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Capt. W. J. STUTT and Sgt. A. G. DALZELL disappeared 23 Sep 1920

STUTT DALZELL Australian Air Corps AAC Central Flying School CFS

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#1 Martin Elliget

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 11:18 PM

On the 23rd of September 1920, Captain W. J. "Billy" STUTT and Sergeant Abner Gilchrist DALZELL, of the Australian Air Corps (AAC), set out in a De HAVILAND 9A (Number E.8616) from the Central Flying School (CFS) at Point Cook, Victoria, to search for missing schooner "AMELIA J". They were last seen in the vicinity of Cape Barren Island at about 11,000 feet, after which they were never seen again.

A Military court of inquiry held in Melbourne on the 16th of November 1920 recorded that:
".. Captain W. J. STUTT and No. 13 Sergeant A. G. DALZELL have lost their lives whilst in the performance of a military duty.."

See page of findings attached. The full NAA document containing the court of inquiry findings and discussing issues of compensation is here:
http://recordsearch....ne.asp?B=199011

In a minute paper to the Secretary of Defence from Adjutant General V.C.M. Sellheim on the Military Court of Inquiry held, he states:
".. the two deceased were members of the Military Forces."

The flight plan for the two planes sent out to search for the schooner was that they were to go from Melbourne via Wilson's Promontory, Flinders Island and other islands in Bass Strait and then down the East cost of Tasmania to Hobart. It was originally thought the plane went down in Bass Strait but, in the 1950s, evidence came to light that they may have crashed north of St Helens in Tasmania. See member Barry Hayes' comments in this previous thread:
http://1914-1918.inv...showtopic=98724

Given that these men belonged to the Military Forces of Australia and died "in the performance of a military duty", within the CWGC period for WW1, is there any reason why these men aren't commemorated on the CWGC site?

regards,

Martin

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#2 chrisharley9

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 03:26 PM

Hi Martin

Several files at the Australian National Archives which I will need to read through just to get some details right but in the main I fully agree with you

Do you wish that IFCP deal with this case for you with yourself as the submitting volunteer

Cheers

Chris



#3 Martin Elliget

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 03:38 PM

Hi Chris.

Yes I'm happy for the IFCP to deal with the case. If death certificates are required and available, I don't mind ordering these (unless the IFCP is able to access these without cost).

Thanks.

Martin

#4 chrisharley9

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 03:47 PM

Martin

I will check with regard to the death certs but hopefully the evidence on the various files will be sufficient

Will get back to you later

Chris

#5 Martin Elliget

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 04:26 PM

Thanks Chris. I just checked the Vic Deaths online and neither name produced a hit for 1920, so perhaps normal death certificates were not issued due to the circumstances (or are to be found elsewhere).

Dalzell's AIF service record, which includes some correspondence after his death, does mention a Certificate of Death (presumed) No 251 (p.35-36), but the file doesn't seem to contain a copy.
http://recordsearch....e.asp?B=3485172


Interestingly (and I don't know whether this was later followed up and proved to be unrelated), on 3 Nov 1920 Assistant Lightkeeper Hague on Goose Island reported finding plane wreckage.

NAA document Title: "Plane wreckage found at Goose Island - missing aviators Captain WJ Stutt and Sergeant AG Dalzell"
http://recordsearch.....asp?B=12095555

I'll leave it there.

regards,

Martin

#6 chrisharley9

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 04:54 PM

http://recordsearch....e.asp?B=1067103 This file relates to a later enquiry about Sgt Dalzell's death by his son

This file http://recordsearch....e.asp?B=3485172 gives proof of death & confirms award of MSM

#7 chrisharley9

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 06:49 PM

Both submitted in your name to CWGC

#8 Martin Elliget

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 09:53 PM

Wow, that's quick work, Chris. Guess you guys are well practised on this by now. Thanks very much,

Martin

#9 Martin Elliget

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Posted 16 May 2013 - 10:59 PM

William John Stutt's Medal Index Card attached. Sad to see his wife in Larundel, a mental asylum.

Also found on Ancestry, a photo of Stutt on his Royal Aero Club Aviators' Certificate. Registration No 742, 25 Feb 1914.

And finally, this from The Times:

The Times, Friday, Nov 16, 1917; pg. 5
IMPERIAL AND FOREIGN NEWS ITEMS
..
Lieutenant Stutt, chief of the Richmond, N.S.W.,
Flying School, flew in a Curtiss biplane from Point
Cook to Richmond, 600 miles, in seven hours 20
minutes actual flying time, establishing a longest
Australian non-stop record - viz., 342 miles in four
hours 10 minutes.


regards,

Martin

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#10 chrisharley9

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 02:47 PM

Martin

your are very welcome & if of course should you find more please give me a shout

Chris

#11 Martin Elliget

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Posted 18 May 2013 - 03:04 AM

Will do Chris. In all my scouring of old newspapers and documents from archives, whenever I happen to notice a death that may have been overlooked, I always think it's worth the few moments to search CWGC to check.