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Aeroplanes - over Rushden in WWI

Rushden Echo & Argus, 6th October 1916, transcribed by Gill Hollis

An Army Aviator descended in Mr. Denton’s field at the back of “Eastfields” on Wednesday at 3.30 pm.  His stay was a brief one, as he did not even stop his engines.  He encircled the field on terra firma, and after enquiring what town he was in, immediately rose and went away in the direction of Bedford.  He was not down five minutes.  As he was descending another bi-plane passed over him, also travelling towards Bedford.  This machine was flying at a low altitude, and the roar of the engine was plainly audible.

Rushden Echo, 2nd March 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins

Aeroplanes—On Wednesday morning two aeroplanes passed rapidly over Rushden. They flew very low.

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.

Rushden Echo, 16th November 1917, transcribed by Gill Hollis

FOUR aeroplanes were manoeuvring over Rushden at mid-day on Sunday last, and were watched with keen interest.  Subsequently, as they were going over Wellingborough, one of them developed slight engine trouble, and eventually, after circling the town a few times, descended in a field near the Midland Railway viaducts.  The descent was witnessed by Lieutenant Johnson, of the Church Lads’ Brigade, who rendered assistance, and in a short time the machine ascended again.  The pilots of the other machines remained immediately above till they saw their companion safely landed.

Rushden Echo, 18th October 1918

AN AEROPLANE flying at a very low altitude passed over Rushden yesterday afternoon.  It was evident that the aeronaut intended landing, and he brought his machine down in a field on the Bedford-road, to the great delight of a number of school children who were blackberry picking with their teachers.  It seems that the aviator was needing petrol which caused him to land.  The aeroplane went up again at 7.30 this morning.  The machine was guarded during the night by the Volunteers.

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