WITH A SKULL AND A RAVEN
ON THE FUSELAGE
Lt. der Reserve Kurt Adolf Monnington of Jasta 18 in combat with a formation of DH 9 bombers.
During the First World War, there were situations in which airmen repeatedly came into conflict
with the same enemy unit. In many cases, the opposing forces were not aware of this at the
time, but some of them were literally waging a private war against a particular unit. It was in
just such a situation that Kurt Monnington of Jasta 18 found himself in 1918 fighting with the
bomber crews of No. 104 Squadron RAF.
Photo: Reinhard Zankl via Greg VanWyngarden
Monnington or Mornington?
Future fighter pilot Kurt Adolf Monnington was born on September
29th, 1891 in Hamburg. His father was a manufacturer George Edward
Monnington (1863-1904) and his mother was Melanie Barbara Monnington, née Gross. The surname Monnington does not sound very German
and the first names of Kurt's father don’t sound German either. There is
still a legend among the family that they are descended from the Earl
On one genealogy website, someone even went to the trouble of constructing a family tree that identifies William Wellesley, 3rd Earl of
Mornington (1763-1845) as this ancestor. The Earl was to marry a commoner in Hamburg and because of the low birth of the bride, they
supposedly had to change her name to Monnington. This statement can
safely be consigned to the realm of fairy tales.
Fortunately, civil registration records are available and show that Kurt's
grandfather, William Walter James Monnington, was born on 28 October 1837 and baptised in Hamburg in the British Chaplaincy. This already
gives a clear indication of where the family came from. He was born
to his father Walter and his wife Sarah, née Harris. Walter Monnington
died in 1857 in Hannover and the civil registration record shows that he
was born in 1791 in the small village of Skenfrith (Welsh: Ynysgynwraidd)
in Monmouthshire, south-east Wales.
The English in Hamburg
There has been an Anglican congregation in Hamburg since the early 17th century. Religious freedom was part of an unprecedented free
trade agreement secured with the Hamburg Senate in 1612 by the Company of Merchant Adventurers (textile traders). The "Englische Kirche"
a church building dating from 1838, is the successor to the chapel in the
"English House" where merchants met for worship for 200 years.
INFO Eduard - June 2021