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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 218615
Last updated: 22 October 2019
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Date:07-SEP-1915
Time:morning
Type:Martinsyde S.1
Owner/operator:9 Sqn RFC
Registration: 2821
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Water Works Lane, Martin Mill, near Dover, Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RFC Brooklands, Weybridge, Surrey.
Destination airport:RFC Dover, Kent
Narrative:
7.9.15: Martinsyde S.1 No.2821, 9 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, RFC Brooklands, Weybridge, Surrey. Written off (damaged beyond repair) when crashed at Water Works Lane, Martin Mill, near Dover, Kent. 2nd Lt Geoffrey Brian Hobbs (aged 19) killed. According to published sources (see links #4 & #6)

"Second Lieutenant Geoffrey Brian Hobbs R.F.C.

Served with the Northumberland Fusiliers attached to Number 9 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps. Died on 7th September 1915, age 19 years. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Hobbs, of Riding Mill, Northumberland.

Geoffrey Brian Hobbs’s war grave is situated west of the vicarage path near the south boundary. The stone has the badge of the Royal Flying Corps engraved on it. His rank of Second Lieutenant is on the next line followed by his name G.B. HOBBS. Below this is inscribed Northumberland Fusiliers Attd. Royal Flying Corps. The next line has the date of his death, 7th September 1915. This is followed by a cross indicating his religious faith. There is no personal inscription added to this stone.

Geoffrey Brian Hobbs, of the Royal Flying Corps was the first military aviator to die in a flying accident at Dover. Early on Tuesday morning 7th September 1915, his machine crashed in a field to the east of the waterworks at Martin Mill. In a report in the Dover Express, a witness to the accident, who was the engineer in charge of the waterworks, a Mr Raymond Champion, said

“I was on duty at the waterworks and watched a flying machine flying along at a height of about 3,000 ft., suddenly the machine shot round several times then turned over several times then crashed to the ground”.

The witness informed the Royal Flying Corps authorities then went to the crash site. A Royal Flying Corps officer arrived with a medical orderly and lifted the crumpled machine clear of the pilot who was dead. The deceased was taken to the Duke of York’s military hospital on a stretcher. Lieut. Hugh Roker Evans, R.A.M.C., stationed at the Duke of York's School, said that the body was brought to the hospital a little before seven o'clock on Tuesday morning. He examined the body, and found that death had quite recently taken place and had been caused by a fracture to the skull.

Lieut Hobbs had been flying a Martinsyde biplane, an aircraft he had not flown before, however the machine had been tested and flown the previous evening by two other pilots and was in good order.

An inquest jury returned verdict of ‘death by misadventure’, and they stated that they wished to express their deepest sympathy with the deceased's relatives and friends.

The funeral took place at St. Margaret's at Cliffe Parish Churchyard on the next Thursday afternoon. The remains were encased in a coffin of solid oak with brass fittings, and bore the inscription, "Geoffrey Brian Hobbs, died September 7th, 1915, aged 19 years." It was covered with the Union flag and borne from the Duke of York's School upon a gun carriage. The procession included the Band of the Royal Fusiliers and a firing party supplied by the same regiment. Besides the family mourners - Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Hobbs (the parents of the deceased) and an uncle - there were also present Brigadier-General Bickford (Officer Commanding the Garrison), Major W. B. Chichester (General Staff Officer), Colonel H. C. G. Taylor, R.G.A., and in addition to a number of officers of the Royal Flying Corps and of the Royal Naval Air Service various officers from every unit stationed in the Garrison. En route to the Churchyard the band played Beethoven's and Chopin's Funeral Marches. The Rev. H. J. Aldis, C.E. (Duke of York's School), officiated. The first part of the service was conducted in the Church, the officers and men present attending, and at the graveside military honours were paid to the deceased."

Sources:

1. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1916.htm
2. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/365834/hobbs,-geoffrey-brian/
3. https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205301314
4. http://catalogue.stmargaretshistory.org.uk/items/show/5356
5. Flight magazine (Sepetmber 10, 1915 page 662): https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1915/1915%20-%200662.html?search=%20Geoffrey%20Brian%20Hobbs
6. http://stmargaretsbenefice.org.uk/cwwgc_22.html
7. https://airwar19141918.wordpress.com/2015/09/07/7-september-1915-more-accidents/
8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martinsyde_S.1#Operational_service

Aviation in Britain Before the First World War RAE-O599 No photo of Martinsyde S.1 2821 has been found; above is No.2831 from the same production batch

Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
27-Nov-2018 01:11 Dr.John Smith Added
27-Nov-2018 20:54 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description