In memory of Richard Aveline Maybery

Brecon RA Maybery
© IWM (HU 118132)

Richard Aveline Maybery was the only son of Henry Oxenford Aveline Maybery and Lucy Powys Maybery. He was born at The Priory, beside what is now Brecon Cathedral (the Maybery family home now houses the Cathedral Offices). He had one sister, Muriel.

He was educated at Connaught House in Weymouth and at Wellington College, Berkshire, where he won a cadetship to the military officers’ college in Sandhurst. There he won first price for field engineering tactics and strategy.

He joined the 21st Lancers and in November 1913 went to India, where he was badly wounded. On recovery, he found that his wound made horse-riding painful and took up flying instead. He soon developed an expertise in low-flight attack.

Richard (pictured here courtesy of the Imperial War Museum) was transferred from India to Egypt, and then to England, where he made a record-breaking flight on a surveillance plane. He went to France in June 1917 as a member of the 56th Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps.

He was awarded the Military Cross for his exploits behind enemy lines on 31 July. He attacked trains, aircraft hangars and troops on a bridge and in the trenches. He also engaged German officers travelling in a car; to make the contest more equal, he fired his revolver instead of the plane’s machine-gun!

Brecon Lucy Maybery
© IWM (WWC D8-6-200)

Later that year, Captain Maybery earned a Bar to his MC for his leadership of an offensive air patrol for three months. During that time he singlehandedly attacked a group of eight enemy planes, three of which he downed, after becoming separated from his comrades.

Before he could collect his Bar, he died when his plane was shot down by an enemy aircraft over Bourlon Wood, near Cambrai, on 19 December 1917. He was 22 years old. He is buried at Flesquieres Hill British Cemetery, France.

In February 1918 a service in his memory was held at Brecon Priory Church (now Brecon Cathedral), led by the Bishop of Swansea.

Richard’s father had died, aged 55, in 1905. Lucy Maybery (pictured here courtesy of the Imperial War Museum) was still living at The Priory in January 1918, when she was awarded the MBE for her wartime work with the Red Cross. She was a commandant at the Penoyre hospital for injured servicemen.

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