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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 218952
Last updated: 13 June 2019
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Date:20-MAR-1916
Time:day
Type:Maurice Farman MF.11 Shorthorn?
Owner/operator:13 (Reserve) Sqn RFC
Registration:
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near Guston Railway Tunnel, Dover, Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: Approach
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RFC Dover, Swingate Down, Dover, Kent
Destination airport:RFC Dover, Swingate Down, Dover, Kent
Narrative:
20.3.16, Maurice Farman MF.11 Shorthorn?, 13 (Reserve) Squadron, RFC Dover. Written off (destroyed) when Side-slipped and nose dived, Guston Railway Tunnel, near RFC Swingate Down, Dover, Kent. Pilot - 2nd Lt Alan Alexander Wilson-Walker (Australian, aged 22) - was killed.

Alan Alexander Wilson-Walker took part in the first landing at Gallipoli on the morning of 25th April 1915 and served up to 23rd July 1915 when, suffering from Otitis, an acute middle ear infection, he was transferred to St Patricks military hospital in Malta.

Still unwell in September 1915, he was eventually transferred to England and admitted to the 1st General hospital, Birmingham. During his time in recovery he took the opportunity to apply for an appointment in the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) the air arm of the British Army during the First World War.

On December 6th 1915 he was discharged from the Australian forces and appointed to a commission in the Imperial Army Royal Flying Corps. By January 20th 1916, Alan had qualified as an airman, flying a Maurice Farman Biplane and graduated from Brooklands with his Aeronautics certificate and was now Second Lieutenant No 13 Reserve Squadron Royal Flying Corps.

According to a contemporary newspaper report ("Dover Express", Dover, Kent, England 24th March, 1916):

"AUSTRALIAN FLYING OFFICER KILLED

The inquest on Lieut. A. Wilson Walker, who was killed near Dover in an aeroplane accident on Monday at 11.30 a.m., was held on Wednesday afternoon by the County Coroner (Mr R. Mowll). The evidence was that the deceased officer was returning from a cross-country flight, and was seen near the Dover end of the Guston tunnel to be flying at a dangerously slow speed and then to turn. The machine side slipped and nose-dived 1,500 feet, striking the ground and smashing to pieces. The deceased was found strapped in the machine dead, his spine being fractured, skull fractured, and both legs and one arm broken.

It was stated that he was an Australian, 22 years of age, and had served all through the Gallipoli affair, taking his ticket January 10th, and had done sixteen hours' flying. The elevator, which was the only way of getting a machine out of a nose-dive, was in good order after the accident.

The Coroner expressed their sorrow at this gallant young officer's death; and the jury returned a verdict of accidental death."

A death for Alan A. Wilson-Walker, aged 22, was registered in the March quarter, 1916 in the district of Dover, Kent, England. William Douglas Wilson-Walker, gunner, Australian Imperial Force, brother of the above, died of wounds at Armentieres, France, 18th July 1916, aged 20 years, and is interred in the same grave

NOTE: The actual type of aircraft in which Alan Alexander Wilson-Walker was killed was not referred to in contemporary reports. However, one source (see link #2) states that it was a Maurice Farman MF.11 Shorthorn (and Wilson-Walker certainly trained to fly on that type). On the other hand, 13 Squadron was operating the Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2c from formation on 10.1.1915 until mid-1917

Sources:

1. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1916.htm
2. https://ww1austburialsuk.weebly.com/uploads/4/9/7/8/4978039/wilson-walker__alan_alexander.pdf
3. https://aussiesappers.wordpress.com/tag/249-alan-alexander-wilson-walker/
4. https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/R1431038
5. http://www.doverwarmemorialproject.org.uk/Casualties/MoreMemorials/Last%20Word/Surnames%20War.htm


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
03-Dec-2018 19:43 Dr.John Smith Added
03-Dec-2018 19:45 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
03-Dec-2018 19:46 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
03-Dec-2018 19:46 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
03-Dec-2018 19:47 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
15-Dec-2018 17:32 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]

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