Handley Page Hampden Mk.I P1260 of No.7 Squadron RAF crashed on Snaefell on the 1st January 1940


Horace Miers MacGregor Pilot Officer Pilot Killed
Robert James Bailey Sergeant Navigator Killed
Thomas Owen Dennis Sergeant Wireless Operator / Air Gunner Killed
Percey Edwin (Ted) Albert Brightmore Corporal Wireless Operator / Air Gunner Injured


The crew of P1260 were on a daytime cross country navigation exercise from RAF Upper Heyford, they flew to Blackpool and then out over the Irish Sea.  The weather over the sea was poor and the crew became lost in low cloud and snow.  Cpl Brightmore was in the process of winding out the trailing aerial so the crew could make contact with an RAF station to get a fix on their location when the aircraft ploughed into Snaefell and burst into flames.

Corporal Brightmore was flung from the wreck as it broke up but received fairly serious burns, he staggered do the hill eventually reaching a cottage in Sulby Glen.  He was treated in Ramsey for three months before being transferred back to Upper Heyford where he was placed on non-flying duties.  He was also later treated by Dr. McIndoe, the plastic surgeon whose patients became known as the Guinea Pig Club.

The crew who died in the crash were buried at various cemeteries across the UK, below is a photograph of P/O MacGregor’s grave at Harrow Pinner New Cemetery.

Pilot Officer Horace MacGregor's grave at Harrow Pinner New Cemetery
Grave of Horace MacGregor at Harrow
Impact point of Handley Page Hampden P1260 on Snaefell
The aircraft first impacted close to this spot next to the Snaefell Railway where there are some burnt fragments of the aircraft.
Wreckage from Handley Page Hampden P1260 below the crash site on the northern side of Snaefell
Lower down the hill where the aircraft came to rest are a few larger burnt pieces, which were being used as an ant’s nest at the time of my visit.