Lieutenant Colonel DOUGLAS HYDE HYDE-THOMSON – died 21 May 1918

Lieutenant Colonel DOUGLAS HYDE HYDE-THOMSON – died 21 May 1918


Aged                                     27

Unit                                       Directorate of Air Organisation, Royal Air Force

Buried at                              DOVER (ST. JAMES’S) CEMETERY


He joined the Royal Navy in 1904, aged 13 years. His first ship was HMS Dreadnought. As sub-lieutenant he attained “firsts” in all his courses, and, after a brief period of sea time, joined HMS Vernon, and qualified as a Lieutenant. He joined the Royal Naval Air Service in 1914. During the war he spent brief periods at Dunkirk and in the Mediterranean, and the rest of the time was employed at the Admiralty and Air Ministry on important work.  He flew to France on 19 May 1918 and returned soon after completing an inspection visit.


Dover Express – Friday 24 May 1918

COLONEL’S FATAL FLYING ACCIDENT. An inquest was held on Wednesday afternoon on the body of Colonel Douglas Hyde Thomson, who met his death in a flying accident the previous day. Captain Hamilton Hing Paton, R.A.F., identified the body at the mortuary as that of Lieut.-Colonel Douglas Hyde Thomson, R.A.F., aged 27 years. The deceased arrived on Saturday evening on official business. He was flying an Avro 504J  B8603 when he came to grief.

Sergeant William Lunley Dyson, R.A.F., said that the deceased started at 9.15 a.m. on Tuesday morning. On Monday afternoon witness was asked to examine the engine of the machine. On the morning in question he found a few trivial defects, and put them right. The engine was tested, and was found to be running perfectly. The deceased was on the scene, and directly he saw the machine going quite well he got in. He gave witness his approval, and commenced to take off, and swerved slightly to the right. He straightened his machine, and rose from the ground. He did not seem to be climbing properly, owing to his not having got the necessary speed. He managed to get up to 50ft., and then did a right-hand turn. The machine began to nose-dive to the ground, probably due to it having insufficient speed. He seemed to be quite used to the machine.

Captain Thomas Allen, R.A.F., said that on Tuesday morning, at 9.15, he was cycling quite close to the scene of the accident. He saw a machine flying at a height of about 50ft. He noticed that it was going slowly, and was not gaining any height, although the machine was flying steadily and the engine running. In his opinion the engine was throttled down. Suddenly the machine turned and nose-dived vertically to the around. Witness was about 200 yards from the spot. He went to fetch an ambulance, and took the medical officer to the spot. The body was placed in the ambulance, and the medical officer informed witness that the pilot wsas dead, and that death was due to a fracture of the skull and other injuries. In the opinion of witness, the accident was caused by the pilot turning at the height with insufficient flying speed.

A verdict of accidental death was returned.

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