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Cecil Kilner
1. Name Cecil Francis KILNER R.M.L.I
2. Date Commissioned 1 September 1902
3. Date retired Transferred to the RAF 1 August 1919
Was serving in the RAF as a Group Captain when he died on 20 October 1925
4. Rank Captain, Temp Lt.Col D.S.O.* at the time of transfer
Group Captain D.S.O* A.D.C R.A.F at time of decease
5. Awarded wings Not recorded. 1914
6. Flying schools Central Flying School , Upavon
7. Aircraft types flown Short Biplane, Short Seaplane, Maurice Farman, BE2 etc
8. Decorations D.S.O. 19 February 1915(Capt Flight Cdr)
“ On the 25th December 1914, an air reconnaissance of the Heligoland Bight, including Cuxhaven, Heligoland and Wilhelmshaven was made by seven naval seaplanes, and the opportunity was taken at the same time of attacking with bombs, points of military importance. The reconnaissance involved combined operations with light cruisers and destroyers, and submarines watching inshore and ready to render aid if necessary.

The vessels detailed having arrived at the rendezvous before daylight, as soon the light was sufficient, the seaplanes were hoisted out (from HMS Engadin) and despatched. At the beginning of the flight the weather was clear, but on nearing land the seaplanes met with thick weather and were compelled to fly low, thus becoming exposed to a heavy fire at a short range. Several machines were hit, but all remained in the air for three hours and succeeded in obtaining valuable information regarding dispositions of the enemy's ships and defences. Bombs were dropped on military points.

Capt. Kilner's and two other machines regained their ship. Three others, short fuel, were compelled to descend and their pilots were saved by Submarine 'E1' although subjected to fire from an airship. The pilot of the remaining sea plane,having lost his bearings, was compelled to descend after 3 ½ hours flight, owing to engine trouble and was rescued by a Dutch trawler and returned safely to England."

D.S.O BAR 10 October 1917 (T/Major SquadronCdr.)
"For services in reconnaissance and bombing flights in the Eastern Mediterranean”
Mentioned in Despatches 6 December 1916 Eastern Mediterranean.
1914 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.

9. General From the outbreak of war on 4 August 1914, Kilner was flying seaplanes on patrol in the North Sea from the R.N. Air Stations at Clacton and Westgate and with the detached RNAS Unit at Ostend but this unit withdrew when the Belgian Garrison retired to Dunkirk.

On 5 September until 1 February 1915 he was involved in operations against the German Coast under Commodore "T". This included the raids on Cuxhaven Wilhelmshaven and the River Elbe on 25 December 1914 for which he was awarded the D.S.O: See citation.

On 2 February 1915 he was appointed to the Ark Royal (Seaplane Carrier) for operations in the Eastern Mediterranean and was the Senior Flying Officer of the Ship. He was present at the bombardment of the Dardanelles Forts 17 February 1915 to 12 March 1915; the attempt to force the Narrows on 18 March 1915; the Air Raid on Smyrna; the landings at Anzac and Suvla in April and July 1915 etc. From January to May 1916 he was in command of the Seaplane Unit on the right flank of the Army at Salonika After this he Commanded "A" Squadron, No.2 Wing, RNAS at Thasos under E.L. Gerrard until September 1916. He served in this theatre until 1917.

After the war he transferred to the RAF on 1 August 1919 as a Wing Commander with seniority 1 August 1918. He then served in Coastal Command being promoted to Group Captain on 1 January 1924 when he was serving as Chief Staff Officer, H.Q. Coastal Command. He was appointed as ADC to H.M. The King on 1 January 1925 and died on 20 October 1925 whilst still serving.

10. R.AF. Ranks Flight Commander 1915
Squadron Commander 1917