Corporal Bertie WhickerPrint Page Print this page

Bertie Whicker : 09-March-2013
Bertie Whicker : 09-March-2013
Photographs supplied by Graeme Saunders

The plaque on the grave commemorates Bertie Whicker as the first casualty of the Australian Air Force.

In 1921, just a week after the Australian Air Force was formed, the new Service suffered its first loss of life in a flying accident. An Avro 504K (H3021) stalled on an afternoon training flight at Point Cook and spun 500 feet nose-first into the ground about a half-mile north of the airfield hangars. The mechanic being carried as passenger, 23-year-old Corporal Bertie Whicker, suffered injuries from which he died in Caufield Military Hospital that same evening. He was an experienced airman, having served in the Australian Flying Corps in England from 1917 and gained probationary rank of Second Lieutenant before being discharged in 1919.


Address:261 North Road, Brighton Cemetery, Caulfield South, 3162
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.901303
Long: 145.020653
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People


Front Inscription

In loving memory Of Bertie Walter Whicker
17 May 1898 - 6 April 1921

Loving son of Rupert and Ellen Whicker

Bertie Whicker 2577, Australian Air Force, died from injuries received after Avros 504K , Number H3021, in which he was a passenger as an air mechanic, crashed while on a training flight at Point Cook airfield.

He was the first casualty sustained by the Australian Air Force.  The Australian Air Force was gazetted on 31 March 1921 and became the Royal Australian Air Force on 31 August  1921.

Corporal Whicker joined the Australian Imperial Force on 15 October 1917 and served with the 5th Training Squadron, Australian Flying Corps at Minchinhampton in England.

He returned to Australia on 30 April 1919, discharged on 4 August 1919, but rejoined the Australian Air Corps on 7 July 1920.

Also buried here is Berties` brother, Harold Whicker, who died on 6 March 1915, aged 13 months

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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