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Lieutenant Horace Dale Barton D.F.C., Hartigan’s Horse to Air ‘Ace’.

Contributed by Cameron Simpson

It would have been unfathomable for a young East Griqualand boy who embarked on active service with ‘C’ Squadron, Hartigan’s Horse in 1914 that he was destined to join the Royal Flying Corps then only in its infancy and emerge from the war with two Distinguish Flying Crosses to his name.    

BARTON Horace Dale: Born Kokstad, East Griqualand 22.11.1891; Banker; 1914-18; Lance Corporal, ‘C’ Squadron, Hartigan’s Horse (NoD8486); G.S.W.A. 26.2-25.5.15; Enlisted 11.6.17; Air Mechanic, Royal Flying Corps (No84563) 11.6.17; Second Lieutenant, Royal Flying Corps 29.7.17; Training Squadrons 30.7-7.8.17; No84 Squadron (R.F.C.) 19.9.17; Flying Officer 16.10.17; Lieutenant, No84 Squadron (R.A.F.) 3.1.18; Lieutenant 1.4.18; No24 (R.A.F.) Squadron 27.8.18; Evacuated to Hospital 10.10.18; No24 (R.A.F.) Squadron 17.10.18; Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (D.F.C.)  (L.G. 2.11.18):

‘A courageous and dashing officer who has accounted for fourteen enemy machines, destroying two, forcing two to land in our lines, and driving ten down out of control. In addition, he has destroyed a kite balloon which was flying at a height of 500 feet; engaging it at close range he drove it down in flames’.

Special List, North East Area 14.11.18; H.Q., No16 Group 15.11.18; No38 Training Squadron 28.11.18; Awarded the Bar to the D.F.C. (L.G. 3.12.18):

‘An excellent patrol leader, combining in a marked degree coolness and courage. Since 30th July he has destroyed three enemy machines and driven down three out of control. He has also rendered most valuable service in attacking enemy troops on the ground, silencing, on August 30th, a hostile battery and causing the horses to stampede’.

With nineteen aerial victories was considered an ‘ace’; Transferred to the Unattached List 29.5.19; Resided Matatiele, East Griqualand c. 1919; Died Salisbury, Rhodesia 25.5.1975.