|Sgt B. Smid was killed in
Wellington T10 RP382 from No 1 Air Navigational School, RAF Hullavington.
The plane crashed 1 mile east south east of Grittleton, during night
navigational practice. Sgt Smid and Off Cadet
Lindsay killed, navigator QAPhilip seriously injured.
James Halley - Broken Wings
2 Aircraft Crashes
From Hullavington on Same Day
Heroic Attempts at Rescue
Heroic rescue attempts were made by a member of an RAF rescue squad who
twice entered the blazing wreckage of an aircraft which crashed at
Grittleton in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
The aircraft was a Wellington form the RAF Station at Hullavington and 2 of
the 3 occupants were killed, the third being seriously injured. The two who
died were the pilot, Sgt Smid and Officer Cadet Linsay. Officer Cadet Philt,
the third member of the crew received severe injuries and was taken to the
RAF hospital at Alton, Bucks
The aircraft crashed in a field between Crowdown, the residence of Mr LW
Neeld, owner of the Grittleton estate and Sevington. It hit the ground in a
ploughed field, rose into the air again, demolishing an electricity supply
pole then crashed through a line of big elm trees, breaking one off about 10
feet from it’s base. From this point it began to break up and the body came
to rest about 300 yards further on and was burnt out. One of the occupants
was thrown clear but was dead when help arrive. Wreckage was spread over a
The scene of the crash was little more than a mile across country from the
aerodrome and within a short space of time rescue and fire tenders were on
the spot. LAC Jarrett, a member of the rescue party who come from Dundry,
near Bristol and whose only protection was an eye shield twice went into the
burning wreckage. The first time he rescued, Officer Cadet Philt and then
re-entered the blazing inferno to bring out another crew member who
unfortunately died shortly after.
Prompt Rescue Squad
Mrs Whiting, Mr Neeld’s daughter who lives at Crowdown said "I was in bed
but not asleep when I heard an aeroplane very low. Suddenly there was a
terrific flash of light, a crash and a blaze of flame. My husband put a 999
call for the Chippenham Fire Brigade and dressed quickly. Although the crash
happened in a field in front of out house, the fire tenders from the
aerodrome got there before him".
Mr Dennis Whitting, who is a director of Whitting’s Garage, Bath, said "I
take my hat off to RAF rescue crews. They were there so quickly you would
have thought they had followed the plane along the road. By the time I had
put on a pair of Wellingtons and an overcoat and reached the field gat, the
first jeep had gone through".
Mr LG King who also lives near at East Foxcote Farm said when he reached the
crash, he saw one of the occupants lying clear and LAC Jarrett went into the
flames bringing out one of the crew. He did a grand job".
About half an hour earlier an Anson aircraft also from Hullavington, crashed
near the Cross Hands, Chipping Sodbury. Two of the crew, Flt Lt Bowden and
Flt Lt Newton-Mold were killed. Officer Cadet LG Clarke who was slightly
injured staggered nearly 2 miles to get help after the crash and Officer
Cadet N Orr sustained a broken leg.
Wilts Times 2 June 1951