This article is the ninth in a series about Beverley Aerodrome and the 17 men who died in air accidents in World War I that are commemorated on a plaque in Bishop Burton Church.  The summary version of the article (below) was first published in the Bishop Burton newsletter of May 2011.

In this article we will focus on the last two of the seventeen men from the Beverley aerodrome remembered on the brass plaque in All Saints' Church, Bishop Burton. I have also found another man who died but is not included on the plaque. This article focuses on three men the circumstances of whose death we have not been able to establish.

The extra person is John Henry Splatt an air mechanic 3rd class in the Royal Air Force. He died on 9th November 1918, aged about 36, two days before the armistice. He was a member of the 72nd Training Squadron. John was born in Bristol in 1882. In the 1891 census his father was described as a self-employed boot-maker and his mother a paper bag maker. By the time of the 1911 census, John had married Eunice Elizabeth Honor and they live with two young daughters in Bristol. He works as a barman. John is buried in the commonwealth grave in the Hull Northern Cemetery.
John Dudley Wollaston was a pilot in the 72nd squadron and he died some six months before John Splatt. He was the son of a consulting mechanical engineer who lived in Sale near Manchester. John's grandfather had been born in India where his father William Augustus Wollaston had married and brought up his family before returning to England. John was buried in Sale and is remembered on the memorial in Sale as his brother Keith who died later in 1918.

A constant element in the story of the airmen at Beverley is their extreme youth. The average age of the airmen when they died was 21 but many were younger still. Harold Frederick Barlow was 19 when he died, three days after his appointment as 2nd lieutenant was announced. He came from a family that had worked in the iron industries of the Black Country, then the industrial heart of England. His father and grandfathers had worked there although they were sharp enough to escape the hard grind of labouring.

The youth of the airmen who died applies also to their leaders. Captain DDG Hall appeared as a witness in the inquest into the death of Hebert Anderson who died on Christmas Eve 1917 crashing his machine into the golf course on Beverley Westwood. The report of the inquest indicated that Captain Hall was the controller of Anderson's training flight. At the time, Captain Hall was en route with 80th squadron from Montrose to France; they were in Beverley from 1st November 1917 to 27th January 1918. Having learned to fly at the age of 17, Captain Hall was one of two Flight Commanders of 80th Squadron and was probably second in command of the squadron while it was at Beverley. Durham was the son of an actress with whom he travelled when she took part in pantomimes and reviews throughout the country. In the 1901 census, he is staying with her at the Blackpool Hydro. He was killed in France in March 1918 aged just 20.


Download this file (DDG Hall.pdf)DDG Hall.pdf[ ]208 kB
Download this file (HF Barlow.pdf)HF Barlow.pdf[ ]86 kB
Download this file (JD Wollaston.pdf)JD Wollaston.pdf[ ]218 kB

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