CWG: Captain Roden Chatterton

Captain Roden Chatterton

Roden Latham Chatterton was born on 13th July 1895, in Budin, Bengal, India. He was the only child to George and Ella Chatterton. George was a Lieutenant Colonel in the army, and had married Ella in India, where he was based.

The family had returned to England by the time of the 1911 census, but then moved permanently to Ireland. When war broke out, Roden joined up, enlisting in the 1st Battalion of the Leinster Regiment with the rank of Lieutenant. Full details of Roden’s military service are not available, but he arrived in France in January 1915 and, stayed there for the best part of two years.

In December 1917, the now Captain Chatterton transferred to the Royal Flying Corps. Based in Kent, he learnt to fly, and was close to gaining his wings, when an accident befell him in March 1918.

About 5:30pm on March 27th, [Captain Chatterton] was about 1.500 feet up, was trying to land near an aerodrome, and the wind was very rough. He shut off the engine and tried a left hand turn when the machine stalled and came down in a spin nose down and crashed to the ground. Several [people] went to his assistance. He was in great pain and made no remarks. He had been strapped in, but the belt had broken. The wind was from the south south-west. He came own into the wind and was trying to turn head into it when the machine got into a spin. It was not an ideal day for flying. Another machine… was flying with the deceased, and that landed all right. There was no collision in the air. When [he] turned he had not got the nose down far enough to keep up the engine speed and, in the witness’ opinion it was through an error of judgment on his part that the machine crashed. Had there been more space he would have got out of the spin. There was nothing wrong with the machine, but it was a type that was very difficult to handle in rough weather.

Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald: Saturday 6th April 1918

Captain Chatterton was taken to the Lees Court Military Hospital south of Faversham for treatment, but died of his injuries on 29th March 1918. He was 22 years of age.

Roden Latham Chatterton was laid to rest in a quiet corner of the Borough Cemetery in Faversham.

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