Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

With a name like Oscar Lennox McMaking it was always likely that he would carve a niche for himself and he did so by becoming a successful fighter pilot in the skies over France.
Oscar's father Thomas McMaking had been born in Manchester in 1855 but didn't appear in the Census records until 1881 by which time he was living at 3 Regent Street in Portsmouth with his wife Anne (b. 1849), son Malcolm (b. 1880), mother Hannah (b. 1824) and brother John (b. 1864). Thomas was described as a Clerk in the Gas Company but he must have had an eye on something grander as by 1887 he had moved his family to Brazil where he probably worked as a Civil Engineer.
Whilst in South America Thomas and Anne had four more children, Conrad (b. 1887), Harold, (b. 1888), Percy (b. 1893) and Oscar Lennox (b. 1894). In the late 1890s the family returned to Portsmouth and took up residence at 14 St. David's Road, Southsea. An address like this confirms that the Civil Engineering career had indeed enabled Thomas to move up the social ladder. This was emphasised later when the family moved to 96 St. Andrews Road.
Oscar Lennox was the last of the children still at home for the 1911 census, when at 17 he was described as a student, presumably at the Municipal College. Soon after the outbreak of the Great War Oscar enlisted with the Queens Own Yorkshire Dragoons and served with them in France. He was gazetted to the Lincolshire Yeomanry as a 2nd Lieutenant in February 1916 and later that year transferred to the Royal Flying Corps.
Serving with 45 Squadron, Oscar initially flew Sopwith 1½ Strutters but later moved onto Sopwith Camels. He was credited with the destruction of 6 German aircraft, all Albatross D.IIIs, before being shot down in flames himself by Werner Voss over Langemarck, Belgium in September 1917. His body was never recovered.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) list 2nd Lieutenant Oscar Lennox McMaking, Royal Flying Corps, 45th Squadron and Lincolnshire Yeomanry, died 11/09/1917. He is remembered on the Arras Flying Services Memorial.
Oscar McMaking is also remembered on the (Former) Circus Church WW1 Memorial and on the Cenotaph (Army Section). He is not listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War'.
Tim Backhouse
February 2014