Incident Handley Page V/1500 F7136, 16 Jan 1919
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 199312
 
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Date:16-JAN-1919
Time:day
Type:Handley Page V/1500
Owner/operator:Handley Page Aircraft Co Ltd
Registration: F7136
MSN:
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 5
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location:Thompson’s Wood, Sewardstone, Essex -   United Kingdom
Phase: Take off
Nature:Military
Departure airport:Thompson’s Wood, Sewardstone, Essex
Destination airport:Cricklewood, London
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
Narrative:
Forced landed in a field at Thompson’s Wood, Sewardstone, Essex on 10.1.19. Aircraft undamaged, but was wrecked six days later, on 16.1.19 during an attempt to fly it out of the field where it had force landed. According to the following published source (see link #1):

"One of the prototypes of the massive Handley Page V/1500 strategic bomber, F7136, made a forced landing on the outskirts of Waltham Abbey early in 1919. On Friday January 10 the 126-foot wingspan bomber was flying over Essex in foggy conditions when it suffered engine trouble, air locks in the fuel line, and was obliged to put down in a field close to the former AA gun site at Thompson’s Wood, Sewardstone. In this landing it suffered no serious damage.

This aircraft was already well known, if not famous, for taking up into the skies the then unprecedented number of 40 persons, 6,022 lbs., whilst undertaking load carrying trials from the manufacturers Cricklewood factory. That effort had taken place only a few days earlier in December 1918. Only 60 of these large Berlin bombers was completed. The RAF saw no requirement for them in the new peace and did not undertake to strenuously preserve any that came to grief.

The field chosen was one then owned by a local farmer, George Tuck. The land-owner quickly arranged for the hat to be passed around the large crowds drawn from the town to see the giant aeroplane. As a result a considerable sum was donated to the burgeoning building fund for the proposed Waltham Abbey War Memorial Hospital. There was plenty of time to extract the best possible revenue from the event as the Handley Page was on the ground for almost a week.

In spite of the soft ground, the damage to F7136 was not too great and it was deemed that it was worth making airworthy again in order to allow it to fly out of its temporary home. The alternative would have been to dismantle it and use a number of lorries and carts to move the many unwieldy sections back to Cricklewood.

Finally, on Thursday January 16 an attempt was made to fly it out. Probably due to the retarding effect of the soft ground, the massive bomber failed to take-off and crashed into the hedge lining the field. The crew of five were reported to have been “thrown out” in the crash.

Captain Paton and Private Ede were sufficiently injured to be taken off to the temporary wartime hospital in Waltham Abbey Town Hall. For their injuries to be attended to. It seems quite likely that this pair were the last inmates to arrive in the hospital. After treating thousands of wounded from the war years, it closed its doors the following month.

With the bomber now wrecked there was no alternative but to cart the wreckage away".

Sources:

1. http://www.brynelliott.co.uk/WESTESSEXcrashesMishaps2Peacetime.pdf
2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Handley_Page_V/1500


Revision history:

Date/timeContributorUpdates
01-Sep-2017 14:03 Dr. John Smith Added
01-Sep-2017 14:04 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
15-Apr-2021 19:56 Anon Updated [Plane category]

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