12 August 1914 Lt Robin Reginald Skene died in an air crash on this day

Lt Robin Reginald Skene, Royal Flying Corps

Along with AM/1 RK Barlow, Robin was the first fatality (albeit not in action) for the RFC during the Great War. Born in Surrey on 6 August 1891, Robin was a pre-war aviator who obtained his Royal Aero Club Aviators' Certificate on 21 July 1913 at the Bristol School at Brooklands. A member of the Special Reserve, he was, upon the outbreak of war, assigned to No 3 Squadron under the command of Major John Maitland Salmond.

On 12 August 1914 the Squadron left its base at Netheravon for France via Dover but soon after taking off Lt Skene's Bleriot XI side-slipped and dived into the ground killing him and his mechanic (Barlow). It was suggested at the time that the aircraft may have been overloaded for its flight to France, though this now seems unlikely.

Robin is buried in St Mary's churchyard at Send, Surrey.

12 August 1914

Research by David O'Mara