Arnold Clement Panting
2nd Lieutenant, Royal Flying Corps
Arnold C. Panting was the son of author J[ames] Harwood Panting and Bertha Emily Alais. His younger sister was Phyllis Digby Morton, a pioneer Fleet Street female journalist of the 1930s. Arnold's maternal grandfather was the engraver William John Alais and his uncle was the author Ernest William Wolfe Alais.
He lived at 33 Melrose Avenue, Norbury and was a pupil at Alleyn’s until 1915. After leaving school, he joined the war effort as part of the Royal Flying Corps and served as a 2nd Lieutenant on the Macedonian Front. During his time overseas, Arnold served in Greece as an Observer, providing aerial support for a number of British operations against the German and Bulgarian forces. In 1917, he was serving in Stavros when he was killed in action on January 13th. He is buried at the Mikra British Cemetery, Kalamaria.
His death was reported in the Sutton Advertiser on 26th January 1917 thus:
"An intelligent, zealous and promising young soldier has been killed whilst returning from an air reconnaissance in the person of 2nd Lieutenant Arnold Clement Panting, of the Royal Munster Fusiliers, third son of Mr and Mrs Harwood Panting of Melrose Avenue, Norbury who formerly lived at Brixton Hill.
The deceased, who was 26 years of age, was educated at Alleyn's College in Dulwich and on leaving there joined the editorial staff of the Amalgamated Press. When war broke out he had been editor for some three years of the Boy's Friend. He joined the O.T.C and obtained a commission in the Queen's. He was drafted to Egypt and attached to the Royal Munster Fusiliers. During the fighting on the Struma he wrote of the Bulgar: - 'He is not the barbarian he is credited to be - far better sportsman than the Hun. There are many cases of his having tended our wounded, and it is the rule rather than the exception that he will not fire on a stretcher bearer'.
Being of an energetic temperament Panting afterwards sought a more active career, transferring to the Royal Flying Corps. He was killed whilst acting as observer, his machine falling (according to the official report) 1,000ft. Before the war Lieutenant Panting took interest in the Boys' Brigade, and won the Challenge Shield of his company for gymnastics three years in succession.
One of the deceased brothers is in East Africa on government survey work and the other is in the Durham Light Infantry."
thanks to Ryan Dudley, a relative of Panting’s for some of this information