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The Living Dead

Spain and, indeed, the whole world of Catholic faith is celebrating its dead today, November 1st. Some dead are dearly remembered whilst others may be forgotten.

Kenneth Cromar Tilman found his final resting place in a hidden corner of the Cementiri Municipal of Alcúdia, in the north of the island. But, if you would try to find his grave you would possibly not succeed. Tilman’s tomb is located in an exterior annex to the graveyard, probably established for those dead souls of non-Catholic devotion, and well hidden away from the public eye.

What’s so special about Kenneth Tilman? He was a young Flight Lieutenant with the RAF (Royal Air Force), and I guess, belonging to a Fleet Air Arm which was created as a specialist part of the RAF paid for by the Navy and manned by both RAF and Naval personnel. His aircraft, a Parnall Panther, suffered a crash in Pollença Bay on March 11th, 1924. The airplane had just taken off from HMS Argus, one of the first prototype Aircraft Carriers ever built when the pilot, not Mr. Tilman, crashed the plane. “The Panther was a wooden, single bay biplane, which unusually for the time, was fitted with a birch plywood monocoque fuselage, which could be folded for shipboard storage, the fuselage being hinged aft of the observers cockpit. The pilot and observer were seated in individual cockpits in the deep fuselage, this giving a good view for landing, but restricting access to the pilots cockpit. Inflatable floatation air bags were fitted beneath the wings to keep the aircraft afloat in the event of ditching into the sea, with a hydrovane fitted in front of the undercarriage in order to stop the aircraft nosing over” (quoted from Wikipedia).

The aircraft carrier had been participating in a peacetime manoeuvre exercise held by the British Mediterranean and Atlantic fleets, at the time moored off the coast of the island and in Pollença Bay, involving more than a hundred ships.

Kenneth Cromar Tilman was the older brother of Harold William Tilman (1898-1977), the leader of a successful Reconnaissance Expedition to Mount Everest in 1938.

The two photos (top) were taken in Alcúdia, Mallorca, Baleares, Spain. The date: October 19th, 2010. The time was 15:04:17 and 15:05:00, respectively. The photos (centre) and (bottom) were borrowed from the Internet, courtesy of the Central Arkansas Library System and the Royal Navy.

Thank you very much.

2 replies »

  1. Muchas gracias por diundir esta noticia. Estoy gestionando los protocolos para que sea patrimonio singular en el municipio de Alcúdia y pueda ser restaurada y mantenida.
    Inicalmente, esta estela funeraria era una cruz de hélices, en las maniobras navales inglesas 1924. En la bahia de Pollença.
    Saludos.
    Victòria Cànaves.

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