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A fine Great War M.C. group of six awarded to Wing Commander F. C. Farrington, Royal Air Force, late Royal Artillery and Royal Flying Corps, who flew as Observer-Gunner to the famous Canadian ace Captain F. R. McCall, D.S.O., M.C., D.F.C.

Military Cross, G.V.R., unnamed as issued.

1914-15 Star officially named to: 63116 Bmbr. F. C. Farrington, R.H.A.

British War and Victory Medals officially named to: Lieut. F. C. Farrington, R.A.F.

Defence and War Medals 1939-45.

Contact marks, generally very fine or better.

M.C. London Gazette 26 July 1918:
‘For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. On several occasions during heavy hostile attacks, he has sent down calls to the artillery to engage hostile infantry forming up to attack. Thanks to his skill in discovering enemy formations, and to his speed in communicating the requisite information to the artillery, the most severe casualties were inflicted on the enemy, the failure of their attacks being largely due to his splendid work. On numerous other occasions his work has proved of exceptional value, and he has at all times set a magnificent example to all ranks of his squadron.’
The original recommendation - the fifth such submission made by his C.O. in the period January to March 1918 - states:
‘I wish to bring to your notice the name of 2nd Lieutenant F. C. Farrington, R.F.A. and R.F.C., for exceedingly good work carried out on 28 March 1918. His name has already been brought to your notice in my 3/55 dated 7.3.18, in my 3/99 dated 12.3.18, my 3/192 of 31.3.18, and previous to these reports, in a letter dated 7.1.18.
On 28 March 1918, the day of a heavy hostile attack on this Corps front, 2nd Lieutenant Farrington was flying with Lieutenant McCall, and sent several G.F. calls on parties of infantry massing for the attack. One of these calls was on infantry in column and in artillery formation advancing north-west of Monchy. About 2000 of the enemy were observed and in response to the call sent down by 2nd Lieutenant Farrington, the artillery fired on this body with good effect.
In the same flight, this officer sent a G.F. call on a party of 400 infantry in a number of groups collecting for the attack. This call was answered with good effect. On the third occasion this officer saw 100 infantry standing in groups east of Gaurelle, and in response to his G.F. call the artillery fire was accurate, one shell falling in the centre of the group being seen to kill twenty men. In addition to this, the Observer attacked these parties from the air and fired a drum into them from his Lewis gun.
The enemy made a very determined attack on this Corps front on 28 March 1918. The fact that this attack met with so slight a measure of success is largely due to the accurate information promptly sent down to the artillery by 2nd Lieutenant Farrington and other Observers from this Squadron. From all accounts it appears that the enemy losses while they were massing for the attack were extremely high.
In view of his extremely good work on this occasion, I wish to recommend 2nd Lieutenant Farrington for the immediate award of the Military Cross.’
Frank Cecil Farrington, who was born in September 1892, first went out to France as a Sergeant in the Royal Horse Artillery in December 1914. Commissioned in the Royal Field Artillery in March 1917, he shortly thereafter transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and, on completing his training as an Observer and Gunner, was posted to No. 13 Squadron, an R.E. 8 unit, out in France in late 1917.
Teaming up with pilot Frederick McCall, he shared in the Canadian ace’s very first victories, namely Albatross D.Vs downed over Jigsaw Wood and Monchy le Preux in January and March 1918. An account of the latter victory appears in one of the earlier M.C. recommendations submitted by Farrington’s C.O.:
‘I wish to bring to your notice the conspicuous gallantry displayed by Lieutenant F. R. McCall, M.C., Canadian Infantry and R.F.C., and 2nd Lieutenant F. C. Farrington, R.F.A. and R.F.C..
Observing a hostile scout while engaged on photographic duty over Monchy, Lieutenant McCall dived on the machine, using the front gun. The E.A. turned under the R.E. 8, allowing the Observer to get a burst with his gun. The E.A. went down as if hit in a steep dive, with smoke sawing from the engine. Lieutenant McCall and 2nd Lieutenant Farrington followed the E.A. down to 4000 feet over Square P. 2 sheet SI.B., firing with the front gun. A.A. confirm the fact that this hostile machine went down out of control.
These two officers have continuously done good work, and confidential reports have been forwarded on their work on 7.1.18 and 7.3.18. Lieutenant McCall has been awarded the Military Cross and I wish to recommend 2nd Lieutenant Farrington for the immediate award of the Military Cross, in view of his consistent gallantry and good work.’
McCall departed No. 13 Squadron for No. 41 Squadron in April 1918, about the time Farrington completed his operational tour, and went on to raise his score to the 35-mark, in addition to adding the D.S.O. and D.F.C. to his earlier M.C. For his own part, Farrington remained a regular after the War, serving in No. 4 Squadron in the Constantinople Wing in 1922 and in No. 6 Squadron in Iraq in the mid-1920s, and was placed on the Reserve of Officers in August 1933. Having then in the interim acted as a Civil Assistant in the R.A.F.O., he was mobilised on the renewal of hostilities in September 1939 and posted to the Directorate of Fighter Operations. Later still, he served at the Air Ministry, and he was granted the honorary rank of Wing Commander at the War’s end.

Product Code: EM2695

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