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Author Topic: Struck by an aircraft's propeller - November 1939  (Read 60 times)
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« on: April 22, 2018, 10:54:18 AM »

I found this newspaper article whilst searching for AC2 Edward James Giddings who is buried in Havant Cemetery.

I'm pretty certain that this incident involves a military aircraft on a military aerodrome. A 'civilian' walked across the aerodrome and was struck by the aircraft's propeller.

Portsmouth Evening News - Saturday 04 November 1939.



A verdict of "Accidental death" was returned by Mr. J.M.F. Peters, Deputy Coroner for South Hants, at the inquest to-day at Gosport on Ernest John Kibler (63) who resided at 63, Jessie Road, Portsmouth, who was killed yesterday by the propeller of an aeroplane being taxied across the aerodrome.

The pilot of the aircraft, Squadron Leader Oliver Ingham Gilson, said that he was taxi-ing across the tarmac towards the grass of the aerodrome with the intention of turning into the wind to take off; so as far as he could see he had a clear field.  On reaching the verge of the grass he felt a considerable shock and the aircraft was swung sideways.  He stopped his machine and then saw Kibler on the ground.


Squadron-Leader Gilson added that the grass was a prohibited area for pedestrians unless they were carrying a red flag. "Once you get on the grass if you don’t see any red flag" he said, "you rather take it for granted that there is nobody about, but on this occasion I was keeping a look-out".

Edward James Giddings, an aircraftman. said he saw Kibler walking along the edge of the grass. He was looking on the ground and apparently did not see the aeroplane. A medical officer, Flight-Lieut. E. B. Harvey, said that Kibler’s head was so badly injured that death was instantaneous.

In giving his verdict, the Coroner said he did not think anybody could be blamed for the accident. It seemed to be one of those cases where familiarity bred contempt and probably Kibler was walking across the aerodrome rather preoccupied.
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« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2018, 10:58:45 AM »

This newspaper reports show that Mr Kibler was a crane driver employed by the Air Ministry, so he could well have legitimately been on the aerodrome, rather than a civilian out for a walk, which is what I first thought.

The first is from the

Birmingham Daily Post - Saturday 04 November 1939

The second is from the

Edinburgh Evening News - Saturday 04 November 1939

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« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2018, 09:48:18 AM »

Ernest John George Kibler
In 1939 Ernest(19.11.1875) with Lucy(6.2.1883), David G(1919,son?), Also Lucy Saunders(1909, married) with son Robert G(1937)
Was Lucy a married daughter??-see 1911
At 63 Jessie Rd, Portsmouth
Ernest was an Electric Crane Operator.

Ernest married Lucy Starbrook 2.10.1904, Addiscombe Surrey

In 1911 Lucy with son Ernest(1906) daughter Lucy(age 1) at 63 Jessie Rd, Portsmouth. But something odd –Husband shown as Joseph crossed out and a Po in RN
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