Air Mechanic 2nd Class, 25176, Stanley Craigmore Pinhay (21) – Killed in Action

18 Kite Balloon Section, Royal Flying Corps, 23rd November 1917

Grave of Stanley Pinhay – © International Wargraves Photography Project

Synopsis of Life and Military Service

Stanley was born in Falmouth in 1896 and was the son of a baker, William Henry Pinhay and Sarah Ann Pinhay. Rather than following in his father’s footsteps, Stanley was appointed to the Post Office in Falmouth as a Male Learner on 10 June 1912. By the time he joined up he had been promoted to a telegraphist.

Stanley attested in the army on 11 December 1915 and was placed in the reserve the next day. He was subsequently appointed to the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) at South Farnborough on 20 March 1916 with a rank of Air Mechanic 2nd Class. His records show that he was 5ft 5 ¼ inches tall with a chest measurement fully expanded on 34 inches.


Stanley was appointed to 18th Kite Balloon Section. The RFC deployed balloons for observation over enemy lines. A wicker basket was slung below the balloon and held two people, normally an officer and an NCO. Unlike their flying colleagues, the balloon personnel were issued with parachutes and were able to jump from the basket in an emergency. The balloons were well defended with anti-aircraft guns, and were tethered to a tender which could bring the balloon down rapidly if attacked. Nonetheless, many balloons were lost to enemy aircraft.

Stanley was killed in action on 23 November 1917. Commonwealth War Graves Commission records do not indicate anyone else from 18th Kite Balloon Section were killed  around this time so Stanley may have been the only victim.

He is buried at the Ypres Resevoir Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

British Kite Balloon © Air Force Museum of New Zealand


Stanley was born in Falmouth in 1896. The following family members have been identified.

  • Father: William Henry Pinhay, born 5 June 1850 at Loddiswell, Devon, died c.1942.
  • Mother: Sarah Ann Pinhay, born c.1852 at Falmouth, Cornwall, died 4 July 1935.
  • Brother: William Lowry Pinhay born c.1876 at Falmouth, Cornwall, died c 1953.
  • Sister: Florence Harvey Pinhay, born c.1878 at Falmouth, Cornwall.
  • Sister: Lilian M Pinhay, born c.1883 at Falmouth, Cornwall.
  • Sister: Winifred Olive Pinhay, born c.1888 at Falmouth, Cornwall.
  • Sister: Elsie Adelaide Pinhay, born c.1891 at Falmouth, Cornwall.
  • Brother: Leslie George Pinhay, born c.1892 at Falmouth, Cornwall, died 13 September 1935.


Records show that Stanley lived in:

  • 1901: 2 Chapel Terrace, Falmouth, Cornwall.
  • 1911: 2 Chapel Terrace, Falmouth, Cornwall.
  • 1915: 7 Golf Villas, Falmouth, Cornwall.


Stanley Pinhay was awarded the, Victory and the British War Medals for his service in the Great War.


Stanley Pinhay is honoured and remembered on the following memorials:-

  • Falmouth War Memorial.
  • The War Memorial in the Methodist Chapel in The Moor.
  • Falmouth and the Kingsbridge and Dodbrooke War Memorial, Kingsbridge, Devon.
The War Memorial in the Methodist Chapel in The Moor – © Cornwall Family History Society

Links to Additional Information


  • Page 4759 | Issue 28623, 2 July 1912 | London Gazette | The Gazette
  • 1901 England, Wales and Scotland Census.
  • 1911 Census for England and Wales.
  • The Genealogist: Medal Index Cards, 1914-1920.
  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
  • International Wargraves Photography Project.
  • War Memorials Register, IWM.
  • Cornwall Family History Society.
  • England and Wales Government Probate Death Index 1858-2019.
  • 1939 Register.



  • Trevor Torkington

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