victim of the red baron
Bisley has a link with the famous German fighter ace of WWI, Baron Manfred von Richthofen aka The Red Baron, albeit a rather tragic one.
Major Richard Raymond-Barker, who lived at Paulmead in Bisley, was awarded the Military Cross in 1917. On 20th April 1918 Raymond-Barker was flying in his Sopwith Camel near Bois de Hamel, in combat with a German triplane, when von Richthofen came at him from behind and shot him down in flames, his 79th victim.
Raymond-Barker was 23 years old; his body was never found. Major Barker is reputed to be The Red Barron's last victim as he himself was shot down and killed the following day.
Military Cross (MC)
2nd Lt. (T./Capt.) Richard Raymond-Barker, Gen. List and R.F.C.
"For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when leading a fighting patrol. He attacked a large hostile formation, destroying two of them. He has also done excellent work in leading distant photographic reconnaissances, notably upon two occasions when his skilful leadership enabled photographs to be taken of all the required hostile area inspite of repeated attacks from enemy aircraft. He has helped to destroy seven hostile machines, and has at all times displayed conspicuous skill and gallantry."
MC citation, Supplement to the London Gazette, 17 September 1917
Richthofen's Combat Report
"With six planes of Jasta 11, I attacked a large enemy squadron. During the fight I observed that a Triplane was attacked and shot at from below by a Camel. I put myself behind the adversary and brought him down, burning, with only a few shots. The enemy plane crashed down near the forest of Hamel where it burned further on the ground."
Manfred von Richthofen
Manfred von Richthofen attacked a large number of aircraft from 3 Squadron RAF on the 20th April 1918. With a few shots he despatched Richard Raymond-Barker in his Sopwith Camel. Three minutes later he engaged another Camel flown by 2nd Lt. David Lewis of the same squadron. He too was shot down in flames.
Richthofen assumed he had killed both pilots, but Lewis survived the war. These were Richthofen's 79th and 80th kills.
The next day Richthofen was hit and killed by ground fire; so ended the reign of the Red Baron.