Accident Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2d A1937,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 220788
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Date:Wednesday 10 January 1917
Type:Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2d
Owner/operator:46 (Reserve) Sqn RFC
Registration: A1937
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:RFC Bramham Moor, 3 miles WSW of Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, England -   United Kingdom
Phase: Approach
Departure airport:RFC Bramham Moor, Tadcaster, North Yorkshire
Destination airport:RFC Bramham Moor, Tadcaster, North Yorkshire
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
10.1.17: Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2d A1937, 46 (Reserve) Squadron, RFC Bramham Moor. Written off (destroyed) when hit trees, crashed and caught fire, on approach to RFC Bramham Moor, three miles West-South-West of Tadcaster, North Yorkshire. Both crew - Captain Rowland Burdon (pilot) and Lt Frederick Harry Turner MC (passenger, on attachment from the Gloucestershire Regiment) - were killed.

On the 10th of January 1917, 2nd Lieutenant Thomas Hugo French witnessed the crash of a F.E.2d aircraft from his base which killed Captain Rowland Burdon and his passenger, Lieutenant Frederick Harry Turner. He appeared as a witness at the inquest which followed the incident where he was recorded as saying:-

"Opening up the engine to go round again, and with the aircraft six to eight feet off the ground, the pilot appeared to leave his climb too late to clear a wood. A wing tip caught the top of the trees. The machine then rose above the trees until it lost all speed, and then nose dived into the ground, catching fire on impact."

(2nd Lieutenant Thomas Hugo French was himself killed just three days later in the crash of F.E.2d A1945 - which see).

According to the aircraft accident record card for F.E.2d A1937 (see link #5)

"Court of Inquiry 87/9271
Flying accident - error of judgement, The Court of Inquiry find that the accident was due to an error of judgement on the part of the pilot"

According to a contemporary report in "Flight" magazine (January 18 1917 pages 75 & 75 - see link #6)

"While descending near Leeds on the morning of January 10th, an aeroplane caught a tree top, and, coming, to earth, burst into flames. The pilot, Capt. R. Burdon, and the passenger, Lieut. F. H. Turner, were both killed.

Captain ROWLAND BURDON, R.F.C., who has died as the result of an accident while flying at Tadcaster, was the only son of Colonel Rowland Burdon and Mrs. Burdon, of Castle Eden, County Durham. He was 23 years of age, was educated at Eton and Oxford, where he took his degree in 1914, and received his commission early in the war in the Durham Light Infantry in a battalion raised by his father. He had his captaincy in June, 1915, and, transferring to the Royal Flying Corps in July, was gazetted Flight-Commander in June of last year. He served nine months at the Front, and was invalided home. In December he was appointed an Instructor. He was a keen athlete and won many prizes"

Note that most published sources state that the aircraft crashed "near Leeds"; however Tadcaster is approximately 20 miles north-east of Leeds (so not all that near!)

An article on the "Newcastle Evening Chronicle" for 8 August 2016 (see link #7) mentions a brief biography of Captain Rowland Burdon:

"In County Durham, the newly listed memorials are: Castle Eden, to 30 First World War fallen. They include Captain and Flight Commander Rowland Burdon serving with the No 46 Reserve Squadron, Royal Flying Corps who died on January 10, 1917.

Rowland Burdon was the only son of Colonel Rowland Burdon, of Castle Eden, Durham, and his wife Mary Arundell Slade. Rowland’s great grandfather was the man behind the building of the Wearmouth Bridge in Sunderland.

Rowland was educated at Eton and University College, Oxford, and joined the 18th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry, which his father had raised, later transferring to the Royal Flying Corps.".

2nd Lt Frederick Henry Turner was awarded the M.C. (Military Cross) for his distinguished and brave conduct during the battle of Loos (25 September to 8 October 1915). He was mentioned in dispatches for the award on 3 June 1916, and formally invested on 7 October 1916 as one the the King's Birthday Honours awards.


6. Flight magazine (January 1917 page 75):
12. Yorkshire Post 12 Jan 1917 and Cheltenham Chronicle 20 Jan 1917

Revision history:

13-Jan-2019 22:57 Dr. John Smith Added
13-Jan-2019 22:58 Dr. John Smith Updated [Narrative]
14-Jan-2019 08:15 stehlik49 Updated [Operator]
24-Jul-2023 18:33 Nepa Updated [[Operator]]

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