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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 219357
Last updated: 1 September 2019
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Date:08-JUL-1916
Time:day
Type:Silhouette image of generic be2 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2d
Owner/operator:Southern Aircraft Depot, Farnborough
Registration: 5793
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Whitstable, Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Ferry/positioning
Departure airport:Farnborough Airfield, Farnborough, Hampshire
Destination airport:France
Narrative:
8.7.16: Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2d No. 5793, Southern Aircraft Depot, Farnborough. Written off (destroyed) when Side slipped on low turn and nose dived, Whitstable, Kent. Both crew - 2nd Lt George Maxwell Vereker Bidie (attached to the RFC from 1st Battalion, Royal Scots, aged 22) and Air Mechanic 2nd Class William Charles Manning (Service Number 12421, aged 25) - were killed. Aircraft was apparently on delivery to 43 Squadron, RFC. According to the "Helensburgh Advertiser" website (see link #6)

"Two officers killed in eight days

JULY 1916 was a bad World War One month for Helensburgh, with two well-known young officers losing their lives in very different ways.

Royal Flying Corps pilot Lieutenant George Maxwell Vereker Bidie died in a flying accident at Whitstable, Kent, on July 8, and seven days later 2nd Lieutenant Alfred Anthony Douglas Raeburn of the 9th Highland Light Infantry Glasgow Highlanders was killed in action at the Battle of the Somme.

Lieutenant Bidie was on his way back to France, while Second Lieutenant Raeburn — son of shipowner William Raeburn, later Sir William — had been at the front for six months.

Official records show that the 24 year-old pilot was flying a British single-engine tractor two-seat biplane, B.E.2d A5793, designed by Geoffrey de Havilland and developed by the Royal Aircraft Factory.

He took off from the Southern Aircraft Depot at Farnborough, and side-slipped on a low turn and nose-dived into the ground near Whitstable. He and Air Mechanic 2 William Charles Manning (aged 25) were killed.

News of the death of the former Royal Scots officer reached Helensburgh quickly. The Helensburgh and Gareloch Times reported: “We have not received authentic particulars as to the nature of the accident, but it appears that Lieutenant Bidie was just about to start on an aeroplane flight to France when, owing to an accident to his machine, he met his death. Exactly how he met his death will never be known, but it is supposed that something went wrong with the engine.”

He was a son of the only daughter of Mrs Gillatt, of Broomknowe, Rhu. His parents were Colonel and Mrs Bidie, who lived in Bangalore, India.

The previous year he married Marea Bradbury of Strathyre, Busby, a niece of Mr and Mrs Hoggan, of Ardenvohr, Rhu — now the Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club. The Times stated: “To the young widow and both families — who are well known and highly esteemed on Garelochside — the deepest sympathy is extended by every member of the community.”

His funeral took place to Helensburgh Cemetery, and was attended by a number of officers and friends as well as by relatives. The service was conducted in St Michael and All Angels Church by the Rev Dean Hutchison from Glasgow and the Rev J.Smith from Clydebank, in the absence of the rector, the Rev C.B.Beard, who was on holiday.

Two pipers and two buglers from the Royal Scots took part. During the service a plane circled overhead until the end of the funeral. Floral wreaths were sent by his parents in India and by the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Scots, while the flowers from his wife were in the design of an aircraft"

Sources:

1. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1916.htm
2. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2752931/bidie,-george-maxwell-vereker/
3. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/394111/manning,-william-charles/
4. http://www.rafmuseumstoryvault.org.uk/archive/bidie-g.m.v.-george-maxwell-vereker
5. http://www.rafmuseumstoryvault.org.uk/ID/?7000290635
6. https://www.helensburghadvertiser.co.uk/news/16390267.eye-on-millig-two-helensburgh-officers-killed-in-eight-days-in-ww1/
7. https://www.facebook.com/HistroriansInc/posts/8-july-1916:-commemorating-captain/672603499553420/
8. https://www.wingsofwar.org/forums/showthread.php?19689-100-Years-Ago-Today/page31&highlight=George%20Maxwell%20Vereker%20Bidie


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
11-Dec-2018 21:30 Dr.John Smith Added
11-Dec-2018 21:31 Dr.John Smith Updated [Time, Aircraft type]

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