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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 217951
Last updated: 3 September 2019
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Date:05-JUL-1912
Time:Day
Type:Nieuport IV.G monoplane
Owner/operator:3 Sqn RFC
Registration:
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Greenlands Bottom, Larkhill, Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Larkhill, Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire
Destination airport:Larkhill, Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire
Narrative:
At some stage in 1911 or early 1912, Captain Eustace Broke Lorraine was attached to No. 2 Company of the Air Battalion which was based at Larkhill on Salisbury Plain. On 13 May 1912, with the establishment of the Royal Flying Corps, No. 2 Company was redesignated No. 3 Squadron RFC and Loraine remained at Larkhill.

Less than two months later and exactly 13 years since he joined the Army, Loraine and his passenger Staff Sergeant Richard Hubert Victor Wilson (aged 29) were flying a Nieuport Monoplane out of Larkhill on a routine morning practice sortie. They were executing a tight turn when the aircraft fell towards the ground and crashed.

Wilson was killed outright and although Loraine was speedily transported to Bulford Hospital in a horse-drawn ambulance, he succumbed to his wounds only a few minutes after arriving at the Hospital. Loraine and Wilson were the first Flying Corps personnel to die in an aircraft crash while on duty. Later in the day an order was issued which stated "Flying will continue this evening as usual", thus beginning a tradition.

The site of the crash at Greenlands Bottom, near the old intersection of the A344 and the A360 roads and less than a mile west of Stonehenge, is now known as 'Airman's Cross'. A stone cross memorial was placed in the middle of the grass island at the junction. The inscription reads:

'To the memory of Captain Loraine and Staff-Sergeant Wilson who whilst flying on duty, met with a fatal accident near this spot on July 5, 1912. Erected by their comrades'.

On 25 June 2012 the memorial was removed from its roadside position to make way for a new roundabout leading to a new visitors' centre at Stonehenge. It was kept in storage in Royal Engineers' barracks at Perham Down until it was re-erected within the area of the new Stonehenge visitors' centre, which opened in December 2013.

Sources:

1. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1916.htm
2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eustace_Loraine#Death
3. https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1912/07/06/104899511.pdf
4. https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/the-list/list-entry/1242829
5. https://www.salisburyjournal.co.uk/news/salisbury/salisburynews/9769345.Airman_s_Cross_to_move_ahead_of_Stonehenge_project/

Memorial outside Sonehenge Visitors' Centre The new location of the memorial to Captain Loraine and Staff-Sergeant Wilson outside the Stonehenge Visitors' Centre (December 2013)

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
16-Nov-2018 23:35 Dr.John Smith Added
16-Nov-2018 23:36 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Operator, Embed code]
19-Nov-2018 19:14 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]

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