22 April 1912: Today is the centenary of the first flight across the Irish sea when Denys Corbett Wilson flew his Bleriot XI from a field in Goodwick in Pembrokeshire, Wales and landed near Enniscorthy, Ireland 100 minutes later.
He had initially set off from Hendon Aerodrome on 17 April 1912 in his Bleriot XI monoplane in a race against his friend and fellow pilot Damer Leslie Allen, also flying a Bleriot, who disappeared the following day over the Irish Sea while attempting a flight from Holyhead, Wales to Ireland. Corbett-Wilson meanwhile was forced to land near Hereford and booked into the Mitre Hotel. Rather than wait for his mechanic to arrive, he decided to purchase petrol and oil locally. The oil (castor oil was used at the time) however turned out to be the wrong grade and on resuming his flight the following morning he was once again forced down because of engine trouble. This time he landed in Colva, Radnorshire where he wisely waited for his mechanic to arrive. It was on 21 April he took off and decided to head west instead of north for Chester and Holyhead as the original plan. He arrived at a field near Harbour Village, Goodwick around mid morning. The historic flight to Ireland began at 5.47am on the 22nd.
A Lieutenant serving in the Third Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, on 10 May 1915 Corbett-Wilson and his observer were on a reconnaissance mission in a Morane Parasol when their aircraft was struck by an enemy shell. Both were reported to have been killed instantly. He is buried in the Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez, France.
Denys Corbett Wilson - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Six One News: 100 years since first crossing of Irish Sea by plane - RT News Player