Sue Young Histories

Sergei William Kadleigh 1945 - 1972

January 01, 2009

Sergei William (Bill) Kadleigh 1945 - 1972 MB BS MRCS LRCP was a homeopath at the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital who died in the Staines plane crash in 1972. Bill Kadleigh was an Assistant to Margery Grace Blackie.

Homeopaths and homeopathic supporters Isabel CampbellDudley Wooton Everitt, Marjorie Golomb,  (Sisters) Kawther Theresa Kandalla and Ludi Marylone Kandalla, Mary Stevenson, Joan Mackover, John Robertson Raeside, Elizabeth Somerville Stewart and Thomas Fergus Stewart, and Elizabeth Sharp Hawthorn 1918-1972 also died in that fatal crash.

In the 1972 Trident Air disaster, 16 local Homeopathic doctors were killed and two benches in Queen Square are dedicated to them.

Sergei William Kadleigh was a friend of Marjorie Blackie, who wrote his Obituary.

From Sergei William Kadleigh’s Obituary is in The British Homeopathic Journal,  Volume  LXI, Number 4. Oct, 1972. Page 252. It was written by his friend Marjorie Blackie: Margery G Blackie For citation purposes, publication details; Br Hom J - Vol. 61, No. 4 - October 1972 p 252: Dr. Kadleigh first came to attend one of the intensive courses of the Faculty, and from that moment on was enthusiastic to learn more about Homœopathy, as he felt that it was what he was looking for. Since then he first helped Dr. Priestman with visiting patients south of the Park, and came at least once a week, sometimes oftener, to sit in my practice. He also attended every possible lecture. He loved general practice and this is what he wanted to do. He would indeed have been an expert homœopathic physician. He had a real flair for Homœopathy, and his was such a particularly charming personality that he got on with everyone. After finishing a hospital job he came into my practice as a full-time assistant and, as he said, he enjoyed every minute. We found him most congenial and co-operative to work with, and the patients loved him. After only a month in the practice we received letters from dozens of patients telling of his sympathy and understanding. We have certainly lost a most outstanding homœopathic physician and his friends are coming to inquire about Homœopathy because “Bill” found it so inspiring and so satisfying.

From Anita Davies For citation purposes, publication details; Br Hom J

  • Vol. 61, No. 4 - October 1972 p 254: Dr. Kadleigh was also an unusual person, a bright star set for but a short time in this world, and though I worked with him for only two weeks, his ardent curiosity was inspiring; he had unusual healing powers and the patients who saw him could not forget him. His interest in Homœopathy which led him to join the group going to the Brussels Congress, would have served the Hospital and Faculty well.

From L R Twentyman From his Address at the Memorial held at St George The Martyr on 29-6-72 For citation purposes, publication details; Br Hom J 1972; 61: 130e133: And now, young doctor, young among us, WILLIAM KADLEIGH, brilliant, full of promise, like a star that darts across this world. It is hard; it is hard for all who know such a person when suddenly he is no more here for us to take delight in. Yet we must somehow take the treasure of their being and their meaning, and honour it and lift it up. Strange are the ways of our fates.

One hundred and eighteen people were killed last night in the worst air disaster in Britain. They died when a BEA Trident airliner ploughed into waste ground only a few yards from the Staines bypass on the outskirts of Heathrow Airport-London.

There were no survivors when the plane crashed, less than four minutes after taking off for Brussels. Its wheels had been retracted and the plane was climbing when it suddenly dropped, skimming over high-tension power lines and across the tops of cars before crashing on its underside.

The impact broke the plane’s spine, ripping off the tail section and sending it spinning through the air. The fuselage slewed across the muddy field and hit a line of trees on the edge of a reservoir.

The plane had hit an incredibly small space - a field no more than 100 yards wide. The way in which it crashed suggested that it might have lost virtually all power; it came almost straight down, missing houses on either side of the field.

A stall, from which the pilot would need a lot of height to recover even if it were not of the dangerous “deep” variety, would have the same effect….

Thirty four Britons were killed in the crash, including the crew. There were 29 passengers from the United States, 29 Belgians, 12 Irish, four South African, three Canadian, one Thai, two Jamaicans, one Latin American, one Indian, one French Afrique, and one Nigerian. There were between 25 and 30 women passengers, as well as two or three children.

The Department of Trade and Industry said the pilot’s last message to ground control came two minutes after take-off. It said “Up to 60? which the DTI said, “Is quite a normal message.” It means the pilot was climbing to a level of 6,000 feet.”

After the crash, wreckage was scattered for a radius if almost four hundred yards around the shattered fuselage. The hundreds of workers struggling in clinging mud and a steady drizzle to cut their way into the buckled remains of the plane were hampered through the night by hundreds of sight-seers flocking towards the area.

Mr. Cranley Onslow, Parliamentary Under Secretary for Aerospace, who went to the scene, said “callous” sight-seers were hampering the rescue workers. Two hours after the crash, all roads in the area were jammed by traffic.

The Trident, on flight BE 548 and code named G-ARPI, left Heathrow at 5.02pm with 109 passengers and nine crew members. By 5.06pm, it had crashed.

A man who had been driving along the A30 told police: “The plane just came whizzing in, along the road. You could have reached up and touched it.”

Heathrow aircraft control sounded the full scale disaster alert, and all airport emergency appliances, together with all available fire engines, ambulances, and police patrol cars for eight miles around sped to the scene. Nine hospitals in the area prepared to receive casualties, and doctors were brought in for emergency duty. In the event, they were not needed.

As the first teams of firemen reached the wreck site - throughout the night they were to work at considerable personal risk as the aircraft contained tones of highly flammable fuel - they clawed with their hands in desperate attempts to reach the passengers inside. A local doctor who ran to the spot said: “It was ghastly, sickening. A terrible mess.”

As police blocked off surrounding roads, other rescue teams began knocking down fences to enable ambulances to reach the plane. By 7pm, 70 bodies had been lifted from the fuselage and laid in long rows along the ground.

Long lines of rescuers formed in the steady drizzle, passing the broken bodies of the victims gently from the shattered fuselage to the ambulances. A number of the rescuers, police and firemen, were crying. One policeman said a small girl died in his arms as he carried her towards an ambulance.

One man was taken out of the wreckage with head injuries but died in hospital. He is understood to be Mr Melville Miller, managing director of Rowntree Mackintosh (Ireland) Limited.

A mobile crane was brought into the field to lift parts of the wreckage away; the rescuers could not use oxyacetylene cutters because of the risk of an explosion. Relays of ambulances began taking the bodies to the special mortuary.

Mr Michael Stephens, of Staines, said he was cycling along a road near by “When I looked up and saw the tail of a plane bounce into the air … then the rest of the plane burst into flames.” The fire was an isolated electrical fault and was quickly put out.

Miss Christine Wallis said she was walking past the reservoir with friends when “bits of metal began flying around us … the plane split up as it tore along the ground.”

Last night teams of investigators from the Department of Trade and Industry and the British Airline Pilots’ Association arrived at the scene to find out the contents of the flight recorders.

The same plane was involved in a collision in July 1968, at Heathrow. It was stationary at one of the terminal piers when a freighter jet carrying horses got out of control and crashed into its side. Five people were killed in the freighter. The Trident’s tail was torn off.

The experienced 51 year-old Captain Key certainly knew better than to retract the slats at this stage of the flight. Investigators later proved that it was intentional and not a mechanical problem with the equipment involved. So why did he do it? And why didn’t Second Officer Keighley or S/O Ticehurst override the captain’s fatal decision?

Without a cockpit voice recorder (CVR), which were not required in Britain at the time, we will never know for sure. The Air Accidents Investigation Board (AAIB) concluded that Second Officer Keighley was too inexperienced and that Ticehurst was preoccupied with the passenger in the cockpit (another BEA captain on a return flight).

Two seconds after the droops were retracted, the stick pusher stall recovery device operated, causing the autopilot to automatically disengage and the nose of the aircraft to pitch down. At that moment, the stall recovery system was manually inhibited by one of the pilots.

The aircraft then pitched up rapidly, losing speed and height, entering a true aerodynamic stall and then a deep stall from which no recovery was possible. Impact occurred 20 seconds later. An autopsy on the captain suggested that he had probably had a heart attack during the short flight.

On 18 June 2012 a service of remembrance was held at St George’s Church, Queen Square opposite the hospital; in this same church there had been a service 40 years before. The service was conducted by Rev. Jeremy Swayne, himself a retired homeopathic physician. Taking part were Dr Peter Fisher – Clinical Director of the RLHIM; Richard Murley, Chair of the UCLH NWS Foundation Trust; Enid Segall, former Secretary of the British Homeopathic Association; Professor Lord Robert Winston – whose mother-in-law was on the plane; Francis Treuherz, Hon Secretary of the Society of Homeopaths and Dr Sara Eames, President of the Faculty of Homeopathy. Dr Helmut Roniger played a musical interlude on the piano.

The hard work of arranging the event was mainly undertaken by Sato Liu, of the Friends of the RLHIM. She managed to attract some 120 people, many of whom were descendants and families and friends of those who lost their lives in the ‘Papa India’ crash at Staines 40 years ago. Enid Segall remarked that while everyone remembers where they were when the news of the assassination of President Kennedy reached them, she vividly recalled hearing of the crash – having worked at Nelsons for 9 years, she knew so many of the deceased. Sara Eames recalled that she had been a teenager and could not then conceive of a British Airways plane crashing. My wife told me that learning of the crash was the first time she heard the word homeopathy.

Present also were many members of the homeopathic profession, current and retired, students and patients. It was a poignant occasion, one for people of all faiths and none. Lord Winston read Psalms 23 and 121. Francis Treuherz read a message of condolence from the Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks. Tariq Khan, Podiatrist at the RLHIM had arranged for two screens to display photographs and memoirs of the deceased in a rolling display before and after the service. The congregation gathered for refreshment, and caught up with old times. An invitation was extended to tour the hospital. Flowers had been laid on the two benches in Queen Square, commemorating those who had perished. It was an event full of poignancy, yet very positive in reinforcing that our mission to heal according to the principles of Hahnemann must continue.

Francis Treuherz

With respect and affection we remembered:

Frederick W Adams. Secretary & Registrar of Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain  and his wife Margaret Adams, his wife

Dr Isabel Mackay Campbell

Dudley Wooten Everitt, of Nelsons and his wife Margot Everitt.

Dr Marjorie Golomb-Feigenbaum,

Elizabeth Sharp Hawthorn, Matron of Glasgow Homoeopathic Hospital

Dr Sergei William Kadleigh

Dr Kawther Theresa Kandalla, and her sister Dr Ludi Marylone  Kandalla,

Dr Joan Natalie Mackover-Ruben,

Dr John Robertson Raeside

Dr Mary Young McArthur Stevenson

Dr Elizabeth Somerville Stewart

Dr Thomas Fergus Stewart, (her husband)

who died at Staines on 18 June 1972, when their plane crashed on their way to a conference of the Liga Homoeopathica Medicorum Internationalis in Brussels.

Of interest:

Sergei William Kadleigh 1922? - 1972 father of Sergei William Kadleigh 1945 - 1972, AA(Hons), Dipl. ARIBS was a prestigious Russian born British architect. (Jane Drew and Maxwell Fry (his partners in Kadleigh, Fry and Drew), and Patrick Horsbrugh (his partner in Kadleigh, Horsburgh & Whitfield).

There is a William Kadleigh Academic Department of Homeopathic Medicine at the Bristol Homeopathic Hospital

William Kadleigh Memorial Fund which supports young homeopathic doctors.

Chairman: John Stephen Hughes Games,

The William Kadleigh Memorial Fund is an unregistered connected charity whose capital funds are held and managed by the British Homeopathic Association on behalf of the Kadleigh Committee. The committee determine the disposition of funds and report at least annually.

The Kadleigh Trust 1987:

A Research Council is being formed, which will include representatives from The Homeopathy Research Trust, The Kadleigh Trust, The Faculty of Homeopathy, The British Homeopathic Research Group, the Research Council for Complementary Medicine, together with some other people actively engaged in research. It will be “Chaired” by the Medical Research Director of The Blackie Foundation Trust


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