Mitchell Families Online

genealogy of my mitchell families - and a lot more besides!

Frederick William Winterbotham

Frederick William Winterbotham

Male 1897 - 1990  (Age: 92)    Has 18 ancestors and 11 descendants in our family tree.


Personal Information    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name Frederick William Winterbotham  [1
    Nickname Freddie 
    Born 16 Apr 1897  Stroud, Gloucestershire, EnglandFind all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Census 31 Mar 1901  Margate, Kent, EnglandFind all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Age: 3y 
    Address :  
    Clare House, Sweyn Road, Cliftonville 
    • In this census, it would appear that Frederick and his sister Evelyn, are staying in a lodging house run by Elizabeth Giles, a widow. Also present is a domestic nurse, Kate Roffe, who is presumably the children's guardian. Their father, Frederick is working in London and staying in a hotel. Their mother Florence, is visiting Richard Paddison in Radborough, Gloucestershire.
    Census 2 Apr 1911  Eastbourne, Sussex, EnglandFind all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Age: 13y 
    Address :  
    St Andrew's School, Meads 
    Occupation 2 Apr 1911  Eastbourne, Sussex, EnglandFind all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Scholar (Border) 
    Military Service 1914 
    Age: 17y 
    • Frederick joined the Gloucestershire Yeomanry. As he was very keen on horses, he was utilised training men and horses for their potential roles in the Cavalry. In 1916, the demand for horses had been reduced and replaced by bicycles.
    Military Service 1916 
    • Freddie was interviewed in London by the Royal Flying Corps. They had been interviewing Cavalrymen for potential roles as pilots. He was accepted and began his flying training in what he called a "box kite" at an airfield near Oxford and later at Netheravon on Salisbury Plain. Initially flying a 2 seat Sopwith, he soon progressed to a Sopwith Pup which he found quite enjoyable to fly.

      In April 1917, Freddie was finally posted to 29 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps and dispatched to Arras, France. Here he provided fighter support to photographic reconnasaince aircraft.

      Shortly after, he was posted further north to Belgium where it became obvious that plans were being prepared for (what was to be) the Battle of Passchendaele.

      On Friday 13 July 1917, whilst providing air supprt to a photographic mission, Freddie's plane (a Nieuport 17, No.B1577) was attacked by German aircraft and he was shot down over Gheluvelt, Flanders. He spent the next 2 years in POW camps in Germany before finally being shipped home (via Leith, Scotland) on 6 January 1919.
    WINTERBOTHAM, Frederick William: WW1 Royal Flying Corps
    WINTERBOTHAM, Frederick William: WW1 Royal Flying Corps
    These are the records of Frederick whilst serving in the RFC up until the time of his capture by the Germans.
    WINTERBOTHAM, Frederick William
    WINTERBOTHAM, Frederick William
    This photograph of Frederick was taken on 27 February 1917. This was probably taken upon the issue of his Aviator's Certificate.
    WINTERBOTHAM, Group Captain Frederick William: IWM Interview, Reel 1 (00:27:32)
    WINTERBOTHAM, Group Captain Frederick William: IWM Interview, Reel 1 (00:27:32)
    This is an extract from an interview undertaken by the Imperial War Museum in 1984 when Frederick was 87 years young. It tells the story of his early years in WW1 as a Royal Flying Corps pilot.

    (Background in Gloucestershire; Yeomanry; Joining Royal Flying Corps; Posting to France and Belgium; Shot down.)
    WINTERBOTHAM, Group Captain Frederick William: IWM Interview, Reel 2 (00:28:20)
    WINTERBOTHAM, Group Captain Frederick William: IWM Interview, Reel 2 (00:28:20)
    This is an extract from an interview undertaken by the Imperial War Museum in 1984 when Frederick was 87 years young. It tells the story of his early years in WW1 as a Royal Flying Corps pilot.

    (Recollections of being a POW)
    WINTERBOTHAM, Group Captain Frederick William: IWM Interview, Reel 3 (00:28:00)
    WINTERBOTHAM, Group Captain Frederick William: IWM Interview, Reel 3 (00:28:00)
    This is an extract from an interview undertaken by the Imperial War Museum in 1984 when Frederick was 87 years young. It tells the story of his early years in WW1 as a Royal Flying Corps pilot.

    (More recollections of a POW; Return to civilian life; Comparisons of German Intelligence)
    Occupation 1928 
    Head of Air Staff Dept, Secret Intelligence Service 
    • Frederick was recruited to set up and run the Air Staff Dept of the Secret Intelligence Service. During his time there, he was to meet Hitler on several occasions. Being trusted by Hitler, he was able to feed back information about the activities of the German Military indicating that they were preparing a massive military force. He was even invited to see Germany's factories at work, producing hundreds of new aircraft. Much of this intelligence was dismissed as it "couldn't possibly be accurate"!
    Died 28 Jan 1990  Blandford, Dorset, EnglandFind all individuals with events at this location 
    Siblings 1 sibling 
     1. Evelyn Graham Winterbotham
              b. 26 Sep 1894, Stroud, Gloucestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location
     
    Photos
    WW1 Aircraft: Nieuport 17
    WW1 Aircraft: Nieuport 17

    Design and Development

    The type was a slightly larger development of the earlier Nieuport 11, and had a more powerful engine, larger wings, and a more refined structure in general. At first, it was equipped with a 110 hp (82 kW) Le Rhône 9J engine, though later versions were upgraded to a 130 hp (97 kW) engine. It had outstanding maneuverability, and an excellent rate of climb. Unfortunately, the narrow lower wing, marking it as a "sesquiplane" design with literally "one-and-a-half wings", was weak due to its single spar construction, and had a disconcerting tendency to disintegrate in sustained dives at high speed. Initially, the Nieuport 17 retained the above wing mounted Lewis gun of the "11", but in French service this was soon replaced by a synchronised Vickers gun. In the Royal Flying Corps, the wing mounted Lewis was usually retained, by now on the improved Foster mounting, a curved metal rail which allowed the pilot to bring the gun down in order to change drums or clear jams. A few individual aircraft were fitted with both guns - but in practice this reduced performance unacceptably, and a single machine gun remained standard.

    Operational History

    The type 17 reached the French front in March 1916, and quickly began to replace the Nieuport 11 in French service. It was also ordered by the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Naval Air Service, as it was superior to any British fighter at that time. Worthy of note is the fact that during part of 1916, the Nieuport 17 equipped every fighter squadron of the Aéronautique Militaire. The Germans supplied captured examples to several of their aircraft manufacturers for them to copy. This resulted in the Siemens-Schuckert D.I which, apart from the engine installation, was a close copy and actually went into production, although in the event it was not used operationally on the Western Front.

    By early 1917, the Nieuport was outclassed in most respects by the latest German fighters. Newer models (the Nieuport 24 and the 27) were brought out in an attempt to retain the type's ascendency. However, the SPAD S.VII had already replaced the Nieuport fighters in many French squadrons by mid-1917. The British persisted with Nieuports a little longer, not replacing their last Nieuport 24bis until early 1918.

    Many Allied air aces flew Nieuport fighters, including Canadian ace W. A. Bishop, who received a Victoria Cross while flying it, and most famously of all, Albert Ball, V.C.

    Like the other Nieuport types, the 17 was used as an advanced trainer for prospective fighter pilots after its operational days were over.
    Documents
    Aviator Certificate awarded to Frederick WINTERBOTHAM
    Aviator Certificate awarded to Frederick WINTERBOTHAM
    Frederick was awarded this Aviator Certificate on 27 February 1917. Unfortunately, the aircraft type and location are not recorded.
    Notes 
    • Frederick (aka 'Freddie') was a British secret service official who played a decisive role in the World War II Ultra code-breaking project.

      A graduate of Oxford and trained in law, Frederick was a pilot with the Royal Flying Corps in World War 1 before joining the British secret service (MI-6) in 1929 as Chief of Air Intelligence. In 1938, he and MI-6 colleagues learned of a German encrypting device called Enigma. By 1940, British experts broke Enigma's code, enabling MI-6 to intercept top secret and highly sensitive messages (even from Hitler himself) transmitted to and between German armed forces. Frederick was given the responsibility of distributing the German data, code-named Ultra, to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, among others. This data proved invaluable to the Allies as a strategic tool in anticipating and undermining Axis military operations, from the Battle of Britain to Normandy.

      Frederick published a book in 1974 called 'The Ultra Secret' in which he explained what 'Ultra' was and his role in it. His account has been criticised for inaccuracies and self-aggrandisement, with some justification. Read the whole story on Wikipedia.

      In 1978, following the release of previously secret papers, Frederick published another book. Entitled 'The Nazi Connection', it explores the question, "Was Hitler mind-controlled?" and challenges the whole story of Britain's and Germany's roles in WW2. This article, published by Mike Sparks, makes "interesting" reading.

      Freddie was made a Commander of the British Empire in 1943 and was awarded the Legion of Merit in 1945.
    Person ID I15804  Winterbotham Families
    Last Modified 14 Dec 2012 

    Father Frederick Winterbotham (ID:I15531)
              b. 8 Oct 1857, Stroud, Gloucestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location
              d. 14 Mar 1940, Stroud, Gloucestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82) 
    Mother Florence Vernon Graham (ID:I15802)
              b. 1870, Blackheath, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location
              d. 1959, Totnes RD, Devonshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 89) 
    Married 9 Aug 1893  Greenwich, London, EnglandFind all individuals with events at this location 
    Marriage Record: WINTERBOTHAM, Frederick and GRAHAM, Florence 18930809
    Marriage Record: WINTERBOTHAM, Frederick and GRAHAM, Florence 18930809
    Children 2 children 
    Family ID F3933  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Erica Horniman (ID:I15805)
              b. 1899, Paddington, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location
              d. 10 Jul 1959, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 60) 
    Married 21 Jul 1921  Paddington, London, EnglandFind all individuals with events at this location 
    Marriage Record: WINTERBOTHAM, Frederick and HORNIMAN, Erica 19210707
    Marriage Record: WINTERBOTHAM, Frederick and HORNIMAN, Erica 19210707
    Notes 
    • Marriage Status: Divorced
    Children 3 children 
    Last Modified 9 Jan 2011 15:14:14 
    Family ID F3934  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Madge Mary Moncrieff Anderson (ID:I15806
    Married 29 Aug 1939  Westminster, London, EnglandFind all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • Marriage Status: Divorced
    Last Modified 9 Jan 2011 15:14:25 
    Family ID F3935  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 3 Joan Petrea Trant (ID:I15807)
              b. 2 Jan 1918, Brixham, Devonshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location
              d. Jan 1986, Southampton, Hampshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 68) 
    Married Dec 1948  Chelsea, London, EnglandFind all individuals with events at this location 
    Children
     1. Living (ID:I15814)
     
    Last Modified 9 Jan 2011 14:49:00 
    Family ID F3936  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 4 Kathleen Louise B S Price (ID:I15808)
              b. 30 Apr 1911
              d. Nov 2004, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 93) 
    Married 6 Sep 1986  Wensleydale, Yorkshire, EnglandFind all individuals with events at this location 
    Last Modified 9 Jan 2011 13:29:12 
    Family ID F3937  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map Click to display
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 16 Apr 1897 - Stroud, Gloucestershire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCensus - Age: 3y - 31 Mar 1901 - Margate, Kent, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCensus - Age: 13y - 2 Apr 1911 - Eastbourne, Sussex, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Scholar (Border) - 2 Apr 1911 - Eastbourne, Sussex, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 21 Jul 1921 - Paddington, London, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 29 Aug 1939 - Westminster, London, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - Dec 1948 - Chelsea, London, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 6 Sep 1986 - Wensleydale, Yorkshire, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 28 Jan 1990 - Blandford, Dorset, England Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend  : Exact Location       : Area, Suburb, Parish or Registration District       : City, Town or Village       : County or Shire       : State or Province       : Country or Continent       : Site of (No longer exists)       : Not Defined

  • Sources 
    1. [S6413] Keith and Suellen (nee Winterbotham) McPherson, Winterbothams in Australia and the UK.

    2. [S7983] Census 1901 Margate, Kent, England RG13/823/86/21 (Evelyn G Winterbotham)  (RG13/823/86/21).

    3. [S7984] Census 1911 Eastbourne, Sussex, England RG14/4849/37-43 (Frederick Winterbotham)  (RG14/4849/37-43).

Visitor
Comments

Commentics

Sorry, there is a database problem.

Please check back shortly. Thanks.