15 May 1914; Friday

Got up at 6 o’clock. Went with George Crawford to the Tunstall Hill<s>1 first thing and took some photos. Had walk at night. Got to know of disaster to aeroplanes which had passed over here2. Some of them wrecked at Northallerton and 2 men killed, Lieutenant Empson and Private Cudmore3  4  5.


  1. Tunstall Hills is an area of open space in Sunderland, now both a Local Nature Reserve and a Site of Special Scientific Interest both for its geological and biological importance. The area consists of Green Hill and Rocky Hill and surrounding land. Locally these two hills have been also known as the Maidens Paps because of their shape. See also Sunderland map. 

  2. See previous day’s diary entry

  3. Lieutenant Empson and Private Cudmore: these were Army ranks, not RAF, because the Royal Flying Corps remained a corps within the Army until it was transformed into the RAF in 1918. 

  4. This page at  the History Network appears to refer to the same incident, and names the dead men as Lieut. John Empson of the 4th Royal Fusiliers and Air-Mechanic George Cudmore of No. 2 Squadron Military Wing R.F.C. The source of this information appears to be Flight Magazine dated 22 May 1914

  5. See also John Empson and George Cudmore, both at Grace’s Guide.