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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 220535
Last updated: 21 December 2019
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Date:26-NOV-1916
Time:day
Type:Airco DH.2
Owner/operator:6 (Reserve) Sqn RFC
Registration: A2575
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Tadcaster, North Yorkshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RFC Catterick Garrison, Catterick, North Yorkshire
Destination airport:RFC Catterick Garrison, Catterick, North Yorkshire
Narrative:
26.11.16: Airco (DeHavilland) D.H.2 A2575, 6 (Reserve) Squadron, RFC Catterick Garrison, Catterick. Written off (destroyed) when Side slipped on low turn, near Tadcaster, North Yorkshire. Pilot - Captain Robert John Lillywhite (aged 23) - was killed. According to the aircraft record card for Airco (DeHavilland) DH.2 A2575 (see link #3):

"Court of Inquiry 87/9044
4/12/16
Flying accident. Crashed on making a left turn at 50 feet. Rigging, engine and controls all in good order. The Court of Inquiry finds that the accident was due to the machine making a side slip while making a left hand turn"

According to a contemporary report in "Flight" magazine (December 7 1916 page 1077 - see link #4):

"Casualties
News has been received of the death of Captain ROBERT JOHN LILLYWHITE, R.F.C., in an aeroplane accident at the Front, at the age of 23. He was a nephew of James Lillywhite, the famous Sussex cricketer, and his father was for many years in the service of the Duke of Richmond, on his West Sussex estate. He originally entered the Navv, but was discharged for medical reasons. Taking up aviation, he was one of the first to obtain a pilot's certificate under the new rules.

Engaged as a flying instructor in the R.F.C., he served in Egypt, and in 1915 was transferred to another front, when he obtained a Lieutenant's commission. Injured in a motor accident early in this year, he returned home to recuperate.

During this period he carried out duties as inspector of aerodromes, and lecturer. In September he was promoted to Captain."

He received the 1914/1915 Star Medal, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal posthumously on 5th April 1921. In his Will, it was stated that he was living at 124, Oving Road, Chichester and his effects totalling £593 11s 2d were left to his widowed mother. Elizabeth Maura Kennett Lillywhite.

He is buried in St Peterís Churchyard, Westhampnett, Chichester. He is commemorated on the Chichester City and Portfield (Rumboldswyke) War Memorial.

Note that the report in "Flight" magazine is slightly in error. Although Captain Robert John Lillywhite did indeed serve in Egypt and on the Western Front in France, his death in a flying accident was in Catterick, North Yorkshire, some 300 miles away from the Western Front. (Coinciding with the promotion to Captain, he was posted to Catterick with effect from 1st September 1916 to become a senior instructor).

Sources:

1. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1916.htm
2. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/402774/lillywhite,-robert-john/
3. http://www.rafmuseumstoryvault.org.uk/archive/lillywhite-r.j.-robert-john
4. Flight magazine (December 7 1916 page 1077): https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1916/1916%20-%201085.html?search=Robert%20John%20Lillywhite
5. https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Robert_John_Lillywhite
6. https://www.iwm.org.uk/memorials/item/memorial/40230
7. https://chichesterinthegreatwar.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/captain-robert-john-lillywhite-by-nicholas-shaw.pdf
8. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pilots_awarded_an_Aviator%27s_Certificate_by_the_Royal_Aero_Club_in_1914
9. http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Sussex/Westhampnett.html
10. http://www.chichesterpost.co.uk/2018/11/changing-times-chichester-airmen-of-the-first-world-war/
11. http://www.cjbalm.com/auto-aero/aitem112.htm


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
04-Jan-2019 21:31 Dr. John Smith Added
04-Jan-2019 21:32 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
13-Jan-2019 13:25 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]
17-Jan-2019 19:01 Dr. John Smith Updated [Aircraft type]

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