Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

Home Page

Main Menu

Quick Menu

Members' Area

What New?

About this site


Help Needed?



Sign Guest Book

View Guest Book

Link to Amazon

Online Store

Contact Me

Air Commodore J W B Grigson

John William Boldero   b: 26 Jan 1893                                                                 d: 3 Jul 1943

DSO - 12 Jul 1920, DFC - 21 Dec 1918, Bar - 22 Dec 1919, Bar - 28 Oct 1921, MiD - 31 Mar 1920, MiD - 24 Sep 1941, GI(s)C - 12 Mar 1943

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

(RNVR): - Recruit: 13 Feb 1913, OS: 31 Jul 1913, AB:  4 Mar 1914, (T) Flt Sub-Lt (P):  20 Aug 1916, (T) Flt Lt: 31 Dec 1917.

(RAF): - (H) Capt [Lt]: 1 Apr 1918, (T) Capt: 5 Jun 1918, Flt Lt: 1 Aug 1919, Sqn Ldr: 7 Nov 1928, Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1935, Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1939, Act A/Cdre: xx xxx 1940, (T) A/Cdre: 1 Dec1940,

13 Feb 1913:             Sailor, RNVR.

16 - 29 Aug 1913:      Drill Course, HMS Centurion

 2 Aug 1914:              Mobilised on to strength of HMS Pembroke

16 Sep 1914:             Transferred to RN Division

27 Oct 1914:             On strength of HMS Pembroke I

13 Apr 1915:             Crew, HMS India (Interned in Norway)

 9 Aug 1915:              Interned in Norway, following the sinking of HMS India.

20 Aug 1916:              Commissioned into RNAS

xx xxx 1916:               U/T Pilot, Crystal Palace Air Station

xx xxx xxxx:                Pilot, RNAS Great Yarmouth.

xx Aug 1917:              Pilot, HMS Ark Royal, RNAS

 8 Jul 1918:                 Flight Commander, No 553 Flt, No 221 Sqn.

J W B Grigson (nearest) and O R Gayford (next to him) at Petrovsk with No 221 Sqn, 1919

Photo courtesy - Guy Hunt from his Grandfather's collection (standing at rear in shorts)

 1 Aug 1919:              Awarded Permanent Commission as a Captain (Seaplane)

21 Aug 1919:             Pilot, No 47 Sqn

21 Mar 1920:             Embarked for Constantinople

xx xxx 1920:               Flight Commander, No 55 Sqn. (DH9, DH9A - Egypt)

xx xxx xxxx:                Flight Commander, No 205 Sqn (RAF Base Leuchars)

15 Aug 1922:             Attended Course of Instruction, Seaplane Training School.

15 Feb 1923:              Flight Commander?, No 205 Sqn.

16 Apr 1923:              Officer Commanding, No 420 (Fleet Spotter) Flight FAA.

 5 May 1924:              Attended RAF Staff College.

14 Apr 1925:              Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

23 Apr 1925:              Attended School of Oriental Studies.

28 Oct 1925:              Air Staff - Intelligence, HQ Iraq Command.

21 Mar 1929:             Officer Commanding, No 55 Sqn. (DH9A – Hinaidi)

14 Jan 1930:               Attended Imperial Defence College.

 6 Jan 1931:                Staff, HQ Fighting Area.

24 Aug 1931:              Air Staff, HQ ADGB.

29 Aug 1935:              Officer Commanding, No 2 (Indian Wing) Station, Risalpur.

17 Mar 1937:              Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

 5 Aug 1937:               Staff Officer, Directorate of Organisation.

 2 Jan 1938:                Maintenance Staff Officer, HQ Maintenance Command

xx xxx xxxx:                SASO, HQ No 202 Group.

 1 Dec 1940:               AOC, RAF in Palestine and Trans-Jordan.

xx xxx 1941:                Air Staff, British Air Forces in Greece.

xx xxx 1941:                AOC, HQ Eastern Wing, BAFG

23 Apr 1941:              Acting AOC, British Air Forces in Greece.

xx May 1941:              SASO?,  Rhodesian Air Training Group

xx xxx 1943:                Act AOC, Rhodesian Air Training Group

He was on board HMS India in 1915 when it was torpedoed and sunk by the U-22 on 8 August.  His records state he was interned in Norway but he was possibly one of those rescued by the SS Gotaland and permitted to return to the UK.

Originally posted to Greece with the task of conducting a aerial survey of the country to location suitable airfield sites, he later took over command of Eastern Wing.  As the situation in Greece worsened, the decision was taken to withdraw to the island of Crete.  When on the 23rd April D’Albiac was ordered to withdraw Grigson assumed command of what was left of BAFG and was tasked with supervising the withdrawal of these units to Crete.     Having completed his report on the evacuation from Greece, he was sent to Rhodesian as SASO? of the Group set up to control RAF training operations in the area.  Unfortunately, he was killed in a flying accident in the Bulawayo area in 1943 and is buried in the Harare (Pioneer) Cemetery in Zimbabwe.

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross

“Captain John William Boldero Grigson.

Lieut. Oswald Robert Gayford (Observer) (Sea Patrol).

These two officers have flown together for a period of twelve months, during which time they participated in a number of bombing raids, carried out a large number of valuable reconnaissance patrols and escort flights in all weathers, by day and night, during the performance of which duties they have brought down hostile aircraft on several occasions. No task is too difficult for these officers.”

(London Gazette – 21 September 1918)

Citation for the award of a 2nd Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross

"Flying Officer John William Boldero Grigson, D.S.O., D.F.C., R.A.F.

For gallant conduct and devotion to duty.  This officer has always set a fine example to his flight by his courage and devotion  to duty and by constant keenness and hard work.

(D.F.C. gazetted 21st September, 1918.)

(1st Bar to D.F.C. gazetted 22nd December, 1919.)"

(London Gazette - 28 October 1921)

This page was last updated on 03/04/22

Back to J S Griffiths J S Griffiths                                     [Top of Page]                                D F H Grocott  Forward to D F H Grocott