|The Rushden Argus, 23rd May 1919, transcribed by Kay Collins
Rushden Airman Killed – Fatal Flying Accident at Coventry
Dr. Iliffe, coroner, held an inquest at Coventry yesterday (Thursday) on the body of 1st Air Mechanic George Spencer Craddock (32), whose home was at 94 Queen-street, Rushden, and who was killed on the previous afternoon while flying on the Coventry ground. Mrs. Craddock was informed of the sad occurrence on Wednesday evening, and at once travelled to Coventry with a friend, arriving there just before midnight.
At the inquiry, Mrs. Craddock stated that her husband joined the R.A.F. in 1916, and had flown in France. He was considered to be a very efficient airman.
The evidence of airman employed at the aerodrome elucidated the fate of the accident. Second-Lieut. Carruthers took up the machine on Wednesday, and had Craddock with him as mechanic. The officer said “OK” as he got into the machine, and the two men went off just a few minutes, and then came down on to the ground again. They restarted with Carruthers giving the signal “OK,” a second time. They went towards some factory buildings, and at as low an altitude as 30 fett, and with “bumpy” weather prevailing, tried to turn round. In so doing, the aeroplane nose-dived, and Craddock was at once killed, while Lieut. Carruthers lies in Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital seriously injured.
The Coroner commented on the low height at which an attempt was made to turn, and some of the witnesses said the accident may have been due to that, and that no turning should take place lower than 300 feet or 400 feet. The accident ought never to have occurred, he added. He entered a verdict of “Accidental Death.”
It was reported that the R.A.F. had that morning held an official enquiry into the occurrences. The body of Craddock is to be removed to Kettering (which town was his original home) for burial.