Capt. Mapplebeck


“The Extraordinary Life and Times of Captain G. W. Mapplebeck D.S.O” tells the story of the brief, but extremely eventful life of Gilbert Mapplebeck.  The author, Peter Mapplebeck, Gib’s nephew, describes the story in the book’s foreword:

“I have always been fascinated by the life of Gilbert Mapplebeck, my uncle, who was one of the first Royal Flying Corps pilots to fly to the continent at the very start of the 1st World War and was the first British aviator to fly a reconnaissance over enemy territory.

“His life reads like something out of an adventure book: his determination to become a pilot; his posting to France in 1914; his reconnaissance flight over enemy lines; carrying out one of the first bombing raids on an enemy transport train; his involvement in the first night time bombing raid of World War 1; being badly wounded in an early “dog fight”; being shot down over enemy territory and his amazing escape back to England; and his tragic death in a flying accident just one year later.

“But his story has always been incomplete until, thanks to the very kind staff at the Royal Air Force Museum in London, two significant diaries written by Gilbert (Gib) came to light.

“In the first he tells us of his time in the RFC between July 1914 and February 1915, affording us a unique insight in to the very early days of winged combat.  The second diary, written after the event, Gib tells the story of the ill-fated “sortie” over Lille, where he was shot down, escaped from German troops, was protected by a number of Belgians and then finally made it back to England.

“I believe it is a story worthy of the telling and I am indebted to the following people who have made a passion of mine come to fruition:

“My cousin, Anthony Mapplebeck and his family for providing invaluable source materials;

“My father, for assiduously collecting and filing family archive materials;

“The staff at the Royal Air Force Museum in London for allowing me to read the diaries in the first place;

“The National Archives at Kew for their help with source materials;

“and my sister, Linda Brewer, and all of my family for their support for this project.”

Peter Mapplebeck

Hankerton, Wiltshire.

November 2015

Details of the Book.

ISBN  9781326466060

Copyright Bustard Productions and Peter Mapplebeck (Standard Copyright Licence)

Edition Third Edition
Published 27 November 2015
Language English
Pages 162
Binding Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink Black & white
Weight 0.5 kg
Dimensions (centimetres) 20.98 wide x 29.69 tall
Price £9.99 including postage and packing

If you wish to order a copy of this book we suggest that you purchase it in book form (rather than in an electronic format such as a Kindle); the A4 format of the book does not lend itself to current electronic formats and some of the graphics cannot be accommodated in Kindle or Kobo formats.

If you wish to read or inspect parts of the book first, please click on the links below.  These will take you to some images of pages from the book.

Extract 1 Extract 2 Extract 3 Extract 4 Extract 5 Extract 6 Extract 7

To purchase this item please click on the”Add to Shopping” icon below.