LEST WE FORGET

Second Lieutenant Bertie Walter WHICKER 

Service No: 2577
Born: Diamond Creek VIC, 17 May 1897
Enlisted in the Army: 22 November 1917
Last Serving Unit: No. 8 (Training) Squadron, Australian Flying Corps
Died: Injuries from an Aircraft Accident, Point Cook VIC, 6 April 1921, Aged 22 Years
Buried: Brighton General Cemetery, Brighton VIC
CWGC Additional Information: No additional information
Place of Association: Diamond Creek VIC

Son of Sapper Rupert Gilchrist Whicker (8087), 1st Australian Tunnelling Company, Died of illness in the UK, 14 September 1918

The CWGC website notes that Second Lieutenant Whicker’s casualty has been accepted for commemoration by the Commission.  The casualty is not recognised on the AWM Roll of Honour.

Second Lieutenant Whicker sustained a fractured radius and synovitis of the left knee while in World War I service.  He was discharged from the Army and enlisted in the post-war Australian Air Corps as an Air Mechanic with the rank of Corporal.  He was fatally injured in the crash of Avro 504K aircraft H3021 to the north of the aircraft hangars at Point Cook, Victoria, on 6 April 1921.  The Australian Air Force (permission for the Royal was yet to be granted) had been founded for less than one week and he was the first casualty.  The pilot, Flying Officer James Keith Fryer-Smith MID (WWI served with Royal Naval Air Service) was severely injured and subsequently discharged.

References:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission On-Line Records
Coulthard-Clark, C.D. (Christopher David) The Third Brother: The Royal Australian Air Force 1921-1939, Allen & Unwin, Sydney, 1991 – Page 315
National Archives of Australia On-Line Record B2455, WHICKER BERTIE WALTER

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