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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 220874
Last updated: 28 April 2019
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Date:12-FEB-1917
Time:13:30 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic be2 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different
Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2d
Owner/operator:63 Sqn RFC
Registration: 7229
C/n / msn:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Walton Hall Farm, Walton, near Chesterfield, Derbyshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: Landing
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Brooklands, West Byfleet, Weybridge, Surrey
Destination airport:RFC Cramlington, Northumberland
Narrative:
12.2.17: Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2d 7229, 63 Squadron, RFC Cramlington, Northumberland. Written off (destroyed) when hit tree in forced landing, Walton, near Chesterfield, Derbyshire. Pilot - Lt William Henry Segrave (aged 31) - was killed. According to a contemporary report in "Flight" magazine (February 15, 1917 page 167 - see link #3)

Fatal Accidents
Accidental Death " was returned. Lieut. W. H. Segrave, R.F.C., was killed while landing at Chesterfield on the afternoon of the 13th inst. While attempting to land, apparently through engine trouble, his machine came into contact with a tree top and crashed to the ground, the pilot being killed instantly"

The Belper News of February 27th 1917 has some further details of the crash:

BIPLANE CRASHES TO THE GROUND
Lieutenant's Skull Fractured

Chesterfield has received its first aviation fatality, the victim being Lieutenant W. H. Segrave, 3H, Portman Mansions, Baker St., West London - an airman who has shown wonderful coolness, skill and daring.

News of the gallant airman's death cast quite a gloom over the district, and many people paid a visit to the scene of the tragic occurrence - the field facing the two cottages abutting the by-road leading from Walton Road to the Blue Stoops.

Second Lt. Wm. Bagnall, a qualified pilot in the Royal Flying Corps, identified the deceased, whose age, he said, was about 27 years. Lt. Segrave was an experienced and competent pilot and was the instructor to the squadron to which he had been attached. He went by train to a town in Surrey to bring back a new 90 H.P. biplane.

Dr. W. C Fowler, Medical Superintendant of the Derbyshire County Council's Sanatorium at Walton, said he saw the biplane about 1.30. It was flying so low that it only just cleared his house, It was proceeding in the direction of Walton Hall Farm, and disappeared from view. Almost immediately he heard two crashes and, running forward he saw the machine lying in a field about 20 yards away. Several branches had been broken off the tree nearby. The machine was overturned and the airman was underneath, being strapped to his seat. He called out to him, but received no reply. By this time several men had come up and he got them to hold up the tail of the aeroplane, while he released the pilot by cutting the straps. He was alive but unconscious, and died in about three minutes. [Dr Fowler stated] my impression is that the motor was shut off. The machine made very little noise."

Sources:

1. http://www.rcawsey.co.uk/Acc1917.htm
2. http://www.rafmuseumstoryvault.org.uk/archive/segrave-w.h.-william-henry
3. https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/4028152/
4. Flight magazine (February 15, 1917 page 167): https://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1917/1917%20-%200167.html
5. https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/243298-william-henry-segrave-kifa-february-12th-1917/
6. http://www.newmp.org.uk/article.php?categoryid=99&articleid=1604&displayorder=1
7. http://www.newmp.org.uk/sitedocs/Segrave%20WH.jpg


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
16-Jan-2019 21:48 Dr. John Smith Added
19-Jan-2019 12:42 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]

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