Indra Lal Roy


St Paul's School
Talgarth Street
Hammersmith, London, W14 9DJ
United Kingdom
51° 29' 25.9548" N, 0° 12' 39.2076" W
Colet Court Prepatory School
Hammersmith Road
London, W6 7JP
United Kingdom
51° 29' 35.772" N, 0° 13' 8.0076" W
Date of birth: 
02 Dec 1898
City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Current name city of birth: 
Date of death: 
22 Jul 1918
Location of death: 
Carvin, France
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 Jan 1908
Precise 1st arrival date unknown: 
Dates of time spent in Britain: 



Indra Lal Roy was born in Calcutta to father Piera Lal Roy and mother Lolita. He attended Colet Court Preparatory School, the feeder school for St Paul's, from the age of ten and then went on to St Paul's School, London. Roy played rugby and was captain of swimming. At St Paul's, he was in the school cadet force from September 1914 until March 1917 when he left to join the Royal Flying Corps.

Despite wearing glasses, he was declared fit for military service to fight in the First World War. Roy was appointed to a temporary commission as a second lieutenant in the Royal Flying Corps in July 1917. He was posted to the 56 Squadron in October 1917 in France.

On 6 November 1917, Roy crashed his aircraft and returned to Britain for more training. On 19 June 1918, he returned to France where he joined Captain George McElroy's 40 Squadron. He proved himself an excellent fighter pilot, but on 22 July 1918, when on observation patrol over the trenches, he was shot down over Carvin, France.

In September 1918, Roy was posthumously awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross. He is buried in Estevelles communal cemetary, Pas-de-Calais, France.

Involved in events: 
Secondary works: 

Mead, A. Hugh, A Miraculous Draught of Fishes: A History of St Paul's School (London: James and James, 1990)

Shores, Christopher F., Franks, Norman and Guest, Russell, Above the Trenches: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces, 1915-1920 (London: Grub Street, 1990)

Singh, Ranbir, Indian Air Force: In the Footsteps of Our Legends (Noida: Book Mates Publishers, 1998)

Visram, Rozina, Asians in Britain: Four Hundred Years of History (London: Pluto Press, 2002)

Visram, Rozina, 'Roy, Indra Lal (1898-1918)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004) []

Archive source: 

War Office Records, WO 339/115198, and Air Office Records, AIR 1/1222/204/5/2634/40 Sqdn, National Archives, Kew

Commonwealth War Graves Commission Records, Maidenhead, Kent