Bingham, The Hon. Richard Gerald Ava

Bingham, The Hon. Richard Gerald Ava (Gerald)

Second Lieutenant

209th Squadron, Royal Air Force

Killed in action on Tuesday 8 October 1918 (aged 22)

Buried:

Triangle Cemetery, France (Grave E. 3)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Cheltenham College

Bangor and District War Memorial

Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque

Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum

Bangor Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Comgall’s)

BIOGRAPHY

Richard Gerald Ava Bingham was born on 8 March 1896 and he was the seventh and youngest son of Lord and Lady Clanmorris, Bangor Castle.

His father, John George Barry Bingham, 5th Baron Clanmorris came originally from Newbrook, Co Mayo and his mother, Matilda Catherine Maude (Maude), was the daughter of Robert Edward Ward of Bangor Castle (later the Headquarters of North Down Borough Council).  John George Barry Bingham and Matilda Catherine Maude Ward were married on 27 June 1878 in Bangor Abbey Church of Ireland Church, then Bangor Parish Church.

Lord and Lady Clanmorris had ten children:

Arthur Maurice Robert (born 22 June 1879 in Bangor Castle)

John Dennis Yelverton (born 11 August 1880 in Bangor Castle)

Edward Stewart Barry (born 26 July 1881 in Bangor Castle)

Harriette Ierne Maude (born 18 July 1882 in Bangor Castle)

Emily Mona Florence (born 3 March 1884 in Bangor Castle)

Hugh Terence de Burgh (born 31 December 1885 in Bangor Castle)

Henry Derrick Thomas (born 17 October 1887 in Bangor Castle)

Eleanor Clare Alice (born 18 January 1892 in Bangor Castle)

George Roderick Bentinck (born 10 May 1894 in Bangor Castle)

Richard Gerald Ava (born 8 March 1896 in Bangor Castle)

The 5th Baron Clanmorris died on 4 November 1916 in Bangor Castle (aged 64) and he was succeeded by Arthur Maurice Robert Bingham his eldest son.

Lady Maude Clanmorris died on 14 February 1941 (aged 82).

The Hon. Richard Gerald Ava Bingham was educated at Cheltenham College and he was one of five brothers on active service – Arthur Maurice Robert who succeeded to the title when his father died, John Denis Yelverton, Edward Stewart Barry, George Roderick Bentinck (who was taken Prisoner-of-War by the Germans in May 1915) and Richard Gerald Ava.

Richard Gerald Ava Bingham was a member of the Cheltenham College Officers’ Training Corps (OTC) and an apprentice engineer when he enlisted on 27 January 1918.

Second Lieutenant Gerald Bingham served with the Royal Air Force, and he was 22 when he was killed in action on 8 October 1918 near Bourlon in northern France.

He was flying a Sopwith Camel (H7278) which collided with another Sopwith Camel (E4423) flown by Captain Dudley George Antoine Allen (aged 28) from London.

Both men died and were buried in Triangle Cemetery, Inchy-En-Artois, France.

[The Sopwith Camel was a single-seat, biplane fighter aircraft built by the British Sopwith Aviation Company (founded in 1912) and introduced on the Western Front in 1917.]

In June 1916 it was reported that Gerald’s brother, Commander the Hon. Edward Stewart Barry Bingham, third son of Lord and Lady Clanmorris had been killed in action aboard HMS Nestor in the Battle of Jutland on 31 May 1916.

Later this news was amended when it was confirmed that he had been taken prisoner by the Germans.

For his gallantry in the naval action at Jutland Barry Bingham was awarded the Victoria Cross.

A gun taken from the German submarine UB-19 was allocated to Bangor by the Admiralty in recognition of Commander Bingham’s valorous conduct and this gun now stands in Ward Park Bangor.

Second Lieutenant The Hon. Richard Gerald Ava Bingham is commemorated on Bangor and District War Memorial; on the Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque; in the Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum and in Bangor Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Comgall’s).