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Donald was the youngest of John Yalden and Margaret Letitia Hay’s six children.
He was educated at Amesbury (Bickley), Wellington College (1907–1911) and Oriel College, Oxford. At Wellington he was a contemporary of Edward Woodley Bedford Pim (also on the memorial). Like Pim, he spoke at the Debating Society, including one occasion where he and Pim were on opposite sides of the debate. Donald played cricket and rugby for his House. He was about to take his degree at Oxford when war broke out.
In September 1914 he entered the Inns of Court OTC, and in the following November was gazetted to the Royal West Kent Regiment. In September 1916 he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and after training in England obtained his wings in February 1917 and joined his squadron, in France, on 11th April.
On Saturday August 11th 1917 at 10:50am Donald was an observer in a Bristol F.2B of 20 Squadron, which took off from an airfield near St. Omer for a training flight. The pilot was Donald’s friend Capt Arthur Norbury Solly. Shortly after take-off the right wing of the aircraft collapsed and the aircraft crashed, killing both pilot and observer.
The two men were buried together, sharing the same headstone, the epitaph reading “Brothers in Arms”.
Thank you to Wellington College for their assistance.
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