Gerald Featherstone-Knight (1894 - 1919)
Captain Gerald Featherstone-Knight MC was the grandson of the Rector of Bow Brickhill and lived there in his care between 1907 and 1914. He is commemorated on the war memorial there.
After a brief period as an Army junior Officer, by April 1916 he had trained as a full Lieutenant with the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) with No. 12 Squadron near Arras in France. On a raid to bomb a German air base near Douai in France, his engines were failing and he was attacked by a squadron including the infamous "Red Baron".
He was captured in Germany, escaped in disguise and was recaptured several times and finally made his way back to England via Holland. He wrote of these experiences in the book, Brother Bosch: an Airman’s Escape from Germany published in 1919, which can be downloaded and read here.
Having achieved the rank of Captain in the RFC after his exploits and been received by King George V at Buckingham Palace to recount his extraordinary escape story, he died in 1919 an officers’ hospital in London at the tragically young age of 25 from cancer.
Gerald was awarded the Military Cross for his bravery in escaping the "Bosch," as he called the Germans.
“Every evening after supper, we always drank the King’s health in tea. Though the quality of the beverage was weak, our loyalty had never been stronger.” - his prisoner of war experiences