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British Industrial History

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Arthur Gelston Shepherd

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Arthur Gelston Shepherd (1894-1915), early aviator

1894 Born in Abingdon

1915 March 12th. Killed in Eastbourne.

1915 Inquest Report.[1]

An inquest was held yesterday Eastbourne, on the body of Arthur Gelston Shepherd (21), a flight sub-lieutenant in the Navy, who was killed by falling into the sea from a biplane soon after starting his machine. Evidence was given by an eye-witness, who said the deceased appeared unable to execute the movements which he was endeavouring to accomplish. A squadron commander explained that an aviator flying above the sea was unable to tell whether he was ten, hundred, or two hundred feet from the water. This possibly caused the accident, the machine not being defective. Flight Commander Graham Donald was commended for swimming to the deceased’s rescue. A verdict of Accidental death was returned.

1915 Inquest Report.[2]

A verdict of accidental death was returned at Eastbourne at the inquest on the body of Sub-Lieutenant Arthur Gelston Shepherd, aged twenty-one, who was killed while flying on Wednesday. The evidence showed that he was attempting a flight on a Bristol biplane from Crumbles to the aerodrome. At first the engine did not seem to go particularly well, but it was adjusted. When fifty or sixty yards from the beach the deceased switched off his engine and appealed to be going to land.It was possible he was turning, but misjudging the height his machine struck the water and capsized. An examination of the machine and engine revealed nothing to account for the accident.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Sheffield Daily Telegraph - Saturday 13 March 1915
  2. Driffield Times - Saturday 20 March 1915