We have found limited information regarding ‘J Ankers’ but a report in the Chester Chronicle dated 10 August 1918 has shed some light on this little known casualty of The Great War.
The Chronicle published a story in August 1918 entitled ‘Missing Airman’. It would seem that J Ankers was, in fact, Second Lieutenant John Ankers and that he was with the 218th Squadron of the Royal Air Force (RAF). The RAF was established on 1 April 1918 with the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS). The RAF then took its place beside the British Navy and Army as a separate military service with its own ministry.
Second Lieutentant John Ankers died on 16 July 1918. The Chronicle wrote the following under its ‘Tattenhall’ news section:
‘… It is only a few weeks since we noted that Lieutenant John Ankers was going to the front, eager for a brush with the enemy. We are sorry to say he is gazetted as missing …’
Second Lieutenant John Ankers is remembered on the Tattenhall War Memorial and on the Arras Flying Services Memorial (shown below).
Second Lieutenant JOHN ANKERS
218th Squadron RAF
16 July 1918
Remembered with honour
ARRAS FLYING SERVICES MEMORIAL