GEORGE PATRICK FAIRBAIRN (Fairbairn-1136)
BIRTH. 1 Sep 1908, Banongill, Skipton, Victoria, Australia
BIRTH NOTICE. FAIRBAIRN.—On the 1st September, at Banongill, Skipton, the wife of Charles Fairbairn—a son.
MARRIAGE. 6 Apr 1933, Scots Church, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
MARRIAGE. 6 Apr 1933, Mary Robertson Murray, daughter of Douglas Stuart Murray & Frances Anne Edna (Oliver) Murray
WEDDING REPORT. FAIRBAIRN—STUART-MURRAY. Long before the hour fixed on April 6 for the wedding of Mary Robertson, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stuart-Murray, of Cliveden Mansions, East Melbourne, to George Patrick, youngest son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Charles Fairbairn, of Wooloomanata, Lara, large crowds had gathered about Scots Church, Melbourne, to await the arrival of the bride. . . .
DEATH. 26 May 1935, Essendon, Victoria, Australia
DEATH NOTICE. FAIRBAIRN.—On the 28th May, at Melbourne, George Patrick and Mary Robertson Fairbairn, of Wooloomanata, Lara. Remains at Sleight's chapel.
DEATH REPORT/OBITUARY. 'PLANE CRASHES. MR. AND MRS. G. P. FAIRBAIRN KILLED. Mr. George Patrick Fairbairn, of Wooloomanata, Lara (V.), and his wife, who before her marriage was Miss Mary Robertson Murray, were killed instantly when their aeroplane crashed on the Keilor road. North Essendon, on Sunday morning. Mrs. Fairbairn was piloting the machine to her husband's station at Lara, after they had visited Melbourne to take part in the formation flight in the Empire Day air pageant. In this 'plane Mr. Fairbairn flew from England to Australia in 1932. When the 'plane was less than two miles from the aerodrome the engine failed. Mrs. Fairbairn attempted to make a forced landing, but the machine got out of control, spun downward violently for several seconds, and then crashed on the macadamised road.
The accident occurred with startling suddenness. As Mr. and Mrs. Fairbairn walked to the 'plane, which had been left in the hangar of the Hart Aircraft Company for the night, Mrs. Fairbairn remarked to a mechanic: "What a lovely morning for flying." Between the time that Mrs. Fairbairn climbed into the pilot's cockpit at the rear of the Spartan Sports machine behind her husband, who was in the front cockpit, and the crash not more than three minutes elapsed. The aeroplane, which was fitted with dual controls, was flying smoothly at a height of about 300ft. when the engine spluttered and stopped. It is believed that Mrs. Fairbairn selected a large field, about a quarter of a mile to the left, to which she might glide and land. A windbreak of tall pine trees beside the Keilor road directly in the course of the machine obstructed another field. The rate of descent in the glide is believed to have been too steep for Mrs. Fairbairn to pilot the machine over the pine trees. Beneath her was a third field, which, however, was too rough to ensure a good landing. Her only course seemed to be to attempt the left hand gliding turn towards the clear field. Half-way through the turn the machine lost flying speed, the nose dropped sharply, and the machine went into a "tight spin." It is thought to be possible that the 'plane got out of control at this stage through a heavy suitcase, which was in the front cockpit with Mr. Fairbairn, sliding on to the rudder bar and jamming it. Aviators think also that Mrs. Fairbairn might have over-corrected the rudder when the turn began. This would have caused a loss of speed and control.
Mr. Fairbairn, who was aged 26 years, was the youngest son of the late Mr. Charles Fairbairn, and he was a brother of Major C. O. Fairbairn, of Banongil, Skipton, and of Mr. James V. Fairbairn, M.H.R., of Mount Elephant, Derrinallum. His sister, Mrs. Ross Grey-Smith, and Mr. Fairbairn, M.H.R., are enthusiastic aviators. Mr. G. P. Fairbairn was educated at the Geelong Grammar School and at Jesus College, Cambridge University. While taking a science course at Cambridge he became interested in aviation, and he joined the Cambridge University Air Force. With Mr. K. Shenstone, a Cambridge undergraduate, he set out to fly to Kenya Colony in September, 1931, but the machine struck a sandhill when taking off at Nicotera, in the south of Italy. It overturned and was extensively damaged. The flight was abandoned. On February 19, 1932, Mr. Fairbairn and Mr. Shenstone left England for a leisurely flight to Australia. They reached Darwin on April 18. Mrs. Fairbairn, who was aged 26 years, was the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Murray, of Cliveden Mansions, East Melbourne. She was educated overseas, and she travelled extensively with her parents. In England she frequently flew at the Hanworth aerodrome and she took a course in aerial navigation. Mrs. Fairbairn became expert in the flying of an auto-gyro. In Victoria she was regarded as an exceptionally able pilot, and she undertook many long country flights. A little more than two years ago she married Mr. Fairbairn.
TRIBUTES TO YOUNG FLIERS. Mr. and Mrs. Fairbairn were cremated on Tuesday at the Melbourne crematorium, Fawkner. From an early hour sympathisers gathered outside Scots Church, Collins street, where the two coffins were arranged side by side. More than 200 wreaths, many from other States, were placed around the coffins. After a short service at the church, conducted by the Rev. John Mackenzie, the cortege left for the cemetery. The procession was escorted by a flight of three 'planes from the Royal Victorian Aero Club, which circled over the crematorium in a last salute. The machines were piloted by Messrs. K. Riordan, A. C. Young, and J. Hood. The cortege, in which were five floral cars, moved off from the church soon after 3 p.m. It was watched by more than 5,000 people. All traffic was stopped in Russell and Collins streets, and special police were needed to control the crowd.
(Sep 1935). CRASH VICTIM'S ESTATE. George Patrick Fairbairn, late of Lara, grazier, who, with his wife, was killed when their aeroplane crashed on May 26, left £25,309 realty and £66,330 personalty. When making his will, on April 6, 1933, Mr. Fairbairn gave his station, Wooloomanata, near Lara, and the livestock, to his first son, but as he left only an infant daughter the station and stock will, by the terms of the will, become the property of his nephew, Charles Michael Wheatley. There are trusts in the will in favor of Mr. Fairbairn's wife, but, as she is dead, the remainder of the estate will be inherited by, their daughter, Frances Mary Fairbairn.
Death of Spouse: 26 May 1935,Essendon, Victoria, Australia
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