Frank Nelham Clark's plane crashed in Leigham Court Road, Streatham on 29th April 1917 and he was killed.
He clipped some trees and the chimney of his parents house as he was flying low trying to find somewhere to land. The family lived at the "Knowle" which had a 1 acre garden so it was possible he was trying to land in the garden
He was born in Streatham (family lived at "Guestling", Thornlaw Road,) and he is buried at West Norwood Cemetery in a CWGC plot.
Following from Dulwich College
Frank started at Dulwich Prep in 1906, and was a student there until the end of 1910, starting at the College in January of 1911, going on to become a member of the Gymnastic VI in both 1913 & 14, as well as a highly regarded swimmer – a skill he would later use on two separate occasions to save fellow cadets from drowning.
He left in the summer of 1914 and soon after the outbreak of War joined the Inns of Court Officer Training Corps, eventually being not only promoted to the rank of Lance-Corporal, but also a fully qualified instructor.
In September 1916, upon taking his commission, he requested to join the Royal Flying Corps in order to train as a pilot. During his training he acquired the nickname ‘Bubbles’ as a result of “his youth, his clear outlook on life & his cheery spirits”.
On April 26th 1917 he fully qualified, earning his ‘wings’, and was due to go across to France to join No. 56 Squadron, under Major Blomfield. Unfortunately however a mere 3 days after fully qualifying, whilst flying across London to Wallington his aeroplane struck a tree and a chimney stack before crashing and bursting into flames.
Tragically the accident had taken place mere yards from his home, and his parents were amongst the first on the scene, with his father being the one to pull him from the burning wreckage of his plane; despite their best efforts his injuries were so severe that he passed away that evening in a nearby nursing home. He was the second of four Clark brothers to attend the College, of whom he was the only one to fall in service.