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[RAF Elsham Wolds] [Local Crashes] [27 April 1916 33 Squadron]

27 April 1916 – HMS Killingholme – Sopwith Baby – 8147 – Flight Sub Lieutenant Andrew John Boddy – Duty. Anti Zeppelin Patrol duties

Location – North Sea off Dogger Bank

Sopwith Baby on slip

This loss was not a crash and occurred well out in the North Sea but certainly resulted in the loss of 1 aircraft and 4 RNAS personnel. It has considerable local interest, is unusual and definitely worth a mention. HMS Killingholme was a was formerly the Humber paddle ferry PS Killingholme which had been requisitioned earlier in 1916 for use as a tender for seaplanes on anti Zeppelin patrols.  The ship was patrolling  off the Humber Estuary when it hit a mine. Also a torpedo from a submarine has been suggested. This resulted in the loss of the Sopwith Baby in question and 4 RNAS Personnel as well as a number of the crew. HMS Killingholme however survived, was repaired and resumed its civilian duties after the war

HMS Killingholme damage

HMS Killingholme damage with 8147 visible left

Flt Sub Lt Andrew John Boddy RNAS – 24 – HMS Killingholme - Son of William W. and Emily Boddy, of 321, Sherbourne St., Toronto, Ontario, Canada – Chatham Naval Memorial, Kent

Flt Sub Lt Dennis Gurney Broad RNAS – 32 – HMS Killingholme - Son of Henry Eustace and Alice Broad, of "Irengrove," Harpenden, Herts – Chatham Naval Memorial, Kent

Petty Officer Mechanic Herbert A Cheston RNAS – 27 – HMS Killingholme - Son of William Cheston, of 19, Almeric Rd., New Wandsworth, London; and the late Esther Cheston – Chatham Naval Memorial, Kent

Leading Mechanic Frank Day RNAS – HMS Killingholme - Chatham Naval Memorial, Kent


Flt Sub Lt Andrew John Boddy RNAS

RNAS Andrew John Boddy

RNAS William Boddy cutting

Flt Sub Lt Dennis Gurney Broad RNAS

RNAS Dennis Gurney Broad

Born at Aylesbury, England during 1883. At the outbreak of the First World War, he was living in Australia and gave his occupation as a commercial traveller. With his only previous military service being in the London Rifle Brigade, he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) on 11 August 1914. Broad departed Sydney aboard HMAT Berrima on 19 August 1914 as part of the Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (Tropical Unit).

In December 1914, wishing to return home, Broad requested to be discharged from the AIF. He returned to England and joined the Royal Naval Air Service and was given the rank of flight sub-lieutenant and assigned to HMS Killingholme. Broad received his Aviators certificate on 30 July 1915 from Royal Naval Air Station at Eastbourne, England while flying a Maurice Farman Biplane.

PS/HMS Killingholme

PS Killingholme 1912

PS Killingholme at the opening of the King George Dock at Immingham in 1912

This ship was built by Earle's Shipbuilding of Hull and launched on 23 February 1912 by Mrs Boothby, wife of Captain Boothby. She was one of an order of two new ships, the other being Brocklesby used for the New Holland to Hull ferry service. She was used by King George V and Queen Mary on their visit to open the King George Dock in Immingham in July 1912.

HMS KIllingholme

PS Killingholme in her brief war time role as HMS Killingholme

During theWW1 she requisitioned by the Royal Navy and used for a few weeks as a seaplane tender for the Royal Navy, in which capacity she struck a mine whilst undertaking her anti zeppelin duties and lost one of her paddles. This sad incident resulted in considerable loss of life amongst her crew but she was salvaged.

After WW1 she was repaired and resumed her peaceful role as one of the Humber Ferries

She was withdrawn from regular service in 1934, but retained for excursions and as a spare ferry.

During WW1 she was again requisitioned and used as a barrage balloon depot ship in the Humber. She was scrapped in 1945.

Compiled by David Fell. Photos from my archive and the Canadian Virtual War Memorial and the Chatham Naval Memorial. . Also the Kingstonian Aviation website for the help and co-operation with this item


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