Leighton Buzzard gas works, Grovebury Road c.1930 [Z1432/3/4/5/1]
Friday 12th October 1917: A 18 year old officer in the Royal Flying Corps is recovering in King’s College Hospital, Denmark Hill, after a lucky escape. Second Lieutenant Edward A. R. Hills, the only son of the Vicar of Leighton Buzzard, was leading a patrol over the German lines when he was struck in the leg and his aircraft damaged. He started to return but a second shot broke off part of the propeller which struck him on the forehead. He stayed conscious just long enough to shut off his engine and land in a wood before passing out. He came round to find soldiers extricating him from the wrecked machine. Less than a week ago the under carriage of his aeroplane was shot away, and he was using a replacement aircraft.
The relatives of another young Leighton Buzzard flier, Lieutenant Fred Brasington, have been told that he is missing. He set out for the enemy lines with a pilot on Tuesday morning and has not been heard of since. Before the war Lieutenant Brasington was a pupil at the Leighton Buzzard Gas Works. He had served with the Royal Fusiliers since the early days of the war, but only recently took up a commission in the Royal Flying Corps. He had been in France for just a fortnight.
Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 16th October 1917