Ashes of dead pilot scattered at airport



Ashes of dead pilot scattered at airport


Account of scattering ashes of Harold Dryhurst over Stansted airport. He was killed in an aircraft crash. Includes accounts of funeral and of accident.

Temporal Coverage





One newspaper cutting


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Inquest opened

A PLAN to scatter the ashes of Captain Harry Dryhurst, the Bishop’s Stortford pilot who crashed to his death just before Christmas, over Stansted Airport from the air on Wednesday afternoon was abandoned because of practical difficulties.
Instead, his ashes were scattered over the airport from the ground on Wednesday evening.
His widow, Mrs Kaye Dryhurst, of Linkside Road, said that her late husband, who was cremated on Saturday at Harlow, would have approved of the intention to scatter his remains.
“He used to say that sailors can be disposed of in a dignified way,“ she explained.
Mrs. Dryhurst decided that as her husband had worked at Stansted for the longest period of his life, it was appropriate that his ashes should remain in the area.


More than 300 mourners – 150 of them air crew in uniform – attended the funeral of Captain Dryhurst who died when the executive jet he was piloting crashed into the Luton factory of Vauxhall Motors Ltd. and burst into flames.
Among the mourners were the directors and staff of Autair International Airlines, the Civil Aviation Flying Unit, British United Airways, Britannia Airways, British Eagle, the directors and management of the Beecham Group, personnel from Field Aircraft Services at Stansted and the directors and staff of Court Line Shipping Company.
As well as his wife, Captain Dryhurst leaves three daughters, Lynne (20) who is married, Nichola (17), and Melanie (10).
Later, Mrs. Dryhurst said that she would reply to over 200 letters of condolence received from friends as soon as possible.
“I am grateful to all the friends and neighbours who helped me with the youngest child,” she said.
An inquest on Captain Dryhurst and his companion who was also killed in the crash was opened and adjourned at Luton last week.
Captain Dryhurst was a flight captain and training instructor with Autair International Airways and his companion was Mr. David William Boothman, of Fir Tree Road, Silsoe, Bedfordshire, a first officer with Autair.
Evidence of identification was given by Mr. Cyril Dibley, of Wheathampstead, a chief pilot with Autair.
He said that he authorised the two men to fly the Hawker Siddeley 125 twin-engined jet on a training flight from Luton Airport.
“Mr. Boothman was acting as pilot and Mr. Dryhurst as instructor. The aircraft took off at about 6.25 and did not return. I am perfectly satisfied that the two men were in the aircraft when it crashed a minute or two later,” he said.
Mr. Albert Nichols, of Abbotswood Road, Luton, a crew driver at Luton Airport, said that he took the two men to the aircraft at about 6.05.
“They told me they would be in the air for about an hour-and-a-half and would inform operations what time they would be arriving back. There was no one else in the aircraft,” he said.
The inquest was adjourned until Monday, February 26.


“Ashes of dead pilot scattered at airport,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed September 29, 2023,

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