Chance, George

Chance, George      1918 July 12th      Larkhill

Killed by a Machine Gun – Air Mechanic’s Mishap

The story of how a machine gun was accidentally fired, causing the death of Second Air Mechanic George Arthur Chance, 34 years of age, was related at an inquest held by the South Wilts Coroner (Mr F H Trethowan) at Fargo Military Hospital, on Wednesday.

Capt Holborow, RAMC, said Chance was suffering from gunshot wounds in the abdomen and in the left elbow. Nothing in the way of an operation could be performed and he died in twelve hours.

Corpl Simpson, of the RAF, stated that on Monday he was with Chance at an aerodrome and had instructions to go to an aeroplane, the gun of which was reported to be out of order. To get to the gun it was necessary to move the control, and immediately he did so he heard two reports. He had no idea that the control would act, as he understood it was broken. He got down and ran round to the front of the plane and saw Chance, who said, “I think I am hit.” He attended to him until others arrived.

The officer who had been flying the machine said that the control broke and he landed. Chance got in the machine to fill the petrol tank and he warned him to stand clear of the gun. He started to speak to another officer and did not notice Corpl Simpson approaching. Shortly after he heard two reports and saw that Chance was injured.

The jury returned a verdict of accidental death, the foreman remarking that they found no blame was attaching to Simpson, and expressed sympathy with him owing to his connection with Chance’s death.

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