100 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Killed in action on Thursday, 10th October 1918, aged 19
Louis Chaloner Rattle was born 7 August 1899 at Preston in Lancashire, the youngest son of William Rattle (1863-1968) and Agnes Chaloner (1869-1947). He had two brothers; Alfred Charles (1888-1966) and Denis (1897-1920) and two sisters; Winifred Agnes (1891-1966) and Gertrude Annie (1893-1983).
There was a military strand in this branch of the family. His brother Denis enlisted into the King’s Liverpool Regiment in November 1914 and was discharged in January 1919. He had contracted Malaria during his service in Salonika, and unfortunately died the following year. His cousin Edgar Albert Rattle (1895-1918) had enlisted in the Somerset Light Infantry, but died of pneumonia in the Bournemouth Military Hospital.
At the time of his enlistment, Louis was a clerk at Wood Milne Limited of Albion Street Manchester and lived at Riverside Villas Preston Lancashire.
Louis Chaloner Rattle joined the Royal Flying Corps on 18 September 1917 and was promoted to Second Lieutenant on 7 March 1918. He joined 4 Wing four months later and by September he was flying Hadley Page bombers with 100 Squadron.
From ‘The Annuals of 100 Squadron’
Date: 5/6 October 1918
Objective: Burbach Works & Mezieres Junction
2nd Lieutenant Hall 2nd Lieutenants Segner & Wood
2nd Lieutenant Rattle 2nd Lieutenants Jamieson & Rennie
Captain Coombs 2nd Lieutenants Wilkins & Lister
Lieutenant Gover Lieutenants Ross & 2nd Lieutenant Greaves
Bombs dropped: 2 x 550lb & 48 x 112lb
Still aged only 19, he was killed in an airplane accident in Xaffévillers, France. Also involved were Second Lieutenant J M Rennie and Sergeant Mech J H O’Donoghue, who were wounded. It is considered that the photograph of him above left was probably taken at Stonehenge. It is said that he was buried in error by the Church of England chaplain, but then had the full Catholic funeral service read over him and his grave blessed again by the Catholic chaplain.
The photograph of Louis Chaloner Rattle is taken from ‘The Annals of 100 Squadron’ by kind courtesy of Patrick Wilson. The photograph of Louis’s scroll is by kind courtesy of Tim Bryars.
Grave I C 15 Charmes Military Cemetery, Essegney, Vosges, France.
Charmes is a small town south of Nancy. It’s Military Cemetery was originally made for the Independent Air Force and also used by the 8th Canadian and 42nd Stationary Hospitals. It was enlarged after the Armistice by the concentration of graves from other nearby cemeteries. There are now two hundred and five 1914-18 graves and thirteen 1939-45 graves at this site.