CEMETERIES have a interesting way of reflectthg the ioal history of an area. The main cemetery at Minster (in Thanet) has an abundance of military and civilian burials one of which caught my eye. The headstone in the form of a cross has at its centre a carved bi-plane. This monument marks the last resting place of Chief Petty Officer Mechanic 2nd Class Gilbert Howard William Budda, born at Canterbury on October 11, 1888 died February 6, 1920. Budda had been a member of the Royal Naval Air Service and had taken part in the worlds first carrier air strike carried out on December 251914 against the German Zepelin base located at CuxhavonOermanyThe operation was carried out by surfhce vessels carrying seaplanes.
Aircraft No.815 crewed by Flight Commander Douglas A. Oliver and Chief Petty Officer Budds was lowered over the side end took off but soon ran into a fogbank and came under flee from German warships. Flight Commander Oliver dropped his bombs on Langerxg Island destroying a small warehouse. Now with his bombs gone and the aircraft running low on fuel Oliver managed to reach Norderney and then eel a course south to try and with the carriers. During this manoeuvre Oliver spotted the British submarine Eli and landed close to the vessel so close they usuinged to step from their aircraft onto the deck.
They were followed by two other aircrew who had been taking part in the sortie. Budda was awarded a flistinguished Service Medal (Cazatto on February 19, 1915) and also received a Mention in Dospatches. Builds pasoed away with his wife by his side aged 31 years at their faintly home, Warwick Villa. Monkton Road, Minster The above raid became a precursor fr carrier strikes on such diverse targets as Pearl Harhour in 1941 and Taranto in 1940. All this reflected in a simple grave in a Kentish cemetery.
Herne Bay Times, December 23th 2014