Author Topic: "Naval wing of the Royal Flying Corps" biplane crash, Diggs Marshes - April 1913  (Read 265 times)

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Offline Craggs

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Diggs Marshes, where this incident happened, is on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent.

The newspaper article refers to the aircraft and crew being with the "naval wing of the Royal Flying Corps" and so I have left it as such - albeit tempted to put R.N.A.S.

Belfast News-Letter - Saturday 12 April 1913


Naval Airmen's Narrow Escape.

Captain Charles E. Risk, Royal Marines, and Chief Engine-room Artificer Frank Susans, of the naval wing of the Royal Flying Corps, met with an alarming aeroplane accident at Diggs Marshes, near Queensborough, yesterday. They were flying in a biplane at a height 600 or 800 feet when the engine stopped, owing to the carburettor freezing, and the machine fell to the ground and was wrecked. After receiving medical treatment the two airmen were removed to the sick quarters at Sheerness Dockyard, where it was found that their injuries were not as serious as at first thought. Captain Risk suffered from shock and injury to the upper part of spine, but had no bones broken. Susans sustained a dislocated shoulder. Both are progressing satisfactorily.

Captain Charles E. Risk was in the R.M.L.I. and was to become Flight Commander at Harwich Naval Air Station shortly after this incident.  According to the newspaper archives he was to die in Paris in 1926 at the age of 43 having achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Western Morning News - Friday 05 February 1926



The death has occurred in Paris of Lieut.-Col. Charles E. Risk, late the Royal Marines, at the age of 43. The deceased officer was also a wing commander in the Royal Air Force.  He qualified for his pilots certificate before the war, and was appointed for a course of aviation at the Central Flying School in August, 1912.  In the following December he became flying officer with the Naval Wing at Eastchurch, and was placed in command of Felixstowe Naval Air Station the same month.  In July, 1914, he was appointed squadron commander, with the temporary rank of major.  He was promoted to wing commander in the Royal Air Force in April 1918, and retired in December, 1922.  In 1919 he was mentioned in despatches, and was awarded the D.S.O.. He also possessed the Order of the Nile, third class.

I can't find out what happened to Chief Engine-room Artificer Frank Susans.  He doesn't appear in the BNA after this incident.  There is no corresponding entry in the CWGC index for WWI.

Offline alkhamhills

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Charles Erskine Risk

Born 7.12.1882.
Baptised 18.1.1883 St Pauls, Sheerness. Parents William Bond & Caroline Lucy . Believe 8 sisters, no brothers
Enrolled 1.9.1901

A 2nd Lieut in 1902 RMLI

UK Navy List 1914. Captain E Risk, seniority 5.12.1912 with the Naval Wing Royal Flying Corps. He was Commander of Felixstowe Naval Air Station, & a Flight Commander.

1915 List shows him as a Squadron Commander(For Special Service) with Royal Naval Air Service of Royal Flying Corps. Stationed at the Naval Flying School, Eastchurch

1919 List shows him as a Temporary Lieut Colonel. Royal Navy & Royal Marines.

See aviators cert & pic

Probate:- of 108 Rue Lamarck, Paris. Died 27.1.1926. Admin to Caroline Lucy Risk, widow(his mother). Effects £619

His father had been in the Navy—in 1881 a Secretary HMS Narcissus . In 1891 he was Fleet Paymaster RN, living in Dorset. 

Offline alkhamhills

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Frank Susans
Born 1885 Sheerness.
Navy List 1915. in 1914 he was a Warrant Officer 2nd class. Seniority 25.11.1914
Navy List 1917.Active List of RN & Royal Marines. W O 1st class at Felixstowe Seniority 30.6.1917

Mentioned in Dispatches. See attached

In 1911 an Engine Room Artificer on HMS Formidable at Chatham
He was widowed 
Believe this is his aviators Cert& pic

Believe he may have died 1962, but cannot prove it 

Offline Craggs

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Thank you Alkhamhills,

That's given me more to read up on.

Excellent research and additions.  Your contributions are, as always, very much appreciated.