Flying Officer Horace Edgar Fenwick
On 4th November, 1920, Flying Officer Harold Oliver Prout AFC and his observer, Flying Officer Horace Edgar Fenwick, were on the return leg of a trip to Winchester when they arrived back at Kenley, just after 4.30pm, to find the airfield shrouded in thick fog.
Sergeant Andrews saw their Bristol Fighter (F4852) circling around his house with both officers standing up in the cockpit. He lost sight of them in the fog and almost immediately heard a crash. He discovered the two pilots dead in Hawkhurst Rd. They had hit a tree and come down in a field.
At the inquest into their deaths, Flying Officer Trevor Salt stated that the officers had left Kenley in the morning, bound for Winchester, and the weather was fine when they began their return journey in the afternoon. However, a heavy fog had closed in on Kenley and he had phoned Winchester to warn them about the weather conditions, but he was too late. He explained to the Coroner that Kenley “was difficult to land in, the trees rendering it particularly dangerous during foggy weather.”
The Coroner commented that he had held inquests on men killed while trying to land at Kenley in the past, but “experts had decided on the position of the aerodrome and of course he was not sufficiently expert to say it was not a proper position.”
Flying Officer Horace Edgar Fenwick of Blandford Rd, St. Albans, was born in Clapham, London, on 23rd March, 1896. He was the son of Howard Bertie Fenwick, who was born in Calcutta, and Adelaide Alice Mary Fenwick (nee Hancock) of Tunbridge Wells. In 1901, the family were living at 91 Church Walk, Hendon, but by 1911 they had moved to ‘Hazelmere,’ Beaconsfield Rd, St. Albans, and had two servants. Horace had an older brother, Benjamin, (a Divinity student in 1911) and three younger sisters, Bertha, Enid and Evelyn. His Father died in 1914.
Horace worked as a commercial traveller prior to joining up during the Great War. It appears that he served with the Northumberland Fusiliers before transferring to the Royal Flying Corps and then the RAF. His residence at the time of his death was ‘Ivanhoe,’ 4 Blandford Rd, St. Albans.
Horace was buried in St. Albans (Hatfield Rd) Cemetery. He was 24 years old when he died.
Rest in Peace Sir and thank you for your service.