was born in 1895 in Winson Green, Birmingham, the son of Thomas and Frances Palk. His father Thomas was the last governor of Brecon Prison from 1908 to his death in 1915. He had two brothers Harry and Edward who both served in the army and survived the war.
He was educated in Handsworth Grammar School, Birmingham, before transferring to Brecon County School.
In 1909 he received a Certificate from Royal Humane Society for saving a lad from drowning in Newton Pool.
William initially joined the South Wales Borderers and then moved to the Royal Engineers and subsequently the Royal Flying Corps which later became the Royal Air Force.
He went to Aden with the Brecknock Territorials (Brecon Company) in October 1914 and afterwards to India.
In 1916 he transferred to the Royal Engineers Signal Services as a driver and served with them in Mesopotamia until 1917. He then joined the Royal Flying Corp in Egypt as a cadet.
William was travelling to England in April 1917 on The Leasowe Castle when she was torpedoed and damaged. (This ship was later sunk by torpedo in May 1918). William was gazetted as a pilot in early 1918