Aircraft Collision Over Stamford - 1938

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Thread Topic: Aircraft Collision Over Stamford - 1938
Topic Originator: Andrew Matthews
Post Date January 2, 2008 @ 1:45 AM
 Aircraft Collision Over Stamford - 1938
 Aircraft tradgedy
 Aircraft Collision Over Stamford - 1938

Andrew Matthews
January 2, 2008 @ 1:45 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

An incident that many old Stamfordians remember and which I have heard recounted by my grandparents and father was a collision between 2 aircraft over stamford during the Munich crisis of September 1938. Two aircraft from RAF Wittering collided directly over the town at around 2pm on Thursday 15 September. One was a Miles Magister trainer and the other a Gloucester Gauntlet biplane. The crash showered the centre of the town in debris which damaged some vehicles etc. The crew of both aircraft bailed out over the town, 2 coming down on the Stamford meadows and one on the Recreation ground.  The Miles Magister crashed in the back yard of a house in Austin Street fortunately causing no casualties. However, the Gloucester Gauntlet smashed into 7, Lancaster Road and exploded. Tragically, a young woman who lived there, Mary Russel, was killed as she fled the house. My grandmother who lived nearby ran to the scene as did many others but there was nothing anyone could do. Apparently, a neighbourhood dog was also killed in the explosion.
My father was a young lad at the Bluecoat School in St Peters Street at the time and clearly remembers the class looking out of the windows and seeing the debris showering down out of the sky. My father told me that Mary Russel was given a military style funeral by the RAF which was attended by many in the town. My grandmother also used to say that Mary worked in a shop in town and only happened to be at home because Thursdays were half day closing in Stamford then. If the crash had happened on any other weekday she would have been at work and survived.
Kate: I was told that Mary Russel hesitated during her escape and went back for something - and was then unable to escape.  I don't know whether this was so.  Perhaps someone else has heard of this?

May 6, 2011 @ 9:00 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

The New Cross Road aircraft tragedy was well documented by the Stamford Mercury and was a big front page splash.
The Mercury Archives are fantastic and members of the public can have access to the files.
All the history of the town for past 300 years is contained in the files and it is possible to get photocopies of stories and write-ups which you are interested in.

May 10, 2011 @ 8:40 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I remember this accident. I was in Green Lane when the aircraft collided and went to see where the nearer one had come down. When I reached Gloucester Road there was a young man outside the house recovering from gas inhalation. He had been in Victoria Road when the aircraft landed and ran towards it. A woman told him there was a girl in the house and he went in to look for her He found no-one and came out when the gas fumes were overcoming him. He was a Rover Scout and was later awarded the Scout`s Silver Medal for Bravery (presented by the Mayor, Henry Deer). It turned out that the young girl had run out of the hoiuse into the garden and been struck by the aircraft. A very sad accident. `Stamford Living` had an article on the crash a few months ago.