Captain John Aidan Liddell VC MC (1888-1915)
John Liddell was the son of John and Emily Liddell who lived at Sherfield Manor, Sherfield on Loddon, just outside Basingstoke. He was awarded the MC and VC in 1915 and died of wounds received whilst flying over Belgium. He is buried in Basingstoke (South View) Cemetery along with other members of his family. His VC citation reads:
‘For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty on 31 July 1915. When on a flying reconnaissance over Ostend-Bruges-Ghent he was severely wounded (his right thigh being broken), which caused momentary unconsciousness; but by a great effort he recovered partial control after his machine had dropped nearly 3,000 feet and, notwithstanding his collapsed state, succeeded, although continually fired at, in completing his course, and brought the aeroplane into our lines half an hour later after he had been wounded. The difficulties experienced by this officer in saving his machine and the life of his observer cannot be readily expressed, but as the control wheel and throttle control were smashed, and also one of the under-carriage struts, it would seem incredible that he could have accomplished his task.’
Content derived during research for the new VCH Hampshire volume, Basingstoke and its surroundings.