The following from 1934 Newspaper clippings:

Plane Was Caught in Air Currents

Details of Accident in Which Wing

Commander Sherren, Distinguished Flier

Met his Death

Wing Comdr. P. C. Sherren
Native of Crapaud, P.E.I., Wing Commander P. C. Sherren of the R. A. F. was killed when his plane crashed in England several days ago

SCARBOROUGH, Yorkshire, Sept. 10 -- Wing-Commander Percy Sherren met his death in the King's Cup air race today when his plane, caught in treacherous air currents 400 feet above the sea, rolled badly, failed to level up, and dropped. It crashed into a hill.

Sherren was thrown out of the cockpit and rolled over the edge of a cliff into the sea. His pilot, Wing-Commander E. H. Hilton, was pinned in the wreckage. Both officers apparently were killed at the first impact.

Sherren had a notable war record. For distinguished leadership in a bomb raid over the enemy lines in 1916 he was awarded the Military Cross with Bar. He was granted a permanent commission in the Royal Air Force in 1919, when he resigned from the Canadian Expeditionary Force. At the same time he was gazetted as a major in the reserve of officers of the Canadian Militia.

For flying services in the Northwest Frontier Province of India between 1921 and 1924, he was awarded the General Service Medal with clasp, and prior to his retirement in June of last year was stationed at the R. A. F. depot at Uxbridge and the Home Aircraft Depot at Henlow.

The Canadian monoplane was among last of the 27 entrants to leave Hatfield in the 1,442-mile, two day race around England and Ireland. Sherren and his pilot confidently waved goodbye to friends and soared away.

As the plane was rounding the registration point over Scarborough Castle, Royal Aero Club observers saw the plane roll wildly in air currents over the huge cliffs of the Yorkshire Coast. The pilot was unable to straighten out the machine and it began to fall at a terrific speed and crashed into a grassy hill atop the cliffs.

The Canadian officer was thrown clear and his body rolled over the edge of the cliff. The pilot lay among the wreckage. Ambulances and fire-fighting appliances were quickly dispatched to the scene but both men were dead.

Eyewitness Account

A graphic account of the trajedy was given by J. B. Martin, and eye-witness.

"As No. 24 (Sherren's plane) came over, it appeared to be travelling steadily," said Martin. The pilot took a course wider out than the others and about 150 feet from the ground. In full view of the 1000 persons, his plane was caught by a squall of wind. It was lifted about 50 feet and then he saw a man come through the roof of the enclosed cockpit.

"The airplane seemed to have been whirled around by the wind. The man somersaulted through the air and crashed into the ground at the edge of Castle Hill cliff. His body burst through the railings and fell out of sight."

"The plane pancaked to the ground, the engine flew about 25 feet from the fuselage. Bits of the machine were scattered all around. We rushed over and then found that the plane had had two occupants. The second body was in the cockpit.

- Page 118 -

Inquest into Sherren Death

Scarborough, Yorkshire, Sept. 29

A coroner's jury yesterday returned a verdict of accidental death in the inquest into the death of Wing Commander Percy Sherren, native of Crapaud, Prince Edward Island, and Wing Commander E. G. Hilton of England.

Both officers were killed when their plane crashed in the King's Cup race around the British Isles Sept. 10th. The jury decided the accident over Scarborough Castle was caused by abnormal climate conditions at the time.





Air Crash over Scarborough Castle

A remarkable picture taken just as the aeroplane, in which Wing Commanders Sherren and Hilton were competing in the King's Cup Air Race, crashed on Castle Hill, Scarborough, yesterday. Both were killed, and one of the victims is seen as he was hurled into the air just before the crash.

- Page 119 -

Click Browser "Back" Button to Return to Book