25 June 1915 – Grim news for the Lumsden family

News of the death of Major Harry T Lumsden RFC, Son of William Harry Lumsden of Balmedie, Aberdeenshire, reached his family today. He was severely injured in a flying accident at Brooklands on 21 June, and died 4 hours later in hospital. Major Lumsden had only been appointed as Squadron Commander of 2 Reserve Air Squadron based at Brooklands on 27 May 1915.

The news is particularly devastating as his two brothers have already been killed in the fighting. Captain Charles Ramsay Lumsden of the Gordon Highlanders was killed on 26 August 1914 and Captain Bertie Noel Lumsden of the Seaforth Highlanders was killed on 23 April 1915.

Major Lumsden was a passenger on a machine piloted by Lieutenant Gerald Carpenter, an assistant instructor. When flying outside the aerodrome at a height of 120 ft. the engine stopped and the machine started to glide down. The pilot had to make a sharp turn had to avoid some trees, but didn’t make it as and the plane crashed into the ground near Addlestone. The pilot was badly bruised and shaken, but Major Lumsden suffered severe injuries.

He obtained his flying certificate on 22 July 1914 just before the outbreak of war, was seconded to the RFC on 19 September and joined 2 Squadron on 1 October in France. Prior to joining the RFC, he had been commissioned in The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders.


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