Battye, Cyril

Battye, Cyril         1916 March 17th             Netheravon

Airman’s Fatal Accident

A young officer in the Royal Flying Corps, Lieutenant C W Battye, was killed at Netheravon on Monday, apparently as the result of trouble with the engine of the aeroplane in which he was flying.

An inquest was held on Tuesday at the Military Hospital, Fargo Camp, on Tuesday, by the Coroner for South Wilts, Mr F H Trethowan.

Lieut John Wesley Honey, of the RAMC, stationed at Fargo Military Hospital, said he had superficially examined the body of the officer, and he detailed the principal injuries, which consisted of a number of broken bones. He said it was impossible to say what was the extent of the internal injuries, but those he had described were sufficient to cause death from shock, with the corresponding internal injuries which there must be.

Captain Hellyer, of the Royal Flying Corps, stationed at Netheravon Flying School, said that Lieut Cyril Wynyard Battye was 21 years of age, and his home address was 19, Castle Yard, Windsor. On Monday he was flying by himself at the School a Vickers fighter biplane. He was an experienced flyer and had done nearly 60 hours flying. Witness saw him go up. He had flown the same machine before and was taking it up at his own request. He was in good health. Before going up he ran the engine, and when he switched off witness did not think he turned the petrol off, because when he eventually rose the engine mis-fired, and witness formed the opinion that it was choked. He rose about 60 feet and then turned downward. The engine went worse and Mr Battye turned sharp into the wind, intending to land. He did not have sufficient height, and the machine side-slipped, nose dived, and hit the ground, the nose falling vertically. Witness was about 400 yards away from the place, and he asked Lieut Seagrave to go for an ambulance, while he went to the machine. He found it smashed and Mr Battye in a dying condition. His examination of the machine showed no further cause for the accident, and witness was satisfied that it was in proper order when it went up.

Lieut Seagrave, of the Royal Flying Corps, corroborated Captain Hellyer’s evidence and said he was with Mr Battye when he died at 3.30pm, about seven minutes after the accident.

The jury returned a verdict of Accidental Death.

The Coroner requested the military authorities, in the event of any death occurring which necessitated an inquest, to let the police officer have all the information they can respecting the death, in order that it may be reported to him at once.

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