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Research from Australia

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Research from Australia

Old 10th Aug 2008, 01:57
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Research from Australia

Hey all, I'm not really sure where to start and what thread to post on so I will write it here and hope one of the admin can move it to correct thread.
I have been doing my family tree / history and my husbands great grandfather was Charles Lindsay Campbell born 1863 in Queensland, Aus.
Information I already know is as follows, found on the internet.
Other Australian's to travel to England over this period and gain pilot's licences were; Charles Lindsay-Campbell of Queensland (No. 220, 4 June 1912),

In the Beginning...
Probably the most important factor leading to the raising of a flying unit in the Australian Army was the formation of the Aerial League of Australia in Sydney on 28 April 1909. The meeting was organised by George Augustus Taylor (1872-1928), a man of wide interests and soon to be an honorary lieutenant in the Australian Intelligence Corps because of his glider flying and wireless experiments, and Major Charles Rosenthal (1875-1954), an architect and Citizen Force gunner. In the chair was Lawrence Hargrave (1850-1915), gentleman-inventor, who, among other things, had been researching human flight for a number of years and discovered that a curved upper surface of an aerofoil generates an increase in lift.
The Aerial League was a pressure group and one of its members, Charles Lindsay Campbell (1863-1912), secretary of the Queensland Branch, wrote to the editor of the Brisbane Courier on 12 October 1910 that:
"…aircraft at a few hundred feet could, with certainty, drop a most dangerous explosive down the thirty foot diameter funnel of one of the modern Dreadnoughts".
Campbell went on to suggest that military aviation should be developed in Australia and soon after he wrote to the Minister of Defence submitting a plan for a school of aviation and an aviation corps. (Campbell has the melancholy distinction of being the first Australian to die in an aircraft accident when his Bristol Monoplane stalled at 300 feet, near Brooklands Surrey, on 3 August 1912.)
Due to the agitation of the Aerial League and others, the Minister of Defence, Senator George Pearce (1870-1952), when in the UK for the 1911 Imperial Conference, visited Brooklands the home of British aviation, and decided there should be a flying school in the Defence Department. Given the distances, the communications of those days, the lack of technological knowledge, that the Royal Australian Navy was being raised and the Army was busy in setting-up and then administering a large universal training and cadet scheme, there was a fairly quick reaction to the Minister’s decision. Aircraft were ordered, two flying instructors (honorary lieutenants) and four mechanics were selected, an airfield was chosen (Point Cook, although, for a number of years, the address of the CentralFlyingSchool was Werribee), stores and equipment delivered and Military Orders issued.
The aircraft ordered from the UK on 3 July 1912 were two Deperdussins and two BE2a (BE for "Bleriot Experimental", later for "British Experimental") and, on 6 December 1912, one Bristol Boxkite

The Battle Below : Chapter 2

The Formation Of The Australian Flying Corps

What appears to be the first evidence of the interest of the Australian public in service aviation is contained in a letter to the editor of the Brisbane "Courier," of the 8th October, 1910, entitled "Admiral Henderson and Aviation." In this article, Mr. Charles Lindsay Campbell, the then secretary of the Queensland Aero Club, and honorary secretary of the Aero League of Australia, set out his views on the military value of aviation. He suggested that "about two dozen of the engineering and mechanical class should be at once distributed among the schools mentioned1, and they again after six months' study, to be redistributed among the Commonwealth." A few months later, on the 9th January, 1911, Campbell proposed to the then Minister for Defence (Senator G. F. Pearce) that a Commonwealth School of Aviation and Australian Aviation Corps should be established. His idea was that the school should consist of two sections, the first being open, on payment of a small fee to cover the expenses thereof, to all members of the general public interested in aviation matters, and the second being devoted to lectures and practical demonstrations of the principles of aeronautics and to practical gliding work. From members of the second section who passed the necessary examinations and practical tests and who were medically fit were to be selected the members of an Aviation Corps under the direct administration of the Minister for Defence, and it was suggested that within twelve months branches could be established in all States. The administrative staff proposed for this Corps was a Controller, one pilot and two mechanics and the aircraft equipment recommended comprised three aircraft and one Gnome-engined Bleriot monoplanes and two practice gliders, together with the necessary spares. Upon the advice of the Military Board, however, this proposal was not approved and it was decided that the advice of the War Office would be obtained before any steps were taken towards the formation of any military aviation unit.

So from what i have obtained, he helped start Queensland aero club ( I have emailed them and they have no information or photos to help me ) and he was one of the people to get the Australian Army into the air.
He was killed at Brooklands , Surrey in UK. I have written to their air/motor museum but they didnt reply. Wondering if anyone on your side of the world could help me with some leads. I dont even know where he would be burried, here or over there.
Thanks for any help you may offer and sorry if I have abused your forums with all this spam for nothing.
Cheers Cat
Pam Campbell is offline  
Old 10th Aug 2008, 03:05
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Join Date: Jun 2002
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Hi Cat,

I think you have exactly the right forum. This is the sort of post that AH&N thrives on. When the experts in the UK wake up, I'm sure you will get lots of interesting responses.

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Old 10th Aug 2008, 10:26
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: UK
Age: 49
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Try this link to the Times Online Archive. There is a report of the accident and also the inquest.

The relvant issues are dated August 5th & 7th 1912.

There is also a Royal Aero Club report in the edition for September 21st 1912.

You might be interested to look at also the edition of April 1st 1912 and the poignant pieces on August 9th, September 16th 1912 and August 14th 1913.

Access to the archive is free but you have to register.

The most helpful feature is the ability to search the whole archive by keyword.


Simlarly try the search facilty on the Flight archive - there's a lot there!

Browse Flight’s archive of Historic Aviation

If you have any trouble let me know and I will see if I can get the info to you.

Hope this helps.
edskarf is offline  
Old 10th Aug 2008, 12:38
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I now have a photo of his pilot licence 220, his licence photo and record of death notice thanks to a guy over on egoat forums.
But im still seaching more info out of curiosity.
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Old 10th Aug 2008, 20:07
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Pam Cambell

The major facts relating to his accident are available in the Royal Aero Club Archives. I haven't seen the Times Digital Archives entries.

Royal Aero Club — Notices to Members — August 10th 1912
It is a most regrettable incident that has to be chronicled of a sad accident to Mr. Lindsay Campbell on Saturday morning [August 3rd, 1912] while flying a 50-h.p. Bristol monoplane at Brooklands. Mr. Campbell had some weeks previously taken his brevet upon a biplane, and was staying at Brooklands with the object of learning to fly the monoplane.
He had on the previous evening made a remarkably good flight upon the same machine, flying a couple of circuits of Brooklands at about 600 ft., terminating with a splendid landing. On the next morning, Saturday, he was allowed to take the machine up again, and was flying his second circuit at about 500 ft. when he was seen to get into difficulties. His engine stopped (and it appeared to onlookers that he had switched off), and naturally the machine lost way and side-slipped. Mr. Campbell then did the right thing by diving, and, as it appeared, regained proper control, but he was not able to get his engine going again and so had to come down, with the result that he smashed upon landing. The machine was not smashed as badly as the accident would make one believe, as the whole of the pilot’s seat and surroundings of fuselage were perfectly intact. Poor Campbell did not survive, though many pilots have stepped out of much worse smashes with a smile. The good fellow was fatally injured through being thrown with such force against the padded cross member of the fuselage with the result that his chest was badly crushed with internal damage. It is so very regrettable an accident from points other than personalities, as Mr. Campbell was not only a marked favourite at several aerodromes amongst everyone who knew him, but he was also in this country learning to fly in the interests of aviation in general, as he had been commissioned by the Australian Commonwealth to take a leading hand in the founding of aviation for the Australian Army, and when speaking to him upon the subject he was always enthusiastically optimistic upon the success they were going to make out there. It is a curious coincidence that he obtained his Royal Aero Club certificate on his 49th birthday—May 19th. He will be a great loss to the Commonwealth, not so much as a flyer, but as an excellent organiser and hard worker, a man of iron nerves, and always ready to give a helping hand to anyone. Everyone’s sympathy is extended to his wife and two children (one 4 years old, the other 16 months) who are his only relatives in this country, and who cannot as yet realise the irreparable loss they have sustained. Mrs. Lindsay Campbell is staying at 71, Shirland Road, Maida Vale, W.

Royal Aero Club — Notices to Members — August 21st 1912

BROOKLANDS ACCIDENT.—Report of the fatal accident to Mr. C. Lindsay Campbell, when flying at Brooklands, on Saturday, August 3rd, 1912, at about 6.20 a.m.
Brief Description of the Accident.—Mr. C. Lindsay Campbell was flying on a Bristol monoplane at Brooklands, on August 3rd, 1912, at a height of about 300 ft., when the engine was observed to stop. The machine shortly afterwards dived about 200 ft., but straightened out. A second dive, however, followed. The machine struck the ground, and Mr. Lindsay Campbell received fatal injuries.
Report.—The Special Committee sat on Tuesday, August 20th, 1912, at Larkhill, Salisbury Plain, and heard the evidence of Mr. R. L. Charteris. Written reports of eye witnesses were also considered. From the consideration of this evidence the Committee is of opinion that the following facts are clearly established:—
(1) That the accident originated, at a height of about 300 ft., by the aviator keeping the machine in a horizontal position after the engine had stopped, thereby losing flying speed.
(2) That the aircraft then side-slipped, but on diving regained speed and recovered its normal flying position. The engine, at this point, gave a few intermittent explosions, but failed to pick up, and the aircraft being again held in a horizontal position once more underwent a side slip and vertical dive, hitting the ground at a steep angle.
(3) That there is no reason to suppose that the structural failure of any part of the aircraft was the cause of the accident.
(4) That the aviator was not thrown out of his seat and was not wearing either belt or helmet.
(5) Mr. C. Lindsay Campbell was granted his aviator’s certificate No. 220, on the 4th June, 1912, by the Royal Aero Club.
Opinion.—The Committee is of opinion that the accident was due to the aviator failing to appreciate the danger of keeping the aircraft in a horizontal position after the engine had stopped, thereby losing flying speed and control of the aircraft.
The Committee is also of opinion that since that portion of the aircraft in which the aviator was seated was undamaged, his life might have, perhaps, been saved had he used a helmet and belt, as his injuries were caused by his being thrown violently forward against the structure.
It was unanimously resolved that these reports be forwarded to the Executive Committee with a recommendation that they be published in extenso
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Old 10th Aug 2008, 23:05
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Thankyou both so much, I will have alot of reading to do tonight after work.
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Old 11th Aug 2008, 10:22
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Edscarf, thought you may like to know from that flight browse sight i got a photo of his wife and 2 children, This is amazing reading, I so appreciate all your help, Thanks again
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Old 11th Aug 2008, 18:19
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My pleasure... I hoped the pictures of Mr Lindsay Campbell "in action" and also his bereaved family might be of interest.
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