Stotfold man pays tribute to grandad 100 years after his death in WWI with trip to Orkney
PUBLISHED: 16:24 07 November 2017 | UPDATED: 17:05 07 November 2017
A Stotfold man travelled more than 650 miles to Orkney to pay tribute to the grandfather he never got to meet 100 years after the aircraft crash that killed him.
Roy Scott and his family arrived at the former airbase in Scotland last week to lay flowers at the former airship base at Caldale, paying tribute to his grandfather Air Mechanic 1 Albert Edwin Scott, who died in an airship crash.
Pilot Flight Lieutenant Edward Bourchier Devereux and W/T LM Edgar James Wilson on also perished in the crash on November 26, 1917.
Caldale Camp was built as an airship station during World War I, sometime between 1915 and 1916, first commissioned with the Royal Navy Air Service in July 1916.
Roy’s grandfather died aged 24 when his son – Roy’s father – was only six months old. Following a previous trip Roy hoped to fulfil his goal to return to Orkney to pay tribute to him closer to the centenary of the incident.
Joining him was his wife Mary, two daughters Joanna and Angela and his son Jonathan as well as Michael Hutchings from the local Salvation Army and Aviation Research Group Orkney and Shetland member Magnus Ritch.
Together, they held a small remembrance service, led by Michael Hutchings.
Roy told the Comet: “The trip was very special for several reasons firstly as an only child I felt it was my responsibility to remember my grandad in this way.
“Secondly to have my wife and three children join me for the trip was very special.
“Quite a few arrangements had to be made to enable this to happen. My son drove from Somerset to Orkney and my daughters had to make arrangements to be able to leave their families for four days.
“It meant a lot to us that our children wanted to do this because it meant a huge effort on their part and their families to make it happen.
“To actually be there at Caldale, the site where grandad launched the airship for the last time, gave us all a direct link with the past.
“Thirdly my grandad was not the only person involved in the Caldale site. During its service life many other people both civilian and military personnel were involved and I was able to recognise them by laying a wreath.
“High winds and driving rain met us as we gathered at the Caldale site for the service at 11.15am. The service went through as planned. Due to the inclement weather the hymns were shortened.
“This of course all heightened our awareness of how courageous those airship men really were.
“Orkney is a very special place it is also quiet difficult to get to, which made this time together all the more significant.”