The WW1 Aviation Heritage Trust was invited on Friday 17th June to the village of Penshurst in Kent to commemorate the 50 people from the village who died in the Great War. Amongst the dead was Major Robert Hardinge MC 10th Scottish Rifles whose war diary was published just after his death. In researching their fallen, the Martin Barraud of Penshurst decided to republish the book in his memory as an act of commemoration. WAHT was asked to provide a BE2e to start the ceremony providing us with a perfect opportunity to meet our remit of keeping the aviation legacy of WW1 alive. They say that the sun signs on the righteous and given the atrocious weather across the country on Friday somebody was looking after us. Half an hour before the clouds opened, the sun shone and the wind died away – a very Edwardian moment.
From the Foreword of the Diary:
Patrick Robert Hardinge, the only child of the Hon Robert Hardinge and Mrs Robert Hardinge, was born on February 11th, 1893. He was educated at Tyttenhanger Lodge and took a scholarship into Wellington College. From there he went in 1910 to Magdalen College Oxford. He took Honours in History and was gazetted to the Cameronians the day war was declared. A fortnight later he went to the Front and was wounded on December 21st, 1914. He returned to France on April 12th 1915, was promoted to Captain in May;and on November 1st temporary-Major and was sent as second-second in-command to to the 10th Scottish Rifles. He commanded the Regiment in action in January 1916 for which he was awarded the Military Cross. He died from wounds received at Hohenzollern Redoubt on June 17th aged twenty three!