30.12.1940 3 Service Flying Training School Oxford I R6226 LAC. Alexander
Date: 30th December 1940 (Monday)
Unit: No. 3 Service Flying Training School
Type: Oxford I
Code: None issued
Base: RNZAF Ohakea
Location: Ashhurst, New Zealand
Pilot: LAC Thomas Arthur Hughes Alexander NZ/402154 RNZAF Age 26. Killed
Pilot Inst: Sgt. Rex Brooke-Taylor NZ/439002 RNZAF Age 25. Killed (1)
REASON FOR LOSS:
Not a loss due to conflict, however we are committed to report as many training losses as we are able - with NZ losses research made possible by the work of Errol Martyn.
The aircraft took off from the base to carry out a cross country flight using instruments. At 07:45 hrs was seen to lose height at 100 ft and to carry out a steep left hand turn at high speed.
It then hit power lines and hit a two storey town house near Ashurst. The aircraft came to a rest finally some 150 yards further on from the building. Both the student and instructor pilot were killed but incredibly none of the house occupants suffered any injuries. a nurse and four of the Kebbell children of Mr. C.M. Kebbell had vacated the building just ten minutes prior to the accident.
(1) The family of Sgt. Rex Brooke-Taylor suffered the loss of his younger brother, P/O. Keith Brooke-Taylor on the 07th April 1940 -further details described here.
LAC Thomas Arthur Hughes Alexander. Auckland Cemetery ( Waikumete). Ang. Block H, Row 10, Grave 27. Son of Dr. William Arthur Alexander and Mrs. Alexander, of Maunganui, Auckland, New Zealand.
Sgt. Rex Brooke-Taylor. Wellington Cemetery (Karori) Grave 21. A/3. (S). Son of Roydon and Ida Winifrid Brooke-Taylor, of Wellington City and husband of Olive Clarence Brooke-Taylor, of Wellington City, New Zealand.
Researched and dedicated to the relatives of this pilot with thanks to the research by Errol Martyn and his publications: “For Your Tomorrow Vols. 1-3”, Auckland War Memorial Museum, Weekly News of New Zealand, other sources as quoted below: