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Ceremony will honour air crash centenary
6:00pm Saturday 11th August 2012 in News
A CEREMONY will be held next month to honour two airmen who died in a crash near Oxford’s Port Meadow.
Wolvercote Local History Society is organising the event to mark the 100th anniversary of the crash on September 10, 1912.
The pilot, Lieutenant Claude Bettington, 30, and his observer, Second Lieutenant Edward Hotchkiss, 28, were killed.
The following year, a plaque was erected in their memory at the site now known as Airmen’s Bridge, near The Trout pub in Wolvercote.
Society president Ann Spokes Symonds volunteered to organise the event after Jericho resident Paul Hornby, 61, called for the centenary to be observed.
Mrs Spokes Symonds, 86, president of the history society, and former Lord Mayor of Oxford, said the ceremony would begin at noon.
She added: “The society will welcome anyone who is interested in commemorating this tragic event in the car park near the bridge. There could be as many as 200 people coming along.
“There will also be an exhibition of photographs and the history of the event will be told. We might put a ceremonial wreath on the bridge and there could be a temporary road closure so that people can gather to pay their respects.
“I’m indebted to Mr Hornby for reminding us about this anniversary.”
The two men were among the earliest aviators to die in England while they supported Army manoeuvres, and by June 1913 more than 2,000 people had contributed to the cost of the plaque.