A 1919 painting depicting the moment the Zeppelin was brought down.
Only twenty-three at the time of his accident, Warneford, a member of the Royal Naval Air Service had been hailed a hero ten days earlier when he’d brought down a German Zeppelin in the First World War.
After the presentation ceremony and reception Warneford was transporting American journalist Henry Beach Newman from an aerodrome at Buc when the plane crashed, killing both passengers. Newman died instantly, while Warneford died of his injuries shortly afterwards.
The Khodynka Tragedy was a deadly stampede that happened during coronation celebrations for Russia’s last emperor, Nicholas II, in 1896.
Falling on the 18th of May on the old calendar (which equates to the 30th of May on the new calendar), 1389 people were trampled or suffocated to death when panic broke out in a crowd of many thousands.
Evidence of the tragedy was cleared away before many at the event in Moscow became aware of it, and Nicholas and his wife Alexandra continued with their schedule, including attending a ball with French diplomats that evening. It was decided it was more important to have good relations with the French than to appease the people of the Russian Empire.
The minor imperial response to the disaster did no favours for the family’s public image.