BULAWAYO MEMORIES

Memorial - Silver Queen 1920

The Monument plaque reads as follows: The first aircraft to reach this country, the Silver Queen, a Vickers Vimy bomber, crashed near this place on 6th March 1920. The aircraft was flown by Lieut-Col Pierre van Ryneveld DSO, MC and Flight Lieut. Quinton Brand DSO, DFC. The other members of the crew were Mr FW Sherratt, an engineer from Rolls Royce and Flight Sgt Newman (RAF) an airframe engineer.
This was the first flight from London to the Cape. Silver Queen I After the crash and some days later the flight was continued and completed by van Ryneveld and Brand in a DH9 aircraft named Voortrekker.

All the other challengers that started from England abandoned their flights. The De Havilland machine piloted by Lieutenant Cotton,  of Australia, smashed its tail and three wings; Major Bradeley's Handley-Page crashed near Atbara, while Major Welsh's Royal  Force machine was forced to descend in a damaged state at Koroska. The Times Vickers Vimy bomber crashed at Abercorn and was smashed beyond repair.



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