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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 220425
Last updated: 21 August 2019
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Date:23-OCT-1916
Time:day
Type:Silhouette image of generic be2 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2c
Owner/operator:20 (Reserve) Sqn RFC
Registration: 4723
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:near RFC Wye, Boughton Corner Farm, Bramble Lane, Ashford. Kent -   United Kingdom
Phase: Initial climb
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RFC Wye, Ashford, Kent
Destination airport:
Narrative:
23.10.16: Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2c 4723, 20 (Reserve) Squadron, RFC Wye, Ashford, Kent. Written off (destroyed) when spun into the ground on turn, near Boughton Corner Farm, Bramble Lane, Wye, Ashford, Kent. Of the two crew on board, one - Air Mechanic 1st Class Cecil Edmund Tombs (Service Number 4951, aged 20) - was killed; the pilot - 2nd Lt William Mitton - was injured. Apparently the machine he was flying in suddenly collapsed in mid air. Buried locally in the Wye (St Gregory and St. Martin) Churchyard, Wye, Ashford, Kent. Grave reference North East of Church.

According to the aircraft record card for B.E.2c 4723 (see link #3)

"Court of Inquiry 87/8889
1/11/16
Flying accident. Sharp turn resulted in unrecoverable nose dive. Machine completely wrecked. Not sufficient evidence to ascribe a cause for the accident"

According to a contemporary report in the Wye Parish magazine for November 1916 (see link #4)

"Obituary.
Deep sympathy was felt for the relatives of Cecil Edmund Tombs, of the R.F.C., who lost his life in a flying accident on October 23rd. He was buried with full military honours in our Churchyard on Wednesday, October, 25th, a firing party and gun carriage having been specially sent from Canterbury. His loss is much felt in the Squadron, where he was doing high-class and useful service; at the C.E.T.S. Hut, where only on the 'previous Friday he had contributed excellently to the programme: on the football field, where he had been playing centre forward for the team on the previous Saturday; and, socially, by many friends. We realise more than ever that our energetic airmen are continuously on active service, and we are stimulated in our intercession for them, while we give thanks for all they are doing so gallantly at the front"

Sources:

1. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1916.htm
2. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/369253/tombs,-cecil-edmund/
3. http://www.rafmuseumstoryvault.org.uk/archive/tombs-c.e.-cecil-edmund
4. https://www.wyehistoricalsociety.org.uk/parish_magazine/1916_11.pdf
5. https://wyesforgottenairmen.wordpress.com/the-airmen/
6. http://www.kentfallen.com/PDF%20REPORTS/WYE%20AERODROME.pdf
7. https://www.facebook.com/HistroriansInc/posts/23-october-1916-commemorating-second-lieutenant-harold-ernest-whiteman-pictured-/728721467274956/


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
02-Jan-2019 02:47 Dr. John Smith Added
02-Jan-2019 02:48 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
02-Jan-2019 07:51 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description