New Forest East



Southern Daily Echo – 30 March 2001

Medals won by a First World War fly­ing hero could soon be given a perma­nent home in Hampshire.

The decorations awarded to Flt Lt Samuel Kinkead, who died in a tragic accident off Fawley while he was trying to push the world air speed record up to 300 miles per hour have been treasured by his family for generations.

But Flt Lt Kinkead's relatives have now handed those medals to New Forest East MP Julian Lewis.

He, in turn, is hoping that they could be exhibited at a special heritage centre at Marchwood, where there are plans to add a hall of aviation to the steadi­ly-expanding base of the British Military Powerboat Trust.

Flt Lt Kinkead died on March 12, 1928, while attempting the world air speed record above the Solent, off Calshot beach. It was reported at the time that he was hurtling through the air at more than 300 mph when his Supermarine S5 plunged into the Solent.

He was buried at Fawley Church, and since researching his glittering record as one of the very early fighter pilots, Mr Lewis has been in close touch with his relatives.

The MP outlined an ironic and memorable twist to this year's get-together.

"I took the family to a lunch at the House of Commons and was showing them a display of all sorts of medals and was pointing to the ones 'Kink' had won and they began smiling.

"Later, when we were having lunch, they handed me those medals as a present."

The medals are a DSO, DSC and bar and DFC and bar, as well as three First World War service medals, including one with the small leaf signifying that the flying hero had been mentioned in despatches.

"The large medals which he was awarded have been on display at a museum in South Africa for many years. These were the miniature medals which would have been worn with a dress suit and would undoubtedly have been worn on many more occa­sions than the larger medals."

Flt Lt Kinkead fought in the First World War, in the Russian Civil War and in Kurdistan and Iraq before being involved in winning the Schneider Trophy in Italy, only to die tragically in the Solent as the possi­bility of winning another Schneider Trophy beckoned.

[For detailed accounts of the life of 'Kink' Kinkead, click here and here.]