LEST WE FORGET

Lieutenant Charles Darrell MERRETT

Service No: Not Assigned
Born: Location, Date unavailable
Enlisted in the Army: Date unavailable
Unit: No. 1 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps, attached to No. 20 Reserve Squadron RFC
Died: Injuries from an Accident (No. 20 Reserve Squadron Avro aircraft 4068), Dover, 16 May 1916, England, Aged 21 Years
Buried: St James Cemetery, Dover, Kent
CWGC Additional Information: Son of Col. Charles Edward Merrett and Annie Florence Merrett, of South Lodge, Were St., Brighton, Victoria, Australia. Native of Melbourne
Place of Association: Brighton VIC
Remembered: Panel 188, Commemorative Area, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT

Lieutenant Merritt had been sent for training in Britain and was a member of No. 1 Squadron AFC.  At this time, No. 1 Squadron was the only unit in the AFC.

Lieutenant Merrett was flying Avro aircraft 4068 under instruction from the front seat.  The Instructor, Captain Lord Lucas RFC, reported “on coming down to the aerodrome, I switched off the engine as usual, but finding that I was a little short, switched on again but the engine refused to pick up.  I looked inside to adjust the petrol and felt the machine begin to turn.  I looked out at once, found the machine was out of control; the machine nose dived from a height of about 80 feet and was wrecked”.

Captain Lord Lucas was injured and Lieutenant Merrett was killed.

References:

Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour On-Line Records
Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record B2455, MERRETT

Bibliography:

Lax, M. (Mark) (editor) One Man’s War: Aircraft Mechanic Joe Bull’s Personal diaries 1916-9, Banner Books, Maryborough QLD 4650, 1997
Roberts, E.G.  (Eric Glendower) (250197) Box Kites and Beyond, The Hawthorn Press Melbourne VIC 3000, 1976
Sutherland, L. W. (Leslie) Aces and Kings, Angus and Robertson, Sydney, 1935
Williams, Sir R. (Richard) (1) These are Facts: the Autobiography of Air Marshal Sir Richard Williams KBE, CB, DSO, Australian War Memorial and Australian Government Publishing Service, 1977 – Chapters 3-9

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