26 May 1917 – A shock for Mr Alexander


John Douglas Price Scholfield

At about 2000 today,  shoppers in Hungerford, Berkshire became aware of an aircraft approaching the town from the west. This was not particularly unusual as there were RFC training stations nearby.

However, as the aircraft got nearer it was clear that the engine was running poorly and it was flying very slowly. Suddenly it climbed and then stood on its tail before turning over. The High Street was crowded with onlookers and most thought the pilot was giving an aerobatic display and showed their appreciation by clapping.

However, the aircraft quickly fell out of control and nose-dived into the garden of Mr Thomas Alexander’s house and grocery store at 26 High Street,

onlookers rushed to the wrecked aircraft to help the pilot. He was pulled free but was already dead from the impact.

The pilot was later identified as 2nd Lieutenant John Douglas Price Scholfield, a 23 year-old Canadian from the Central Flying School, Upavon.

The plane was placed under guard and the next day an enquiry was held by officers from Upavon. Lieutenant Scholfield was a learne pilot and had left Upavon at about 1930 in an Avro 504A (4061). An officer from Upavon examined the wreckage and declared that, in his opinion, the controls and wires appeared to be in perfect working order and the plane had crashed as the result of a stall.


The wrecked Avro


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