William Reginald Crocker

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    A long way from Port Said but I found a reference to a W.R.Crocker (Lt) Here:

    The History and Development of Aircraft Instruments-1909 to 1919
    John Kirkham Bradley
    Dept of Science and Technloogy
    Imperial College London

    Chapter 4
    Aircraft Compass Development – Part 1
    11. PRO/DSIR 23/321/f and DSIR 23/366 W.R.Crocker (Lt), Various reports, undated.

    Which refers to this:

    Chapter 4.
    The Aircraft Compass – Part 1
    Development from 1909 to 1916
    4.3. Wartime Compasses development by Keith Lucas at Farnborough.
    As service flying increased, it became obvious the aircraft compass still had problems as
    increased engine power had increased vibration and acceleration forces since the first
    compasses had been designed. Even before the war, reports said that Clift compasses were
    unsatisfactory and that although the Pattern 200 from Kelvin and White was preferred to
    the older Chetwynd type, it ought to be mounted in gimbals as it jammed in bumpy
    weather. I 0 There were reports of compasses sticking in turns and of errors caused by the
    electrical field from not twisting the wires of the compass lamp. There were also reports of
    compass deviation in cloud and of balloon ascents to measure whether the magnetic angle
    of dip varied with height, that might explain the deviation. 1 I

    National Archives shows these:

    Department of Scientific and Industrial Research: Aeronautical Research Council: Reports and Papers.
    Deviations of compass during flight: request for opinion about possibility of such deviations being caused by
    Other references: T 321
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew – Department of Scientific and Industrial
    Date: 1913
    Reference: DSIR 23/321

    Magnetic effects in upper atmosphere: preliminary experiments.
    Other references: T 366
    Held by: The National Archives, Kew – Department of Scientific and Industrial
    Date: 1914
    Reference: DSIR 23/366

    Not digitised.


    Thanks Maurice.

    I had stumbled across that reference. Sad that an apparently scientifically inclined office should do something so stupid as to crawl under a railway truck.

    From WO95/4401


    I’m looking for details of service of Flt Commander William Reginald Crocker.
    He was killed by a railway train at Port Said on 6 March 1916.
    He was apparently a qualified airship, aeroplane and free balloon pilot and served at Eastchurch, and was one of the original aooficers in the RNAS when it split from the RFC.
    Crocker was appointed to the East Indies and Egypt Seaplane Squadron, possibly in command but records and memoirs are unclear on this.

    Any details would be most welcome.

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