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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 220813
Last updated: 28 April 2019
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Date:23-JAN-1917
Time:day
Type:Silhouette image of generic BFIT model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Bristol F.2b
Owner/operator:38 (Reserve) Sqn RFC
Registration: A3309
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Charlton Park, Malmesbury, Wiltshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Take off
Nature:Military
Departure airport:RFC Rendcomb, Cirencester, Gloucestershire
Destination airport:
Narrative:
23.1.17: Bristol F.2b Fighter A3309, 38 (Reserve) Squadron, RFC Rendcomb, Cirencester, Gloucestershire. Written off (destroyed) when crashed shortly after take-off, Charlton Park, Malmesbury, Wiltshire. The observer - 2nd Lt Beresford Frank Parsons (aged 24) - was killed. The pilot - 2nd Lt Cyril Boyd Fenton (an Australian, aged 21) was injured.

According to a newspaper report in the The Scotsman, 25th January 1917, Frank was an observer in an aeroplane being piloted by Second Lieutenant Fenton, an Australian. The men got lost and, after stopping to enquire the way, found the engine failing. When turning to descend again, they found there was insufficient speed for flight and the men fell some 100 feet. Lieutenant Cyril Boyd Fenton (1897-1922) was also seriously injured, sustaining a fractured base of the skull, a compound fracture of the right leg, and various cuts and bruises. He was unconscious for three weeks but was then reported to be “doing splendidly”. He returned to active service seven months later but was captured by the enemy in March 1918, and interned in a Prisoner of War camp in Germany. He returned to England in December 1918 but died of cancer in Australia in 1922.

Second Lieutenant Beresford Frank Parsons is commemorated on the war memorial at Yardley, and on the roll of honour at the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, as well as at King Edward’s School. However, his name appears to be missing from Solihull School’s war memorial. His brother, Harold, survived the war and named his only son, born in 1923, Frank Beresford Parsons, presumably in memory of his late brother.

According to the aircraft accident record card for Bristol F.2b Fighter A3309 (see link #3):

"Court of Inquiry 7/7954
1/2/17
Fatal flying accident. It is the opinion of the Court of Inquiry that the accident was caused by the pilot, returning down wind with a failing engine, losing flying speed, whilst endeavouring to maintain landing speed"

According to a contemporary report in "Flight" magazine (February 1, 1917 page 118)

"Fatal Accidents.
AT an inquest held at Malmesbury on January 24th on Second Lieut. B. F. Parsons, R.F.C., it was stated that he was the passenger on a machine which fell in Charlton Park on the previous day. The machine had just re-started, a descent having been made to enquire the way, when the machine crashed to the ground. Apparently the engine failed, and in trying to turn the machine side-slipped. Second Lieut. Parsons died three hours later in hospital.

The pilot, Second Lieut. C. B. Fenton, was seriously injured."

Sources:

1. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1917.htm
2. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/404340/parsons,-beresford-frank/
3. http://www.rafmuseumstoryvault.org.uk/archive/7000281951-parsons-b.f.-beresford-frank
4. "Flight" magazine (February 1, 1917 page 118): https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1917/1917%20-%200118.html
5. https://kes.org.uk/RollofHonour/biogs/parsons-beresford-frank.html
6. https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Beresford_Frank_Parsons
7. https://solihulllife.wordpress.com/2017/01/23/23rd-jan-1917/#more-3020


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
14-Jan-2019 18:17 Dr. John Smith Added
15-Jan-2019 13:03 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]
17-Jan-2019 20:24 Dr. John Smith Updated [Aircraft type]
17-Jan-2019 20:24 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]

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