First RFC Crash

5 July 1912
Greenlands Bottom, nr Stonehenge, Larkhill
Plane: Nieuport IV.G monoplane
Operator: 3 Squadron RFC

Pilot: Capt. Eustace Broke Lor(r)aine, aged 32, RFC
Observer: Staff Sgt Richard Hubert Victor Wilson (known as Bert), aged 29, Royal Engineers

It was a morning practice flight.
In a previous flight that morning Loraine had had engine problems when making sharp turns, so he probably took Wilson up to help diagnose the problem.
The plane tried executing a tight turn at 300-440' altitude, side slipped in the turn and then dived into the ground.
Wilson killed outright
Lorraine taken to Bulford Hospital by horse drawn ambulance, but died a few minutes after arrival.

Evening order: "Flying will continue this evening as usual" - becomea bit of a standard motto for the RFC/RAF

2 crew given large military funerals, deemed as "heroes". Memorial at site crash.
Buried in Andover cemetry: Staff Sgt Richard Hubert Victor Wilson

Memorial cross erected close to the site of the crash, unveiled 5 July 1913, site renamed Airman's Cross (or Airmen's?), now moved to be beside Stonehenge visitors centre.

Contrast against deaths during the war - body on a plank covered with a sheet as a shroud, no coffin, placed in a grave and marked with a simple cross or propeller


Capt. Eustace Broke Lor(r)aine, RFC
DoB 3 Sept. 1879, aged 32
1st child of Rear Admiral Sir Lambton Loraine, 11th Baronet of Kirkhale, Northumbria and Frederica Mary Horation (née Broke)
Educated at Eton, then Sandhurst
5 July 1899 2nd Lt, Grenadier Guards
May 1900 promoted to Lt, served in S Africa (Boer war? check)
July 1907 promoted to Captain, served in West Africa
Seconded to RFC to learn to fly
Got Royal Aero Club certificate #154 on 7 Nov 1911
1911-12 posted at Larkhill
Taught both Wilson and Cpl Frank Ridd (the first NCO in the RFC to fly) how to fly
On 8 July coffin taken from Bulford Camp to Bulford Station with full military honours, then train to Bramford near Ipswich, ten road to his house (Bramford Hall?) with a full military funeral on 10th July.


From Andover
Attended Andover Grammar School
Apprenticed to Messrs Tasker & Sons at Waterloo Iron Works in Andover
Joined Royal Engineers as a mechanic, originally at their balloon factory in Farnborough
Then became an expert on aircraft engines
Senior technical NCO in 3 Sqdn often accompanying officers on their flights
Initially only officers could be pilots, but this was relaxed in 1912, and on 18 June 1912 Wilson got his Royal Aero Club certificate after just 4.5 hours of solo flying (taught by Loraine), the 2nd NCO to do so - only to die 17 days later
Funeral 8 July 1912 - major military funeral, the biggest the town has ever had, with all roads in to Andover closed
His Royal Aero Club certificate, log book and flying helmet are in the Army Flying Museum, Middle Wallop


Crash report and photo http://www.sarsen.org/2012/04/airmans-cross-accident.html

Eustace Loraine - Wikipedia

2018 cerremony at Richard Wilson's grave (Andover Advertiser) https://www.andoveradvertiser.co.uk/news/16357452.gathering-to-remember-royal-air-corps-staff-sergeant-richard-wilson/

Stonehenge old maps

Article by Bramford History Group on death of Capt. Loraine

Eustace Loraine images

Airmen's Cross accident report - Sarsen.org

Stonehenge - Aviators Cross memorial
Air accident report on the crash

Grace's Guide on Loraine and accident, link to Wilson

Historic England - Airmen's Cross

Crash photos

Flying with the Larks - book on pre WW1 flying at Larkhill

Loraine funeral images


Junction Road, Andover, where Richard Wilson lived

Use Ancestry or similar to find census data to get the house number?
Google search for Junction Rd pics
Junction Road 1913 on eBay
Junction Rd 1915 on eBay
Junction Rd on eBay


Wikipedia on Taskers
Anna Valley - Wikipedia
Google maps of the site
HCC on Taskers
Hampshire Cultural Trust on Taskers
Hampshire History - Taskers of Andover Ltd
Tasker & Sons - Hants museums
Tasker Collection
Map of the area
History of Anna Valley church
Waterloo Iron Works missionary meeting