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Handsome Roy

Roy Cumestree Trout was an agricultural chemist from Brisbane. He passed his flying certificate in May 1916 at the Central Flying School, Laverton in Australia.

He enlisted on 8th August 1916. He left Australia on 25th October and arrived in Devonport on Christmas Day 1916.

He belonged to 69th Squadron based near Lincoln but was temporarily attached to the Aeroplane Acceptance Park at Coventry as a delivery pilot.

He was accidentally killed on 27 July 1917 while flying an RE8 near Coventry.

A court of enquiry was held at Coventry Aerodrome on 29th July. The court concluded that his death was caused due to his inexperience of RE8 and a possible failure of the elevator control.

A letter from the Brigadier General Commanding the Northern Training Brigade later refuted the idea that he was inexperienced with RE8s saying he had flown almost 2hrs in one before arriving at Coventry and had then successfully delivered an RE8 from Coventry to Lympne.

According to eyewitnesses on the day of the accident, Roy left Coventry on RE8 number A3772 at 10.20am with instructions to deliver it to Lympne. He was seen to make 2 strange banking manoeuvres before going into a spin then a nosedive and crashing behind White & Poppes factory (which was a munitions factory). Officers from the aerodrome sped around by car and arrived to find the plane in flames and firemen from the factory working to put out the flames. Faults were noted on the elevator control, as though it had snapped off when Roy pulled it to try and get out of the nosedive.

He was buried in London Road Cemetery at 2.30pm on 1st August with full military honours.

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