ASN logo
ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 219178
Last updated: 6 December 2019
This information is added by users of ASN. Neither ASN nor the Flight Safety Foundation are responsible for the completeness or correctness of this information. If you feel this information is incomplete or incorrect, you can submit corrected information.

Date:28-MAY-1916
Time:11:15 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic be2 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2c
Owner/operator:17 Sqn RFC
Registration: 4335
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Salt Box Hill, Cudham, near Westerham, Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: Initial climb
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RFC Biggin Hill, Kent
Destination airport:RFC Fort Grange, Gosport, Hampshire
Narrative:
28.5.16: Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2c No. 4335, 17 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps. Written off (damaged beyond repair) when Lost speed on low turn, at Salt Box Hill, Cudham, near Westerham, Kent. Of the crew of two, one - Captain George Alfred Prime Jones (aged 21, Attached from 8th Battalion ,The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) - was killed. The other crew member - 2nd Lt Henry Tennant (pilot) - was injured. According to a contemporary report in "Flight" magazine (June 1 1916 page 474 - see link #3)

"Fatal Accidents
While a biplane, piloted by Capt. G. A. Grime Jones, was ascending from a flying ground in Kent on Sunday morning it was caught by the wind and side-slipped at a height of about 120 feet. The pilot was killed instantly, and the passenger, Second Lieut. Tennant, R.F.C., son of the Under-Secretary for War, was seriously injured"

Additional: According to a blog which contains the biography of Captain G.A.G Jones (see #5)

"...in the early Spring of 1916, George was attached to the Royal Flying Corps, then in its infancy, having been formed just four years earlier in April 1912. The Courier of 2 June 1916 reported that he "entered into the study and practice of aviation with the same enthusiasm that he has shown in everything else. He had gained his pilot's certificate, and in about a fortnight or three weeks would probably have gained his 'wings'."

On the morning of 28 May, 1916, George went up as a passenger with Lieutenant Tennant, who had 20 hours flying time under his belt, for a practice flight from a local aerodrome in Kent. A police constable was on duty at the field being used by the authorities as a landing site, and at the inquest held two days later he reported that at 11am he "saw the biplane descend with Lieutenant Tennant acting as pilot, deceased being in the observerís seat. They got out, had a smoke and a chat, and were both very cheerful, commenting on the fine morning. They stayed about a quarter-of-an-hour, and then prepared to return. The machine was not more than 100 feet up, when it appeared to gradually turn to the left, and then side-dipped, taking a nose-dive to the ground. Witness got to the spot two or three seconds after the machine fell, and found that Lieutenant Tennant had been thrown two or three feet clear of the machine, and was apparently badly injured, but was still living. Captain Jones was still in the machine, but was quite dead. It took about three-quarters-of-an-hour to get him out. Witness described his injuries, and said death was absolutely instantaneous. His wrist watch was still going when he was got away from the machine."

George Jones was given a military funeral at Southborough Cemetery, his coffin borne from his home on a gun-carriage drawn by six black horses. The mourners included his uncle, aunts Florrie, Leila and Maud, and officers and men of the Royal Flying Corps, but sadly, several members of his family were unable to arrive in time. There are several other airmen buried in Southborough Cemetery, but Captain Jones must surely be the earliest.

As regards Lieutenant Tennant, he survived this accident, only to be killed one year later on the Somme."

Sources:

1. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1916.htm
2. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/369719/jones,-george-alfred-prime/
3. Flight magazine (June 1 1916 page 474): https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1916/1916%20-%200474.html?search=Douglas%20Bayly%20De%20Bruyn
4. http://www.rafmuseumstoryvault.org.uk/ID/?7000290547
5. http://www.judithjohnson.co.uk/blog/death-of-an-airman-george-alfred-prime-jones


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
08-Dec-2018 15:04 Dr.John Smith Added
15-Dec-2018 16:59 Nepa Updated [Operator, Operator]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description