Rushden Echo, July 27th 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins
An Army Biplane Damaged
Aviator’s Forced Landing at Rushden Through Engine Trouble
Considerable excitement was caused in Rushden on Monday about 12.15 mid-day, when a military bi-plane was observed to be repeatedly encircling the town at an unusually low altitude. So low was the machine flying that many of the spectators surmised that the aviator was seeking a suitable landing place, but these onlookers were wrong in their estimate of the pilot’s original intentions although it subsequently transpired that he was compelled through the development of engine trouble, to make a forced landing on a field off Newton-road, Rushden, near to Mrs. Mortimer’s house and the footpath across the field to Newton. Owing to the low altitude at which his machine was flying when the engine went wrong, the aviator was unable to choose a suitable landing-ground, and through his forced descent into a field of uneven surface, the machine was too badly damaged to admit of a further ascent, although the officer himself fortunately escaped injury. The under-carriage of the aeroplane was smashed, and two blades of the propeller broken off through the machine charging a hillock. It transpired that the pilot, a young Canadian officer, was a personal friend of Mr. L. Tysoe (manager of the C.W.S. works at Rushden), who, on motoring to the scene of the mishap, recognised his friend, and invited him to his house to lunch. News of the accident was telephoned to the aerodrome from which the aviator had set out, and by 4p.m. a party of R.F.C. mechanics arrived on the scene with a motor-lorry, and at once proceeded to dismantle the damaged bi-plane.
By 7.30p.m. the work of loading up was completed, and the homeward journey was commenced about an hour later.
From the time of the descent up to the time at which the dismantling of the machine was completed large numbers of spectators visited the scene of the accident and useful work in controlling the crowds was discharged by P.S. Brumby and P.C. Bonsor.