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Hay, John (Jack) (1888–1917)

The following details of the death in France of Flight-Lieutenant Hay, eldest son of Mrs. William Hay, of Gunningbar station, near Warren, are contained in a letter from Major Lorraine, Officer Commanding the 40th Squadron, dated January 23:-"During a patrol this morning at about 10.15, Lieutenant Hay shot down an enemy biplane, which was seen to crash. In the course of another patrol at about 2.45 p.m. he was seen by two brother officers to shoot down another enemy machine which fell in flames. Later in the same patrol, however, the three officers were attacked by five enemy planes, one of whom shot down Lieutenant Hay, who fell just one side of the line. He was absolutely fearless in his devotion to duty, and his work was uniformly splendid. I have never had a finer officer, and he will be a great loss to the squadron, by whom he was universally beloved."

Lieutenant St. S. Bell, who shared Lieutenant Hay's quarters, writes:-"I witnessed his last great fight - his skill and courage were wonderful. Next day I had the honour of helping carry him to his grave."

Chaplain D. Burnholm Fraser writes: "Though I did not know him personally I have been told by several of the squadron that, apart from his courage and skill, Lieutenant Hay was the best man there. One boy told me they all worshipped him and said: 'I don't say that because he is gone, because we often said it while he was with us.' He was in no way disfigured by the fall, and there was a full muster of officers and men to show their esteem for him."

The King and Queen cablegraphed their sympathy with Mrs. Hay.

Original publication

Citation details

'Hay, John (Jack) (1888–1917)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/hay-john-jack-1217/text1202, accessed 20 November 2019.

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