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Name: CARLIN, Sydney MC, DFC, DCM 'Timbertoes'

image of individual

Nee: son of William Carlin of Hull

Birth Date: 24 Mar 1889 Hull, Yorkshire

Death Date: 9 May 1941 Wittering, Cambridgeshire, killed in air raid

First Date: 1930

Last Date: 1939

Profession: Farmer, Tiele Winckler Estate

Area: Lumbwa

Author: Don Chester, Undaunted: The Courage of Sydney Carlin

Book Reference: Red 31, Hut, Rift Valley, Franks, Wikipedia

War Service: Royal Engineers and RFC in WW1 and RAF in WW2

General Information:

Rift Valley - Member of the Rift Valley Sports Club - Jan 1929 - Elected - 21 Dec 1928 - Sydney Carlin
Franks - The last ace to claim a double figure score with the SE5a whilst flying with No. 74 Sqn was Capt Sydney Carlin MC, DFC, DCM, ……………. Collision with his CO, Maj. Caldwell. Born in Hull, Yorkshire, in 1889, he had been a farmer pre-war prior to joining the Royal Engineers. Carlin won the Distinguished Conduct Medal in 1915 and received a commission in 1916. Later that year, he and his men were forced to hold a trench that they had just finished digging when it came under attack. Badly wounded during the action, he subsequently lost a leg. Issued with a wooden leg, Carlin was unable to return to the front in such a condition. However, he was determined to continue fighting the Germans, so he decided to transfer to the RFC, and was trained as a pilot. Carlin proved to be such a gifted aviator that he was retained as an instructor until posted to No. 74 Sqn. In late May 1918. With his new unit's liking for nicknames, it comes as no surprise to find that he was quickly dubbed 'Timbertoes'. Having only one leg did not slow Carlin down when it came to air combat, and between 13 June and 15 September he claimed 5 aircraft and 5 kite balloons destroyed - at least 5 of these victories were achieved in SE 5a D6922. Having struggled home after his mid-air collision with Maj. Caldwell on 5 September, Carlin's luck finally ran out 16 days later when he became the second of 6 victims claimed by Jasta 29 ace Siegfried Westphal. Spending the final weeks of the War as a POW, Carlin moved to Kenya to farm in 1919, and did not return to the UK until 1939. He duly re-enlisted in the RAF as an air gunner, and saw combat in Defiant nightfighters. Carlin also managed a few trips as a rear gunner in a Wellington, flying operations over Germany with Sqn. Ldr. Percy Pickard of the film 'No Moon Tonight' fame, as he had known him in Kenya. He then served with Defiant-equipped No. 151 Sqn., but was killed during an air raid on the unit's Wittering base, in Cambridgeshire, on 9 May 1941.

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