Proud, John Reginald Stanhope


War Service:
Second Lieutenant (Pilot) JOHN REGINALD STANHOPE PROUD of 27 Squadron Royal Flying Corps was killed in action on Good Friday 6 April 1917.

According to his obituary in Flight he enlisted when war was declared, and was gazetted into the Royal West Kent Regiment. Proceeding to France in July 1915, he was wounded in January 1916. Shortly after his return to duty he volunteered for the R.F.C. He gained his wings in January 1917 and went to the front in the early part of March. He was recommended for promotion a few days before he was killed.

In April 1917 the Royal Flying Corps mounted an intense aerial reconnaissance effort in advance of the Battle of Arras. Although they had numerical superiority over the German Air Force many of their reconnaissance machines were outdated and no match for the German aircraft or their pilots’ superior tactics. At this time 27 Squadron was equipped with the Martynside G100 “Elephant”, originally designed as a fighter but more usually used as a bomber and later as a reconnaissance aircraft. It was described by one 27 Squadron pilot as “a delightful machine for leisurely pleasure but totally unsuitable for daylight bombing or indeed any kind of war mission". By the end of the month the RFC had lost 150 aircraft and 316 aircrew. For the RFC April 1917 was always known as ‘Bloody April’.

He is buried in Tournai Communal Cemetery.

Location of Memorial:
He is remembered on the memorial at St Augustine’s church, Grove Park.

He was the son of Thomas and Amelia Proud, of "Parkfield", Grove Park. He was educated at Quernmore School, Bromley, Kent, at Merchant Taylors' and St. John's College, Oxford, of which he was a scholar at the time of the outbreak of war. Second Lieutenant Proud was in the O.T.C. both at Merchant Taylors' and Oxford.


Contributed By: Andy Pepper

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