Lambert Playfair was a pupil at Oakham School between 1905 and 1910 and was the son of Sir Harry and Lady Jessie Playfair who lived at Gloucester Terrace in Hyde Park, London and who had previously been based in India. Lambert won a prize cadetship to Sandhurst in 1912 and was gazetted to the 1st Battalion, Royal Scots in January 1913, a year and a half before the First World War began. He transferred as a Lieutenant to 1 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps and was killed in a dogfight on 6 July 1915, aged 21 years old near St Julien, Belgium. Oakham School Magazine published a tribute: "When engaged in signalling to our guns the position of the German batteries, Lieutenant Playfair's aeroplane was assailed first by one enemy machine and then another. These were driven off in turn whenever they approached, Lieutenant Playfair in the intervals resuming his observation duties. Then two German machines of superior speed made a combined assault but he and his pilot rather than give way attacked the two enemy machines though they had only five rounds left. Lieutenant Playfair was shot through the head and his body skilfully brought back to our lines by his pilot who writes: 'His conduct was splendid, we are all very proud of him.'" Lambert is buried in Hospital Farm Cemetery, near Ypres, grave B.9, and is remembered in Oakham School Chapel. There is a marble plaque to his memory in St Andrews Episcopal Church in North East Fife which states he was killed "gallantly attacking a superior force of German aero-planes."
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