Merrett, Lieutenant Charles Darrell
Attached to Dover Air Station
Charles Merrett came from Melbourne, and was apparently commissioned in the AFC in England in January 1916, as he doesn’t appear on the AIF Embarkation Rolls. He was 21 when he was killed in an aircraft accident at Dover on 16 May while flying in Avro 504A 4068 with Capt Lord Lucas PC, who was unhurt. Capt Lord Lucas had switched off the engine as the aeroplane was
approaching the aerodrome, but realised that he needed more power as the machine was going to land short of the aerodrome. However, the engine would not re-start and the Avro went out of
control before crashing from about 80 feet. Captain Lord Lucas was a former Member of Parliament and Privy Councillor who held senior Cabinet posts prior to the War. He lost a leg while serving in the South African War, and learned to fly in 1915, after which he flew in action in the Middle East before returning to England as an instructor, and was the original commander of No 22 Sqn RFC. He wrote of the crash in which Lt Merrett was killed as, “I rather think my wooden leg saved me from a broken leg”. Captain Lord Lucas was killed in action flying FE 2b 7026 of No 22 Sqn RFC on 3 November 1916; he was shot down over Haplincourt by Ltn Max Müller of Jasta 2 – the 3rd of Müller’s eventual 36 victories.
Lt C D Merrett is buried in Grave W C 35 at Dover (St James’s) Cemetery, Kent, England.