Sywell Aviation Museum News

Local WW1 Ace to be commemorated at Sywell on 26th July 2008

10th June 2008

Major Edward Corringham, 'Mick' Mannock VC DSO** MC* 1897 - 1918

Mick Mannock was the leading British fighter pilot of the First World War. Born in Ireland in 1897, Wellingborough was his adopted home whose early years were spent in India, Ireland and England (his father being a soldier in the Scots Greys). After leaving School at 12, Mick worked as a grocer's delivery boy, labourer and clerk before becoming a telephone lineman with the National Telephone Company and moving to Wellingborough. Here he lodged in Mill Road (a plaque has been sited on the house in which he stayed). He joined in community activities, playing cricket and the violin with a local orchestra and enjoying debating politics. Mick joined the Wellingborough Territorial detachment of the Royal Army Medical Corps and eventually transferred to the Royal Engineers. By November 1915 he was a pilot with the Royal Flying Corps and was generally criticised for being overly cautious - in his first 3 months in action he shot down only one plane. However, he soon began scoring victories at a remarkable pace and by the time of his heroic death in action on 26th July 1918, he was variously credited with 61-73 victories (the latter figure more than any other pilot), and had earned the title that his fellow pilots gave him of "King of the Air Fighters". His many awards included the Victoria Cross, Military Cross and Distinguished Service Order.

2008 marks three anniversaries, the creation of the Royal Air Force (April 1st), Mannock's death and the Armistice (November 11th).

Sywell Aviation Museum in conjunction with the Borough Council of Wellingborough will be remembering Wellingborough's local 'ace' at a special event to be held at 11.00 at the Museum on the anniversary of his death on the 26th July 2008. The Worshipful Eileen Higgins, Mayor of Wellingborough has authorised the refurbishment of the memorial to Mannock and the plaque on his former dwelling. Her Worship will also be unveiling a new plaque at the Museum on the day dedicated to his memory.

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