View Full Version : Flight Cadet Hugh Leslie James Bertram Killed May 12, 1931,

5th June 2014, 12:51
From Flight August 7, 1931

"The second accident occurred to an Avro aeroplane on May 12, 1931, when Flight Cadet Hugh Leslie James Bertram was killed whilst flying solo.
Evidence in this case leads to the conclusion that Bertram, a promising pupil in his first term, stalled his aeroplane either through inattention or in a
deliberate attempt to execute a manoeuvre for which he had not the height, being well below the altitude at which aerobatics are permitted."

I was interested in this as while I was looking at a parachute incident on May 13th 1931 in Lincolnshire Echo featuring P/O Edward Dennis Green of 2FTS in Avro 504N Lynx K1054 at Ruskington, Lincs that was reported in the Lincolnshire Echo - Wednesday 13 May 1931 No. 11420, some of the detail on the scan is unreadable in relation to Green but it also includes a photo of an Avro 504N J8751 of the RAFC Cranwell upside down. Along with an article that included an Inquest report of the death of the pilot Hugh Leslie James Bertram.

I googled "Hugh Leslie James Bertram" as you do and found unusually that he had a personnel file digitized at the National Archives


AIR 76/37/9 in the obviously incorrect Date Range [1918-1919] for a casualty in 1931 and a dob in 1912 (making him around 19 when he was killed)

I decided to obtain a copy to see what it contained, it detailed when he lived, where he was born (Calcutta), his NoK and that he joined RAFC Cranwell on 15.1.31 and that he had an aero-accident on 12.5.31 and died of injuries the same day.

What interested me was that it included a short description of the Court of Inquiry held on the 13th May 1931 which said "Killed flying accident (pilot) Leadenham Avro J8751 - Error of Judgement" - I was not aware that these files would include these level of details and if they all become available in the future I wonder what mysteries they will solve

5th June 2014, 13:05

Just found another example

Name Arthur Morland Acton-Adams, Date of Birth: 30 July 1910
[1918-1919] Reference: AIR 76/1/159

Killed 13-Feb-31 at Cranwell - File confirms serial of Atlas as K1187

Errol Martyn
6th June 2014, 00:09

AIR76 files are somewhat patchy officer records relating to service in the RAF (and earlier in RFC/RNAS where applicable). Generally, the series does not include records for officers who continued to serve in the RAF after about 1919-1920. Having said that, there are a small number of seemingly randomly compiled AIR76s for later dates. I've come across one or two relating to service in the Reserve and, as Paul has found, there appear to be others relating to deaths. Entering a person's full name and/or surname/initials into the TNA search engine can sometimes produce relevant files in the most unexpected places!