Accident Bristol Brigand B Mk 1 RH753, Wednesday 2 July 1952
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Date:Wednesday 2 July 1952
Type:Bristol Brigand B Mk 1
Owner/operator:A&AEE Boscombe Down
Registration: RH753
MSN: 12641
Fatalities:Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:Bermerton Heath, Salisbury, Wiltshire -   United Kingdom
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Boscombe Down, Wiltshire (EGDM)
Destination airport:
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
Port engine failed on take-off. Pilot had never flown a Brigand before and was soon in great difficulty, finally crashed on housing estate at Bemerton Heath, Salisbury, Wiltshire, causing injuries to a fireman and nine civilians. Both crew were killed: Flight Lieutenant G. Wood-Smith DFC ('D' Squadron A&AEE) and Mr D.E. Purse, photographer.

According to a statement made in Parliament to the House of Commons on 7/7/52 by Mr, Duncan Sandys, MP:

"The aircraft involved in this crash was a piston-engined machine engaged on a flight from the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment at Boscombe Down for the purpose of photographing a trial of Army parachute equipment from another aircraft. A court of inquiry is investigating the cause of the accident.

I regret that the two occupants of the aircraft, a Royal Air Force pilot and a civilian photographer, were both killed. In addition, an officer of the Wiltshire Fire Brigade, who were called to the scene of the accident, was seriously injured by a wall which fell on him and he is still detained in hospital. Nine other people suffered cuts and bruises and were taken to hospital, but were able to leave later in the day. One house was destroyed and 10 damaged, five of them probably beyond repair. In consequence, 34 people are temporarily homeless. Fourteen of them are being looked after in our Establishment at Boscombe Down. Compensation will, of course, be paid for the damage caused.

I am sure that the House will join with me and the Secretary of State for Air in expressing its sympathy with the relatives of those who lost their lives and with those who have been injured or rendered homeless by this accident."


1. Halley, James (1999) Broken Wings – Post-War Royal Air Force Accidents Tunbridge Wells: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. p.131 ISBN 0-85130-290-4.
2. Last Take-off: A Record of RAF Aircraft Losses 1950 to 1953 by Colin Cummings p 264
3. National Archives (PRO Kew) File BT233/102:
4. National Archives (PRO Kew) AVIA 5/35/S2584:
6. Film footage of crash:


Revision history:

15-Mar-2017 23:57 Dr.John Smith Added
15-Mar-2017 23:58 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
16-Mar-2017 21:08 Dr.John Smith Updated [Narrative]
10-Jul-2019 17:53 TB Updated [Location, Damage, Narrative]
29-Dec-2019 18:10 Dr. John Smith Updated [Time, Cn, Location, Source, Embed code, Narrative]
29-Dec-2019 18:10 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]
08-Dec-2020 00:02 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source, Narrative]
08-Dec-2020 00:04 Dr. John Smith Updated [Source]

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