On the weekend I thought I would have a look around St John's Church in Reid to see if I could find the grave of a young RAAF pilot who died as a result of injuries recieved after his SE-5a crashed during a flypast to mark the opening of Parliament House on 9th May 1927. I managed to find his grave fairly easily, and thought I'd share this photo with you as I was quite surprised to see where he came from!
I had a look on the internet for further information about the accident, and managed to find this on the adf-serials website:
"FLG OFF Francis Ewen's SE-5A inexplicably peeled-off formation, stalled and crashed 600 metres from Parliament House and the assembled crowd. Ewen was pulled from the wreckage, but died several hours later without recounting what happened."
A very sad story, and also part of a bad run of fatal accidents involving RAAF aircraft in 1927. Two DH-9 aircraft collided during a flypast to celebrate the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of York in Melbourne on 21 April. Four crewmen were killed, and it was to be the first of two air accidents witnessed by the Royal couple during their tour as they were also present in Canberra for the opening of Parliament House.
Yeah, it'd be interesting to find out a bit more about this young fellow, and what made him join the RAAF. I assume NZSC is the NZ Service Corps - can anyone confirm?
I first heard about this crash about 8-10 years ago, but had never thought much about looking for the grave, so you can probably imagine my surprise when I found out that he was a fellow Kiwi. I even had to check my Wises NZ guide to find out where Kamo was when I got home, as I'd never heard of the place!