Ralph Graham Streat

Rank Air Mechanic 1st Class
Service No 9507
Date of Death 30/11/1917
Age 19
Regiment/Service Royal Flying Corps 10th Squadron
Cemetery Nine Elms British Cemetery, Poperinge, 15 kilometres west of Ypres, Belgium. The cemetery contains 1,556 Commonwealth burials. It was used by the 3rd Australian and 44th Casualty Clearing Stations, which were located nearby from September to December 1917, during the Third Battle of Ypres. 

 

Ralph's parents, Ernest Whitfield Streat (1868-1941) and Edith Marian, nee Elwood, (b.1869), married on 15th August 1895. He was born in Ilford, London Borough of Redbridge, in 1899. He had one younger brother, Kenneth Elwood Streat (1902-1978).

At the time of the 1901 Census, Ralph and his parents were living at 19 Richmond Road, Ilford. His father was a solicitor’s managing clerk. At the time of the 1911 Census, the family were living at 12 York Road, Ilford, less than a mile away from their previous address. His father was a solicitor’s managing clerk. By 1915, the family were living at 5 Upper Cavendish Avenue, Finchley, as Ernest is listed in the electoral register as residing at this address. Ralph completed his secondary education at Christ's College, Finchley.

The exact details of his death are unknown, but Ralph died of wounds during the 1917 Battle of Ypres. He might have been an air raid casualty, which would include the fallout from anti-aircraft fire. As an alternative he may have been at the front salvaging a crashed machine, or on detachment with a wireless operator to a battery for which were carrying out artillery observations. This latter option is a real possibilty as in Ralph`s letters home he talks about climbing trees and putting up aerials. On 26th February 1917, he writes that he is attached to 42 Squadron, "3 squadrons in 3 weeks", and gives the address Remote Ground Station wireless operator Royal Flying Corps, 253 Siege Battery Royal Garrison Artillery so it would appear that he was the wireless link man between the squadron's aircraft and the artillery. A wireless operator attached to the gunners would be in range of enemy counter fire.

The January 1918 monthly magazine of St Luke’s Finchley lists Ralph’s name in the Roll of Honour, merely stating that he died of wounds. In 1920, his parents appear in the electoral register as still living at 5 Upper Cavendish Avenue, a mere 3 minutes from St Luke’s Finchley.    In 1934 his father was living at 8 Westminster Court, Aberdeen Place, Maida Vale, London.