Andrew Delfosse (Del) BADGERY

BADGERY, Andrew Delfosse

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 6 January 1916, Sydney, New South Wales
Last Rank: Captain
Last Unit: Australian Flying Corps (AFC)
Born: Sutton Forrest, New South Wales, 19 November 1888
Home Town: Sutton Forest, Wingecarribee, New South Wales
Schooling: Newington College and North Shore Grammar School
Occupation: Aviator
Died: Natural causes, St. Leonards, New South Wales, 25 February 1965, aged 76 years
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Northbridge (Shore) Sydney Church of England Grammar School Memorial Cricket Ground Roll of Honour, Wall of Remembrance (Southern Villages Memorial)
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World War 1 Service

6 Jan 1916: Enlisted Lieutenant, SN Officer, Sydney, New South Wales
16 Mar 1916: Embarked Lieutenant, No. 1 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps, HMAT Orsova, Melbourne
16 Mar 1916: Involvement Lieutenant, No. 1 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
21 Apr 1916: Transferred Lieutenant, Australian Flying Corps (AFC), Attached to Aircraft Park, Abbassia, Cairo
31 Jul 1916: Transferred Lieutenant, Australian Flying Corps (AFC), No.67th Squadron
7 Dec 1916: Embarked Lieutenant, SN Officer, Australian Flying Corps (AFC), HT Huntsend, Alexandria
17 Apr 1917: Transferred Lieutenant, Australian Flying Corps (AFC), Posted to No.69 Squadron AFC, South Carlton from AIF HQ's
22 Jun 1917: Transferred Lieutenant, Australian Flying Corps (AFC), Posted for Duty with No.29 Training Squadron AFC
15 Aug 1917: Promoted Captain, Australian Flying Corps (AFC), 29th Training Squadron, Shawbury, England
21 Feb 1918: Transferred Captain, Australian Flying Corps (AFC), Posted to HQ Western Command (for 1st Aust. Wing) as Transport Officer
15 Apr 1918: Discharged Captain, SN Officer, Australian Flying Corps (AFC), Return to Australia to have AIF Appointment Terminated (27 June 1918). Services No Longer Required, Non-disciplinary

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Biography contributed by Paul Trevor

'Those Willing to Serve Abroad in the Aerial Arm of the Imperial Forces’

On July 12, 1915, on behalf of two Sydney men, the Premier of New South Wales, William Holman put in a plea to ’The Honourable The Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia, The Right Honourable Andrew Fisher’:

I have the honour to state that representations have been made by Messrs Delfoss Badgery and W.P.A. Ascroft (/explore/people/797843), Cremorne Rd, Cremorne, to the effect that although they are willing to serve in the Aerial Arm of the British Forces, they have hitherto failed to procure any satisfaction from your Government in connection with their application to be assisted by means of passage to London.

In view of the part by which aviation is playing in the present struggle, I venture to suggest, for your favourable consideration, that if a vacancy exists in the Commonwealth Defence Forces, your Government may see to provide free passages for these gentlemen to Great Britain in order that on their arrival there they may be able to get in touch with the Imperial Government.

Apparently not accustomed to waiting, two days later, Holman shot a telegram to the PM wanting to know when he was going to be favoured with a reply regarding information on the two and whether the Government intended to provide them with free passages. It was passed on to the Minister for Defence.

A telegram came back from Minister of Defence Pearce on July 17, 1915:

Free passages to England for persons desirous of serving in Imperial Army can only be granted at request of War Office.

That seemed the end. In the months that followed, the British War Office did its home-work on men from the Dominions who wanted to enlist in the Royal Flying Corps and formulated a plan to incorporate them.

To clear up what happened to Badgery and Ascroft; both made it into the Australian Flying Corps in 1916 but by different routes. Badgery, because he had a Pilot Certificate was asked to join the first Australian air unit and in 1916, and left Australia with No.1 Squadron, AFC, Egypt bound.' SOURCE (


'Captain Andrew Delfosse Badgery

Australian Flying Corps 

Born in 1888 into a family steeped in the traditions of the pastoral industry from its infancy in New South Wales, Andrew Delfosse Badgery might have been expected to follow in his father’s footsteps on the land. Instead he took to the air, becoming one of Australia’s early aviators. Always interested in things mechanical, Del became fascinated with the idea of flying as he watched exhibition flights of some of the pioneer pilots in Australia.

In 1913, Del sailed for England to study aeronautics at Hendon, qualifying for a Royal Aero Club Aviator’s Certificate at the end of the year. He returned to Australia in early 1914, with all the parts he needed to assemble his own aeroplane and the hope that he would be accepted into the recently formed air arm of the Australian Military Forces. With fierce competition for the few places, Del was unsuccessful, so put his energies into building his 45 horsepower biplane on the family property, Newbury, at Sutton Forest. He took off from the paddocks on his first flights in July 1914, amazing the locals with his daring feats. He went on to pilot the first aeroplane to fly in Tasmania in September 1914.

He was finally accepted into the Australian Flying Corps when No 1 Squadron was formed in January 1916, leaving for Egypt in April. He was engaged on active service in the area around the Suez Canal, taking part in the Battle of Katia, but at the end of the year he had a breakdown and found himself unable to fly. He was transferred to England where his commanding officers hoped he would recover and be able to act as an instructor, but in his own words he “had not the nerve to get in an Aeroplane”. His health was poor and he was discharged in April 1918.

Having been among the select few involved at the birth Australian aviation, the war put an end to his dreams of a career in this exciting new industry, although he continued to fly after his return to Australia. In 1920 Del resumed his pre-war employment as a clerk at Parliament House in Sydney where he was highly regarded. He died in Sydney in 1965.' SOURCE (


In April of 1916 when Captain Andrew D. Badgery was sent to the United Kingdom from the Australian Air Corp's Egyptian campaign his state of health and well-being precluding him from flying duties on the Western Front. He was thought to be inefficient as an Instructor, due to his nerves, 'he was afraid to fly in anything but the most Ideal weather.' He was also deemed by Major Henry Petre, who was Commanding No.29 Training Squadron AFC at the time as, 'his influence is very harmful to the morale of pupils and of other Instructors'.

In a letter written to Lt. Col. Edgar Reynolds, dated 29 April 1917, Capt. Badgery stated his case with regards to the above statements and hope to receive in due course some advice. The letter told how he was involved in the Battle of Katia, soon after disembarking from Australia, and how some months after constant flying he had lost his nerve for Active Service Flying and was at the stage that he has lost the nerve to even get into an aeroplane since his break-down.

Captain Andrew Badgery was finally given a choice of either transferring to an Infantry Reinforcements Battalion or be sent back to Australia, for termination of appointment - Services no longer required. Capt. Andrew Badgery accepted the latter.