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Source 4: Letter of condolence, 23 December 1916

Rev. Hume received this letter of condolence from J. P. Berry, his sonís Senior Officer in the Royal Naval Air Station, with a further explanation of events.

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View the timeline for an outline of John Douglas Hume's life.

Page 1


Page 1 of a letter from J P Berry to Mr David Hume, about the deceased John Douglas Hume. National Records of Scotland reference: GD486/160

Transcript

Page 1

R. N. Air Station
Westgate-on-Sea
Kent
Dec
[ember] 23rd 1916

Dear Mr Hume

We were all deeply affected
by your sonís death & felt for you very much
when you came to visit Westgate, it must
have been a very trying day for you.
He was a fine boy in every sense of the word.
He was a good officer & a nicer companion
in a mess one couldnít have. I was astonished
when he told me his age. He gave one the
impression of being much older. He was
I think without exception the best boy in the
mess both from the point of capability as an officer
& as a man, everyone here would tell you the same.
As to his health, he never complained to me of
feeling ill & he played football & was in every
skylark in the mess. He was at the Queens at a
dance the night before his end, & he was full
of life then & I saw him & was talking to him


(National Records of Scotland reference GD486/160)

Page 2


Page 2 of a letter from J P Berry to Mr David Hume, about the deceased John Douglas Hume. National Records of Scotland reference: GD486/160

Transcript

Page 2

a few minutes before he went up & he was
quite fit & full of spirits. His skin was sallow
I presume as a result of the time he spent in
Mesopotamia but as far as I know he was alright
in himself.

I had no opportunity of seeing him after the
accident as he was taken to Sheerness, but from
what Douglas tells me I think that death
must have been instantaneous. They would both
be unconscious if not before reaching the water,
immediately the machine hit the water.
The cut on his trousers would occur when the
machine crashed into the water. I really donít
think he had any of the horror of seeing death
approaching. As in all these cases of aeroplane accidents
the pilot is so busy trying to right the machine
that he has no time to think of anything else. This
one hears from people who have had accidents of
the same nature, but who have come out of it alive.

I donít think there is any other point I can give you
information on but I am glad to have this opportunity of
telling you how much we all thought of your boy.

I am yours very sincerely
J. P. Berry


(National Records of Scotland reference GD486/160)

 

 

 
 
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