Letters of James Stuart Leslie Ross, 1918-1919

Accession Number AWM2019.22.231
Collection number 3DRL/1298
Collection type Digitised Collection
Record type File
Item count 1
Object type Letter
Physical description 81 Image/s captured
Maker Ross, James Stuart Leslie
Place made France
Date made 1918-1919
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Copying Provisions Copy provided for personal non-commercial use
Source credit to This item has been digitised with funding provided by Commonwealth Government.

Letters relating to the First World War service of 589 Lieutenant James Stuart Leslie Ross, 2nd Squadron, Australian Flying Corps.

In his letters to his mother written between 4 January 1918 and 27 July 1919, Ross describes his experiences of serving abroad. Some of these experiences include flight training, taking part in a “sham raid” on a neighbouring aerodrome, getting caught in heavy fog and having to crash land, doing an air fighting course at Ayr, Scotland, not receiving much mail from home, the sugar ration being cut in English establishments, receiving a letter from an Australian girl as part of a Moruya war chest program, ferrying aircraft from England to France, and leaving for France with his squadron.

While in France, Ross writes about the Royal Flying Corps’ superiority in the air, being in hospital with influenza and gum trouble, attending concerts, and receiving a bullet wound in his thigh during an air battle with several German aircraft. He then describes being sent to hospital in London, undergoing an operation on his leg and his reaction to the anaesthetic, and being a convalescent. After the war, Ross writes that he and fellow pilot Lieutenant Roger Douglas want to attempt to fly from England to Australia and shares about their preparations, including having meetings with aircraft manufacturers and undertaking a course in aerial navigation.

On 13 November 1919, Roger Douglas and James Stuart Leslie Ross attempted their flight from England to Australia. However, their aircraft crashed near Surbiton, England, and both men died.