Military aircraft crashes in the
- 1915 and 1916
Details of the crashes and the names of the
appear on this page. Please contact
us if you are related to somebody on the
list, or know of a
photograph of them. If original photographs or papers
are still in the
family, we can help to caption photographs and explain
the codes and
nicknames that were used at the time. We appreciate
the opportunity to
copy original material for the museum's archive.
The Midland Aircraft
Recovery Group has found the sites of
many of the crashes, but we are still looking for a
so we'd like to hear from anyone who can pinpoint
a crash that
we've listed. We are always looking for
photographs, log books and
anecdotes relevant to the units based in the Midlands.
below are have been compiled from numerous sources of
information in the public domain over many years.
We've done our best,
but errors are inevitable. Please contact us if you
have more accurate
information on any of the crashes or people listed, or
can add the
names of crew that we haven't traced. Thank you.
13/11/1915 An Irish labourer was killed at Radford
aerodrome, Coventry, by an aircraft flown by 2/Lt Maurice
Basden. The labourer's name and aircraft details have not
yet been traced.
08/12/1915 Avro 504, serial unknown, of 5 Reserve
Squadron spun into the ground at Castle Bromwich. Lt
Macdonald was injured and 2/Lt Cyril Talbot Burley Croft
2nd Lt C T B Croft, 9/Somerset LI & RFC, was 24, son
of Rev O T B
Croft, of South Cadbury. He volunteered in Canada
and came to
England in October 1914 before volunteering for the RFC.
31/01/1916 RE7 serial 2363, of 5 Resere Aeroplane
Squadron ascended at night to check the
while Zeppelin L21 was in the area. On return, it was
wrecked in a
forced landing at Castle Bromwich, in mist. Major A
B Burdett and
2/Lt R A Cresswell were unhurt.
24/07/1916 Shorthorn serial 7353, of 5 Reserve Squadron
Castle Bromwich. 2/Lt W Hodgeson (or Hodgson) was
25/07/1916 BE2d serial 5838, of 55 Squadron crashed at
passenger, 2/Lt G S Rogers, was injured. Details of
have not been traced.
10/08/1916 Two aircraft collided near Lilbourne. One
safely, without injuries and has not been
identified. The other,
FK3 serial 5527, of 55 Squadron had its tail cut off
propeller and crashed. The pilot, 2/Lt George Stanley
passenger 2/Lt Cyril de Frece were both killed. Second
de Frece was the only son of Mr Alfred de Frece, a London
153 Abbey Road, West Hampstead and 2 Devonshire Square. He
at the Haberdashers’ School, Taplow Grammar School and in
Brussels. He also studied under Professor Thompson
at the City
and Guilds School, London. In October 1915 he joined the
Yeomanry and obtained a commission in the RFC in June
was buried at the Liberal Jewish Cemetery,
Willesden. 2/Lt George
Stanley Rogers came from Barrie, Ontario, Canada and was
with the Canadian Expeditionary Force.
17/09/1916 Sopwith 1˝ Strutter A1060, of 28 Reserve
Squadron had a
structural failure during aerobatics at Castle Bromwich.
Cyril Hodges and 2/Lt Leslie Syson were both killed.
Hodges was the son
of Rev’d E I Hodges, of Marl Hall Rectory, Coggeshall,
Leslie Syson, of the Royal Garrison Artillery was from
Shepherd’s Bush and had brothers Frank and James Syson.
23/09/1916 Sopwith 1˝ Strutter, serial 7772, of 54
Squadron dived into
the ground in the Wishaw area, possibly because the pilot
ill. Lt Sidney Woodrow, from Neutral Bay, New South
Australia, was killed. He left a wife in Sydney.
03/10/1916 Sopwith 1˝ Strutter A889, of 54 Squadron
stalled at 30 feet
and crashed at Castle Bromwich. The pilot, the Hon.
13/11/1916 Sopwith 1˝ Strutter, serial 7797, of 28 Reserve
landed fast in fog and ran through a hedge at Castle
2/Lt J. V. A. Gleed was injured.
04/12/1916 Pup A643, of 54 Squadron stalled from a
vertical bank and
crashed at Castle Bromwich. 2/Lt N. E. Startin was
20/12/1916 Longhorn, serial 2986, of 5 Reserve Squadron
from 400 feet, crashed and caught fire at Walmley.
Leslie Garner was killed at the scene. 2/Lt Percy
died of his injuries on 21/12/1916. Garner was from
Wright was buried at Birmingham Lodge Hill cemy.