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The Tragedy of Airship R101


On 5 October 1930, the Airship R101 left Britain and crushed in Northern France. Forty-six passengers and crew on board burnt to death, including Sir Sefton Bracker and others at the top of the Air Ministry. It was a shocking catastrophe and stopped the idea of airships being a viable alternative to airplanes in Britain. The idea had been that R101 would fly to India and, due in part to its large size, would not need as many stops for fuel as an aircraft making a similar journey. 

Recently, some of our volunteers (Karen, Mark and Ian), repacked our Airship files, of which Airship 101 is a part. We found poignant remembrances of this tragic airship and the people that died, including a piece of it. Another volunteer Roger has since catalogued the file and scanned in the documents, photographs and taken a picture of the piece of wreckage from R-101. This blog is just making some of the documents available below – no commentary is needed!

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