Accident French-Wright Biplane Race No 18, Tuesday 12 July 1910
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Date:Tuesday 12 July 1910
Type:French-Wright Biplane
Owner/operator:Charles S Rolls
Registration: Race No 18
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Hengistbury Airfield, Southbourne, Bournemouth -   United Kingdom
Phase: Manoeuvring (airshow, firefighting, ag.ops.)
Departure airport:Hengistbury Airfield, Southbourne, Bournemouth
Destination airport:Hengistbury Airfield, Southbourne, Bournemouth
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
On 12 July 1910, at the age of 32, Charles S. Rolls was killed in an air crash at Hengistbury Airfield, Southbourne, Bournemouth when the tail of his Wright Flyer broke off during a flying display. He was the first Briton to be killed in an aeronautical accident with a powered aircraft, and the eleventh person internationally. His was also the first powered aviation fatality in the United Kingdom. A statue in his memory, in which he is seen holding a biplane model, was erected in Agincourt Square, Monmouth. A further memorial to him was unveiled in 1981 in the bottom playing field of St Peter's School, which was developed on the site of Hengistbury Airfield.

His grave lies at the Monmouthshire church of Llangattock-Vibon-Avel, where many of the Rolls family lie buried in various family tombs. His grave is just below Llangattock Manor and bears the inscription: "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God"

Photographs and great details of the accident, and actual location of the crash can found in the source below.


1. Charlie Rolls - pioneer aviator
Gordon Bruce
Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust, Hostorical Series No17 1990
ISBN 1-872922-01-5
4. Additional Source - Charles Rolls Memorial Trust - Reg Charity No 1174592 at


Photograph on the front page of The Illustrated London News, 16 July 1910, showing the wreckage of the plane crash which killed Charles Stewart Rolls on the 12 July 1910, at an airfield at Southbourne near Bournemouth, England. The newspaper states that this was "the first fatal accident of an aviator in this country. Death of Charles Stewart Rolls - Illustrated London News 2

Revision history:

04-Apr-2008 03:54 Bleiente Added
01-Feb-2010 22:19 John Baker Updated [Time, Aircraft type, Registration, Location, Phase, Nature, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
06-Feb-2017 17:01 Dr.John Smith Updated [Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
06-Feb-2017 17:02 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
23-May-2018 09:41 Anon. Updated [Source]
14-Nov-2018 21:26 Dr.John Smith Updated [Source]
14-Nov-2018 21:28 Dr.John Smith Updated [Source]

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