The Kenya Lincoln crash (SX984 )

On 19 February 1955 a 49 Squadron crew flew low over the Githunguri police post and during a second pass the aircraft's tail struck the boundary fence. It then went into a severe vertical climb before stalling out onto an African 'shamba'. In the sickening carnage, four Africans and all six crew members onboard were killed.

The attached files of newspaper articles, documents and photographs are kindly provided by Richard Bartlett-May, the son of Sgt Bartlett.

F/O Hunt (Pilot) (Killed)
Sgt North (Flight Engineer )(Killed)
Sgt Hollands (Signaller) (Killed)
Sgt Bartlett (Air Gunner) (Killed)
F/O King (Navigator) (Killed)
F/O Parry (Navigator) (Killed)

Click the icon opposite to open the file or 'Right click' and choose 'Save Link/Target As'.




In August 2009 Richard Bartlett-May visited the scene of the crash. His photographs, with captions, are shown below. Additional B&W images have been supplied by Arthur Williamson (former Police Chief at Githunguri) and Dick Matthews who was the District Officer at Githunguri.


Houses at the top of the hill near Githunguri Police Station They are in the same location of the original 'rondavels' that were hit.


Githunguri Police Station Sign


The actual crash site. I am standing next to a lady called Peris. Peris witnessed the accident and we are standing on the spot where SX984 crashed. She also informed me that SX984 after hitting the building was on fire before it crashed. The gentleman to the right of me lived in Githunguri in 1955. His father was an engineer installing a water pipeline to the town. He remembered seeing the Lincolns fly over the police station on their way back from the Aberdares but didn’t witness the SX984 accident.

Richard and Peris



Margaret (Peris’s daughter), Peris's husband and Richard. Peris's husband’s brother carried my father from where he was found to the Military Land Rover


Oldest Brick House in Githunguri. SX984 crashed 100 yds from this house where Peris and her husband still live.


View of the hill top which SX984 hit at the Githunguri Police Station taken from the crash site.

Image courtesy of Arthur Williamson

The circle shows the buildings hit by SX984


Image courtesy of Dick Matthews

A close up of the buildings


Image courtesy of Dick Matthews

The crash site

Image courtesy of Dick Matthews

The crash site

Image courtesy of Dick Matthews

Parts of the rudder caught up in the barbed wire fence that surrounded the camp.

That day SX984 was bombing the Kipipiri Forest. I would well imagine Githunguri was a waypoint for the Navigator on the way to and from the Kipipiri Forest.

Click for an enlarged view (in a new window)


Click for an enlarged view (in a new window)

Githunguri in Kikuyu means hill and after visiting the site I can see why it was chosen as a police post and why one would use it as a waypoint for navigation. (click on either map for an enlargement)

Read the eye witness account of Ian Fox who at the time was in charge of a remote Police Post within the Githunguri Division.


After much research Richard Bartlett-May has been able to obtain the official MOD Accident Aircraft Record Card shown below.

Images courtesy of Richard Bartlett-May

Images courtesy of Richard Bartlett-May

Click this link to open a larger view (in a new window)