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Hooton Park Fatalities

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NickForder View Drop Down
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    Posted: 22 Jun 2009 at 10:31





BENHAM, Frederick

96187 AM2 4TDS RFC

29.3.1918      (Friday) died

Buried :           St Mary’s, Eastham (Chester 192)


BRENDEL. John Daniel George

T2Lt General List attached 4TDS RFC.

27.1.1918      (Sunday) killed while flying Sopwith Pup B5972, aged 27.

Engine failure at 6 000 feet caused Brendel to crash into the Mersey off Eastham.

Native :           Holloway, London.

Buried :           St Mary’s, Hendon (Middlesex 30).

Formerly Royal Canadian Militia.

Son of Effie Brendel, 44 Hilldrop Road, Holloway, London and the late J D F Brendell.

Sopwith Pup B5872 was one of a batch of 250 built by the Standard Motor Company.



405418 AM3 4TDS RAF (served as Duke).

21.9.1918      died.

Buried :           High Wycombe.


EASTON, Philip Reginald

2Lt 4TDS RAF (pilot).

30.7.1918      (Tuesday) killed while flying Sopwith Dolphin D3670 .

Buried :           Cheshunt Burial Ground, Herts.

Sopwith 5F1 Dolphin D3670 was one of a batch of 200 aircraft built by Sopwith at Kingston.












ELLIOTT, Claude Elsdon

2Lt Canadian Army Medical Corps attached 4TDS RAF (pilot)

5.9.1918         Killed while flying Sopwith Dolphin C3998, aged 24.

Son of Mary K Elliott, 98 Metcalfe Street, St Thomas, Ontario, Canada., and the late Reverend George Elliott.

Theological student at Wycliffe College, Toronto.

BA Toronto University.

Native :           Cousler, Ontario, Canada.

Buried :           St Mary’s, Eastham. (Cheshire 192) (Noted as C E Elsdon on gravestone)

Sopwith 5F1 Dolphin C3998 was built by Sopwith at Kingston.



ENGLISH, Joseph Patrick Fitzgerald

2Lt 4TDS RAF (pilot).

21.7.1918      Killed while flying Sopwith Dolphin C4138, aged 25.

Son of Lawrence A English and Mary English, Washington Park, Troy.

Husband of Gertrude E F English, 2315 Fifth Avenue, Troy, New York, USA.

Buried :           St Mary of the Angels Roman Catholic Cemetery, Hooton, Cheshire (Cheshire 194). Later exhumed and returned to Canada.

Sopwith 5F1 Dolphin C4138 was built by Sopwith at Kingston.



FLYNN, Vincent Jerome

2Lt 4TDS RAF (pilot)

20.6.1918      Killed while flying Avro 504 D7562, which collided with Pearson and MacFarlane (see below), aged 20.

Burial place unknown.

Native :           New Jersey, USA.

Avro 504 D7562 was one of a batch of 300 ‘J’ and ‘K’ sub-types built by A V Roe at Newton Heath, Manchester.



GARDEN, Clarence Scott

2Lt 4TDS RAF (pilot).

2.6.1918         Killed while flying Sopwith Pup B6148, aged 20.

Son of George Frederick Scott Garden and Clarissa Hays Garden, 1335 King Street West, Toronto, Canada.

Born :              Seaforth, Ontario.

Buried :           St Mary’s, Eastham (Cheshire 192).

Sopwith Pup B6148 was one of a batch of 250 built by Standard Motors.






LOWRIE, Victor William Valette

Lt 4TDS RAF (pilot/instructor).

27.4.1918      (Saturday) killed while flying Sopwith Pup B1742, aged 18. Hit air pocket and spun in at low altitude. Died later of shock and injuries at ChesterWar Hospital’.

Native :           Radyr.

Buried :           St John the Baptist Old Churchyard, Radyr, Glamorgan (Wales 17).

Son of Alfred Herbert Lowrie and Marguerite Lowrie, ‘Lynwood’, Radyr, Glamorgan.

Sopwith Pup B1742 was one of a batch of 150 aircraft built by the Standard Motor Company.

Flying from Shotwick ?



MACFARLANE, William Smith

Lt 5th Battalion Royal Scots attached 4TDS RAF (cadet pilot).


20.6.1918      Killed while flying in Avro 504 B8604 at Chester (sic), aged 27. Captain W R G Pearson also killed. Collided with Flynn (see above).

Native :           Edinburgh.

Buried :           Dean Cemetery, Edinburgh (Scotland 237).

Son of Mr W W MacFarlane and Mrs C M W MacFarlane, 10 Tipperlin Road, Edinburgh.

Avro 504 B8604 was one of a batch of 200 ‘A’, ‘J’ and ‘K’ sub-types built by Parnall.



MEIKLE, Allen John Brian

2Lt Army Service Corps attached 4TDS RAF (pilot).

5.8.1918         (Monday) killed while flying Sopwith Dolphin D3698, aged 18.

Killed at 10:40 am. Took off too steeply, flat turn to port, stalled at 250 feet. Burst into flame on crashing. Took off from Shotwick ?

Native :           Brockhampton. Gloucestershire.

Buried :           St Martin’s, Charlton Abbott, Gloucestershire (Glos 210).

Son of James C Meikle and Elizabeth Meikle, Cotehay Farm, Andoversford.

Sopwith 5F1 Dolphin D3698 was one of a batch of 200 aircraft built by Sopwith at Kingston.









MILLHOUSE, Archie Percival

Flt Cadet under instruction 4TDS RAF (pilot)

29.11.1918    (Friday) killed when his Sopwith Dolphin, C4143, dived from 2 500 feet into the ground at Church Farm, Capenhurst.

Native :           Stretford, Manchester.

Buried :           Stretford Cemetery (Lancs 475).

Son of John Millhouse and Mary Millhouse, 1I, North Lonsdale Street, Gorse Hill, Stretford, Manchester.   

Sopwith 5F1 Dolphin C4143 was one of a batch of 500 built by Sopwith at Kingston.




2Lt 4TS RFC (pilot)

11.5.1918      Killed while flying Maurice Farman Shorthorn A6900.

Buried :           Belfast (Northern Ireland 33).

MF 11 A6900  was one of a batch of 100 aircraft built by the Aircraft Manufacturing Company at Hendon.



MOUSLEY,  Oscar Oliver

2Lt 4TDS RAF (pilot)

25.6.1918      Killed while flying Sopwith Dolphin C3997, aged 27.

Son of William Mousley and Priscilla Mousely, Russell Road, Weston, Ontario, Canada.

Native :           Weston, Ontario.

Buried :           St Mary’s, Eastham (Cheshire 192).

Sopwith 5F1 Dolphin C3997 was built by Sopwith at Kingston.



MURRAY, Walter Scott

2Lt 4TDS RAF (pilot).

27.5.1918      Killed while flying Sopwith Pup D4139, aged 20.

Son of James W Murray and Anna M Murray, 208 Bergen Street, Brooklawn Gloucester, New Jersey, USA.

Born :              Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Buried :           St Mary’s, Eastham (Cheshire 192).

Sopwith Pup D4139 was assembled from a batch of 200 Pups ordered as spares from Whitehead Aircraft.








NELSON, Kenneth Alonzo

2Lt 4TDS RAF (pilot).

23.5.1918      Died of injuries sustained in crash of Sopwith Dolphin C3915 which spun in, aged 22.

Son of Jay Odell Nelson and Minerva Bell Nelson, Howard City, Michighan, USA.

Native :           Howard City, Michigan, USA.

Buried :           Chester General Cemetery (Chester 28).

Sopwith 5F1 Dolphin C3915 was built by the design company at Kingston.



PEARSON, William  Reginald Guy

Captain 4TDS RAF (formerly 17th Battalion Royal Fusiliers other rank commissioned into Army Service Corps) (instructor).

20.6.1918      Killed while flying in Avro 504 B8604 which collided with Avro 504 D7562 flown by 2Lt V J Flynn (see above) Pearson was aged 21. Lt William Smith MacFarlance also killed.

Son of Dr Spencer Pearson.

Native :           Stockwell, London.

Buried :           St Mary’s, Easham (Cheshire 192).

Notes :            5=12.1916 observer, 2 Squadron RFC.

7.1917 pilot, 32 Squadron RFC (see Above the Trenches for details of claims).

                        5.3.1918 pilot, posted to Home Establishment.

Avro 504 B8604 was one of a batch of 200 ‘A’, ‘J’ and ‘K’ sub-types built by Parnall.



PEDDIE, James Wyndham

316091 Flt Cadet under instruction 4TDS RAF (noted as Cadet Distributing Depot).

5.12.1918             (Thursday) took off in Sopwith Dolphin C4233, climbed too steeply, stalled at 150 feet and crashed near aerodrome. Killed in crash aged 22.

Native:            Winnipeg

Buried :           Cathays Cemetery, Cardiff, Glamorganshire (Wales 17)

Sopwith 5F1 Dolphin C4233 was one of 500 built by Sopwith at Kingston.     











PETTITT, Malcolm Saunders

Lt 4TDS RAF (instructor).

11.8.1918      (Sunday) killed while flying Avro 504K E2932. Passenger, Flight Cadet C B Cooke, injured. Mid-air collision with Flight Cadet William Peedie Lund, in Sopwith Pup D4106 (4TDS). Hit tail of E2932 which turned upside down, glided to earth, hit tree in wood and then ‘telescoped’. D4106 damaged wing and spun to earth in a field 300 yards from where E2932 crashed. Lund was seriously injured.

Native :           Orpington, Kent.

Buried :           All Saints’, Orpington, Kent (Kent 99).

Notes :            27.3.1918 wounded while flying 54 Squadron Sopwith Camel.

26.3.1918 pilot of 54 Squadron Sopwith Camel C1667 damaged by machine gun fire.

Avro 504K E2932 was one of a batch of 150 aircraft built by Morgan & Co.



ROSCOE, James Frank

2Lt 4TDS RAF (pilot).

6.8.1918         Killed while flying Sopwith Pup B7513, aged 19. At 07:20 am got into the line of fire of another aircraft during target practice. Roscoe wounded beneath right eye causing him to crash. Died of injuries sustained in the crash.

Native :           Canadian formerly of Kirby, Lancashire.

Buried :           St Mary’s, Eastham (Cheshire 192).

Sopwith Pup B7513 was one of a batch of 100 aircraft built by Whitehead Aircraft.




















RUSSELL, Henry Thornbury Fox

Captain 4TDS RAF (formerly 6th Battalion Royal Welch Fusiliers) (pilot/instructor).

14.12.1917        Awarded Military Cross (Gaz 4.2.1918).

24.3.1918             Member of a 41 Squadron patrol, led by Captain R W Chappell, which encountered approximately 30 Fokker Triplanes and Albatros Scouts between Sailly and Havrincourt. These are believed to be of JG1. 41 Squadron lost two SE5a scouts, one of which is believed to have been shot down by Richtofhen as his 67th ‘victory’. 41 Squadron claimed four Triplanes ‘out of control’, one Triplane believed damaged and a further Triplanewhich was seen to crash. The latter was claimed by Russell. The only JG1 loss that day was Triplane Dr1 147/17 flown by Leutnant Keseling of Jasta 10. Keseling came down on the Allied side of the lines and was captured, along with his Triplane which received the RFC serial G158 and was shipped to the UK for evaluation. However it is believed that Keseling was shot down by ground fire.

18.11.1918        Went into a spin at 900 feet, while flying Sopwith Dolphin C4011, and failed to regain control before hitting the ground. Died in crash aged 21. It is presumed that he either fainted or became disorientated.

Native :           Holyhead

Sopwith 5F1 Dolphin C4011 was one of 500 built by Sopwith at Kingston.




2Lt 4TDS RAF (pilot).

3.11.1918      Killed while flying Sopwith Dolphin C8127, aged 24.

Son of William Hindle Shorrock and Harriet Shorrock, 39 Regent Street, Blackburn.

Buried :           Blackburn (Lancs 193).

Sopwith 5F1 Dolphin C8127 was one of a batch of 200 aircraft built by The Darracq Motor Engineering Company Ltd.



WAITE, Lawrence Phelps

2Lt  4TDS RAF (pilot).

16.7.1918      Killed while flying Sopwith Pup D4159, aged 23.

Eldest son of Ralls Waite and Bessie Phelps Waite, Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada.

Native :           Ingersoll, Ontario, Canada.

Buried :           St Mary’s, Eastham (Cheshire 192).

Sopwith Pup D4159 was assembled from a batch of 200 Pups ordered as spares from Whitehead Aircraft.

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drailton View Drop Down

Joined: 31 May 2009
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drailton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Jun 2009 at 14:35
There was no known grave for one of these men, Vincent Flynn. The following is taken from an article I wrote a few years ago for a local interests magazine on the search for his grave and getting CWGC to erect a headstone:



On a summer’s day in 1918 Vincent fell to his death into a field in Cheshire. His death certificate gave the cause of death as “Killed falling whilst flying…”. Vincent was Vincent Jerome Flynn, a pilot at the Royal Air Force’s aerodrome at Hooton Hall in Wirral. Unlike other pilots who lost their life in action or by accident there was not, however, any memorial to him. He seemed to have disappeared from the records.


In his few years Vincent had led a very full life, born to an Irish immigrant family in New Jersey, by the time he arrived at Hooton he had already trained to be a priest, been commissioned in the US Army, fought in one of the American campaigns in Mexico, attempted to enlist in the US Aviation Service, studied at a New York college, trained as a pilot in Canada and worked as a flying instructor in Texas. All this by the age of 20!


The lands surrounding Hooton Hall, the ancestral home of the Stanley family, had recently been converted to an aerodrome many airmen lost their lives. Eight of these men are buried in the local churchyard of St Mary’s, Eastham and a memorial plaque has been erected to them inside the church. Another is buried at the local Roman Catholic church of St Mary of the Angels and others were interred in their home towns. These men all have memorial stones erected by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission but for Vincent there was no memorial, no known grave.


Hooton specialised in the training of volunteers from Canada and the United States of America. Four of the dead were Canadian and four from the United States and one of these four was Vincent. The others had graves, far from home, in local churches but not Vincent. No one knew about Vincent. The Commonwealth War Grave Commission has a responsibility for commemorating all who lost their lives in both world wars by erecting named headstones or memorials. Most of the dead are in war cemeteries throughout the world but many Commission headstones can be also seen in local church and municipal cemeteries throughout the British Isles. The memory of Vincent, however, was not commemorated as the Commission had no record of what happened to his remains.   


On the 20th June, 1918 two Avro 504J aircraft from the Royal Air Force No 4 Training Depot Station at Hooton Park, Cheshire were involved in a mid-air collision. One of the aircraft was piloted by Captain William Reginald Guy Pearson. Also in this aircraft was Lieutenant William Smith MacFarlane. The other aircraft was piloted by Lieutenant Vincent Jerome Flynn. All three officers lost their lives.


William Pearson was born in 1897 at Parbold, Lancashire the son of Dr Reginald and Minnie Pearson. Prior to his service with the Royal Air Force he had been with the 17th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers and later an Observer with No 2 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps. He was buried at the local church of St Mary’s at Eastham where his grave at plot E4 has a Commonwealth War Grave memorial stone.


William MacFarlane was born in 1890 the son of Mr. W. W. and Mrs. C. M. W. MacFarlane of 10, Tipperlin Road, Edinburgh. He was educated at Merchiston Castle School and his previous service included periods with the Lothian and Border Horse as a Trooper, and commissioned service with the 5th Bn Royal Scots and the King's Own Royal Lancashire Regiment. In 1916, while serving with the Royal Scots he was awarded the Military Cross. He was buried at the Dean Cemetery in Edinburgh plot 7.22 where it is understood that his grave has a Commonwealth War Grave memorial stone.


Vincent Jerome Flynn was born in Jersey City in 1898 or 1899 to Michael and Mary E Flynn nee Monaghan. He was a student at St Michael’s Parochial School, Jersey City until the age of about 13 when he started studying for the priesthood at St Joseph’s College, Baltimore. In March 1917 he enlisted in the United States Army and was commissioned at El Paso during General Pershing’s Mexican campaign against Pancho Villa. Soon after, he was found to be under the required age for a commission. He resigned from the Army and then made an unsuccessful attempt to join the United States Aviation Service. He then entered St Francis Xavier College in New York but in October 1917 he enlisted in the British Army and received aviation training and was commissioned in Toronto. He was then posted as a flying instructor to the Canadian training station at Camp Benbrook, Texas, moving to England in February 1918.


On 21st June, the day after the accident, the Cheshire coroner held an inquest at which a verdict of accidental death was returned on the three pilots. It was further reported that the three officers were killed as a result of a collision in the air of two machines while they were engaged in practice flying at about 1000 feet. Following the inquest a death certificate was issued on the 24th June for Vincent Jerome Flynn of 30, Seaview Avenue, Jersey City, USA. This is the address in Jersey City the family moved to sometime after 1910.


Royal Air Force personnel who died while serving at Hooton Park Aerodrome at this time were usually buried at the local Church of England parish church of St Mary, Eastham unless their families wanted burial elsewhere. As Vincent Flynn was a Roman Catholic the most likely place to look for his burial was the nearest Roman Catholic Church which is St Mary of the Angels, Hooton and this church’s register does show that he was buried there on the 24th June. There is, however, no grave plot number given in the register, no memorial stone in the grave yard and no one from this church had any knowledge of where he was buried. On delving into the church’s records a letter to the church from the Imperial War Graves Commission dated 28th October, 1929 was found. This letter includes the following:


 “The officer referred to appears to be Second Lieutenant V. J. Flynn, and the Commission's representative when he visited the churchyard in 1922 was informed that the body of this officer was exhumed and removed about three months before his visit in July, 1922”


The Holy Name Cemetery, Jersey City, New Jersey later confirmed that a Vincent J Flynn was buried there on the 6th June, 1922 in what appears to be a family grave at location F H 85. The grave register shows that also buried in the same grave were: “Michl. Managhan age adult interred 17th April 1899, Jos. Flynn age 2 hrs interred 9th September 1901, Mary Monahan age 70 yrs interred 17th April 1911”. The original grave owner is shown as Mary Monaghan. The Cemetery also stated that there was no head stone on this grave. This has also been confirmed by photographic evidence.


It was known that Vincent’s grandmother’s surname was Monaghan. It can also be seen on the 1910 census that a Mary Monahan, aged 71, was living at the family home. Despite the small differences in spelling it can be certain that the grandmother, family home occupant, the interment of 1911 and the grave owner were one and the same person and it can, therefore, with certainty, be assumed that the Vincent J Flynn buried at Holy Name Cemetery is the Lieutenant Flynn who died at Hooton Park, Cheshire on 20th June, 1918.


On receiving this information about the last resting place of Vincent Flynn the Commonwealth War Grave Commission immediately started the necessary process of erecting a memorial to him in the Jersey City cemetery. This has now been done and memorials are now in place for all Hooton Park airmen who lost their lives in World War I.


In May, 2007 a brief ceremony in commemoration of Vincent’s life was held at the Holy Cross Cemetery, Jersey City, USA. A fitting conclusion to the search for Vincent Flynn’s grave.

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drailton View Drop Down

Joined: 31 May 2009
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drailton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jun 2009 at 13:00
I can give updated information for 2 of the men named on Nick Forder's list: Joseph Patrick Fitzgerald English and Vincent Jerome Flynn. For fuller information on Flynn and his grave please see my previous posting on this thread. I dont believe that English was exhumed and reinterred in his native country although there is a note to this effect in the archives at Hooton Park. I believe that this is a confusion with Flynn who was reinterred inj New Jersey. There is a CWGC grave stone for English at Hooton RC church and a small grave side ceremony is held every year by the parishioners. Although Flynn was originally buried at the same church there is no memorial stone for him there.
Royal Air Force
No. 4 Training Depot Station
18 (GRO states 20)
Date of Death:
Additional information:
Son of Michael and Mary E Flynn of 30, Seaview Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey, USA
New York Times
Original burial:
IWGC letter
Date of Burial:
June 1918
About April 1922
IWGC letter
Grave Reference:
Block F, Section 8, Number 85
Cemetery records
Cemetery records
Cemetery records
Civil Death Registration:
Wirral 8a 462, Q2/1918
Cause of Death:
Coroner's verdict - Accidental (flying)
Chester Chronicle
Second Lieutenant
Royal Air Force
4th Training Depot Station
25 (GRO states 26)
Date of Death:
Additional information:
Son of Lawrence A. and Mary English, of Washington Park, Troy; husband of Gertrude E. F. English, of 2315, Fifth Avenue, Troy, New York, U.S.A.
Grave/Memorial Reference:
Near North East corner of Church.
No record in registers of St Mary Hooton
Church register
Civil Death Registration:
Wirral 8a 446, Q3/1918
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