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Thread: Kiwi airman killed on fall on Ben Nevis in 1919

  1. #1
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    Kiwi airman killed on fall on Ben Nevis in 1919

    <span style='font-size: 17pt'>Kiwi airman killed on fall on Ben Nevis in 1919


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    Re: Kiwi airman killed on fall on Ben Nevis in 1919

    During the autumn of last year was given Parole for a week from my wife and went off researching war memorials, lifeboats and war graves in Cemeteries /graveyards in Wester Ross , Sutherland, Isle of Skye and around Fort William ....

    Near Corpach I found a war memorial on the old road to Skye from Fort William listing two sons of the Chief of the Clan Cameron listed ( Cameron Highlanders of course ) as well as several Black Watch casualties of the Great War .

    Along from that war memorial is an old graveyard and ruined kirk and this location is KILMALLIE OLD CHURCHYARD near Corpach and in the graveyard is this Headstone to 2/ Lieutenant ALECK CAMPBELL CRAIG , RAF of Auckland New Zealand a death date of 9th February 1919 . I then thought he may have been a Death from wounds in the Great War but it seems that on 9th February 1919 whilst on leave and prior to returning to NEW ZEALAND he was climbing BEN NEVIS and whilst climbing the lower shoulder with a fellow Officer at a height of 1,000 feet attempting to negotiate a snow slide he lost his footing and fell down the slope . He was Dead when his colleague reached him ..............

    2Lt Alexander Campbell CRAIG , RAF , ( no sqn recorded), aged 22 years is recorded on the CWGC index at Killmallie old Churchyard (Extn E ) . The next of kin are shown as being Son of the late James J Craig and Jessie CRAIG , of 67 MOUNTAIN ROAD, EPSOM , AUCKLAND , NEW ZEALAND . There are NINE other Official war graves of casualties from the Great war and WW2 in that graveyard . They are from Cameron Hdrs, Lovat Scouts, KOSB's , Royal Engineers and Seaforth Hdrs for the Great War and only one Royal Navy casualty from 1941 buried there.

    Maybe there are present day relatives of Second Lieutant Aleck C Craig around New Zealand possibly Scotland too as he seems to hae a Scottish set of names !

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    Re: Kiwi airman killed on fall on Ben Nevis in 1919

    Has anyone got any relatives in Auckland NZ who can see if there are any present day next of kin as the headstone records brothers and sisters so possibly there will be family members there and this year I will lay a Poppy Cross at his grave due to the 12,000 miles distance he is from his family in NZ..........

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    Re: Kiwi airman killed on fall on Ben Nevis in 191

    Hi Patrick,
    Might be able to help. There is an author here in Christchurch NZ Errol Martyn who has written two volumes of a book called "For Your Tomorrow"- he is about to finish the third volume. Its a record of all NZ pilots who served and lost their lives in the NZRAF and other allied forces from 1915 onwards. So far there are 8,000 records. The information is very comprehensive; Errol helped me when I was researching the death of my uncle in 1943 over Fiji.
    I have emailed a copy of your post Errol
    Cheers
    Dick

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    Re: Kiwi airman killed on fall on Ben Nevis in 191

    Patrick
    Further to my last see this family history
    http://caroleriley.id.au/familyTree/p21.htm
    Alexander Craig is mentioned 2/3 of the way down. The info is from a Carole Riley who lives in Australia who also provides advice on family trees.
    You might like to see if you can contact her with the pic of the grave stone. Will let you know if Errol comes up with anything more
    Cheers
    Dick

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    Re: Kiwi airman killed on fall on Ben Nevis in 191

    Thanks Dick for the excellent info and maybe there will be some newspapers in NZ that will publish a story to find present day family members of this young Officer as I intend to lay a Poppy cross at Lieutenant Aleck Craig's grave near Corpach to show that he is not forgotten by everyone ...

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    Re: Kiwi airman killed on fall on Ben Nevis in 191

    Well done both of you

    willie
    served 1972 - 1985 with the Regiment then transferred to MPSC in Colchester

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    Re: Kiwi airman killed on fall on Ben Nevis in 191

    Thanks Willie G for that , great to find friends with a variety of interests and they pass on the info to others instead keeping to themselves as some folk do !

    Will email the New Zealand Herald and others about the grave 12,000 miles from the young airman's home ! had he not gone up Ben Nevis he would have gone home to NZ ..............

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    Re: Kiwi airman killed on fall on Ben Nevis in 191

    Patrick
    Errol Martyn sent me the the following that is in his first Volume
    "Sun 9 Feb 1919
    Scotland
    Climbing accident
    RAF
    While on leave, pending embarkation for return to New Zealand, a trainee
    pilot and a brother officer set out in the afternoon to climb the lower
    shoulder of Ben Nevis. At a height of about 1000 feet, in attempting to
    negotiate a snow slide, he lost his footing and fell down the slope. He was
    dead when his companion reached him and is buried at Kilmallie, 2 miles NW
    of Fort William, Inverness-shire.
    (Trainee Pilot): 179138 2nd Lt Alexander Campbell CRAIG, RAF - Age
    21.
    Craig was a graduate of the Canterbury (NZ) Aviation Company.

    And draft bio info from my forthcoming Vol Three (nearly completed!):

    CRAIG, 2nd Lieutenant Alexander Campbell.
    179138;
    b Auckland 25 Jul 97;
    ed?;
    clerk – J J Craig Ltd, Merchants, Auckland.
    NZ Army/TF (Garrison Arty),
    attested NZEF 10 Sep 17,
    NZFS at Kohimarama as Pilot u/t mid-Sep 17,
    RAeC Cert 25 Mar 18,
    emb Balmoral Castle for UK 24 Apr 18 [ship dam in storm, rtd to NZ, resailed
    2 May],
    RAF Cadet Distribution Depôt as Pilot u/t 21 Jun 18,
    1 Officers TTW 30 Jun 18,
    1OCW 20 Jul 18,
    6SoA 16 Sep 18,
    Armament Sch 10 Nov 18,
    Hon Comm & killed in climbing acc 9 Feb 19.*
    Kilmallie Old Churchyard – Old Churchyard Extension E, Inverness-shire,
    Scotland.
    Son of Joseph James & Jessie Craig (née Campbell), Epsom, Auckland.
    Note: * Hon Comm granted posthumously wef this date.

    Trust this helps.

    Cheers,
    Errol"
    Also managed to trace Carole Riley in Aust. She would thrilled to receive any information. So will send her the pic the info above and the the background with credits to you for initiating this interesting thread
    Cheers
    Dick

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    Re: Kiwi airman killed on fall on Ben Nevis in 191

    Excellent , thank you very much for your assistance and kindness .

    Hope the email I sent to you got to you and I would be pleased to email Carole Riley the picture of the headstone and later in the year a pic of the poppy cross that I will put at his grave

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