Peberdy, Warner Hutchins. Died 14th Jan 1917

Warner Hutchins Peberdy was born on 29 April 1884 in Rugby.

The 1901 census shows Warner H Peberdy (aged 16) son of William W (born 1858 aged 43) and Annie Peberdy (also born 1858 aged 43) living in 22 Hill Street Rugby with siblings Ethel W (b 1882 aged 19) and Ruby A (b 1898 aged 3).

In 1908 Warner is shown as a Student on UK, Electrical Engineer Lists, 1871-1930 and an Associate Member of IEE (Associate Member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers)

On the 12th March 1909 Warner travelled from Liverpool to New York on the SS Baltic.   He was shown as an Engineer from Rugby and his next of kin and home address were shown as WW Peberdy at Lansdowne House (which was in Hill Street) Rugby.

In November 1909 he married Catherine Annie Moss as detailed in The New York Marriage Indexes 1866 – 1937 :

Name                          Warner H Peberdy
Gender                       Male
Marriage Date            1 November 1909
Marriage Place          Manhattan, New York, USA
Spouse                      Catherine A Mosst
Certificate Number    24766

Warner’s wife Catherine Annie Moss was born in the first quarter of 1884 in Rugby and she travelled on the SS Baltic from Liverpool on 23 October 1909 arriving in New York on 1 November 1909. They must have rushed to the registry office to get married on the same day!

Warner and Catherine had a son, Victor Warner, born on 25 August 1911.

peberdy-1 peberdy-2

Although Warner was in Canada at the time war broke out, he was sent back to England* and joined the Royal Flying Corps. He was 31 years old at the time. His Great Britain, Royal Aero Club Aviators’ Certificate is shown above, along with his photograph. “In July 1915… ten graduates from the Curtiss Aviation School went abroad from Toronto to England* for additional training before going into active service with the R.N.A.S and the R.F.C”[1]

In October 1916 Warner is listed in the UK, Navy Lists, 1888-1970 as Flt Sub Lieutenant in the Royal Flying Corps based at Eastchurch Kent.

A list of Active Officers of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines List: August, 1917  shows Flight Lieutenant Warner Hutchins Peberdy “Missing”:

The British Air Service “Flight” dated 25 January 1917 below also shows Flight Sub-Lt W H Peberdy RN missing:

peberdy-4 peberdy-4a

A Commonwealth War Graves notice of Flight Lieutenant Warner Hutchins Peberdy RNAS reports that he was accidentally drowned on 14 January 1917 aged 32.

Sub-Lieutenant WARNER H. PEBERDY, R.N., son of Mr. W. W. Peberdy, of Rugby, is reported by the Admiralty as having failed to return from a scouting flight from Thaso Island on the 14th inst. He was educated at Rugby Lower School, and gave up a responsible position in America to join the Forces. Sub-Lieutenant Peberdy was 34 years of age[2]

The England & Wales, National Probate Calendar states that Warner died 14 January 1917 in the Eastern Mediterranean and that he left £427 4s 9d to William Warner Peberdy carver and gilder and Charles Frederick Harris solicitor.

However, an entry in the Birmingham Daily Mail on Saturday 25 August 1917 states: Lieutenant Warner Peberdy, R.F.C. only son of Mr and Mrs W W Peberdy of Rugby, who failed to return from a scouting flight on January 14, is now presumed by the Army Council to have died on that date. He was last seen flying over the Belgian coast. Lieutenant Peberdy was an old Rugby Town School boy. He was in America at the time war broke out, and came to England in order to join the Royal Flying Corps. He was 31 years of age.

Warner Hutchins Peberdy was flying the Nieuport 11 aircraft when it failed to return from its mission:


Nieuport 11. A Flight, 2 Wing, Royal Naval Air Service. Imbros, Turkey, 1916
Pilot : Flight Commander K.S. Savory
Twenty-one Nieuport 11′s were delivered to the RNAS and these were operated by No 1 Wing at St-Pol in France and No 2 Wing in the Aegean during the ill-fated Dardanelles Campaign. Their British serial numbers were 3974 – 3994. The aircraft shown in this profile was delivered to the RNAS Depot at Dunkerque in late 1915 in complete French colours including the national markings, thus the overall finish was a clear dope or pale yellow. It was soon transferred to No 2 Wing and for a time it was flown by Flight Commander K S Savory and was known by the nickname of Bluebird. It was modified by having the refinement of metal fairings fitted behind the engine cowling.

Both wings were painted blue on the upper surfaces as well as the nose and undercarriage. The aileron on the top right wing has been replaced and this is not blue but still clear-doped. Of special note is that the upper wing roundels remain the original French ones – ie with red outer circles and blue centres. The interplane struts and tailskid remain in their natural wood and metal colours.

This aeroplane failed to return from a mission on January 14 1917 whilst being flown by Flight Lieutenant W H Peberdy.[3]

Apart from the Rugby Memorial Gates, Flight Lieutenant Warner Hutchins Peberdy RNAS is also commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial which remembers 8,514 sailors of the First World War.

An interesting article entitled “Wreckage of a First World War Plane Found on Thassos” shows Warner Peberdy commemorated on a memorial in Skala Prinos where he was based at a British Airfield.

In June 2012, a new war memorial (photo below) was unveiled in Skala Prinos, Thassos island, near to the site of the First World War airfield. The memorial is dedicated to all those pilots based at Prinos, both British and Greek, who were killed or reported missing during the war, including Flight Lieutenant Warner Peberdy.”


“Recruitment for the RNAS and the Royal Flying Corps (later to become the Royal Air Force) was advertised in newspapers across Canada. Those eligible to qualify had to be between nineteen and twenty-three years of age with a maximum age limit of thirty. In additional to that criterion, eligible candidates had to be British subjects of “pure European descent”. Those who satisfied the criteria also had an interview and medical examination before applicants were finally accepted.”[4]



[1] source Ellis 1954



[4] Source: