11 March 1916 – Top Civil Servant Killed

Former Principal Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for War, Captain George Crosfield Norris Nicholson was killed today in an accident along with his observer and mechanic 2AM James Hubert Martin.

They were flying above Gosport airfield when their FE2b (6362) at about 4000 feet. Capatian Swart reports that the aircraft turned as if to make an “S” turn downwards. At 250 feet from the ground it made a steep bank of about 60 degrees and then side-slipped and crashed nose first.

The two men were extricated form the aircarft and taken to the Royal Naval Hospital, Haslar. Nicholson died on the way and Martin died shortly after admission. Both suffered from fractured skulls.

Captain Nicholson was preiously Assistant Private Secretary to the Parliamentary Secretary of the Admiralty between 1907 and 1908, and Assistant Private Secretary to the Under-Secretary of War between 1908 and 1912. He joined the RFC shortly after the outbreak of the war, gaining his flying certificate on 9 October 1914. He was posted to 8 Squadron and then 16 Squadron before joing 4 Reserve Aircraft Squadron in July 1915 to prepare new recruits for the front. He was promoted to Captain in December 1915 and subsequently becoming part of 28 Squadron.

Martin had only recently joined 28 Squadron as a mechanic.

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