Early Aviators - 1 to 50
Holders of RAeC Aviators Certificates 1 through 50
|1 ||John Theodore Cuthbert Moore-Brabazon |
| || ||Moore-Brabazon
was born in London on 8 February 1884. Educated at Harrow School, he read engineering at Trinity College, Cambridge, but
did not graduate. He became the first resident Englishman to make an officially recognized aeroplane flight in England
on 2 May 1909, at Shellbeach on the Isle of Sheppey. He gained his Aviators Certificate on 8 March 1910, flying a Short
Biplane at Shellbeach. |
With the outbreak of war, Moore-Brabazon joined the RFC, receiving a special-reserve
commission as a Second Lieutenant (on probation) on 2 December 1914, in the appointment of flying officer (assistant equipment
officer), and was confirmed in his rank on 11 February 1915. He was promoted to Lieutenant on 19 February 1915 and was appointed
an equipment officer on 31 March, with the temporary rank of Captain. On 1 September 1915, he was promoted to the substantive
rank of Captain, with a special temporary promotion to Major on 18 May 1916. Moore-Brabazon finished the war with the
rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. He was decorated with the Military Cross on 1 January 1917 and was also twice mentioned in dispatches.
Moore-Brabazon later became a Conservative Member of Parliament for Chatham (1918–1929) and Wallasey (1931–1942).
He was appointed Minister of Transport in October 1940 and Minister of Aircraft Production in May 1941. Moore-Brabazon
was elevated to the House of Lords as Baron Brabazon of Tara, of Sandwich in the County of Kent, in April 1942. In
1943 he chaired the Brabazon Committee which planned to develop the post-war British aircraft industry. He was president
of the Royal Aero Club, president of the Royal Institution, chairman of the Air Registration Board, and president of the
Middlesex County Automobile Club from 1946 until his death in 1964. He was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Order
of the British Empire in 1953.
John Theodore Cuthbert Moore-Brabazon, 1st Baron Brabazon of Tara GBE MC PC, died
on 17 May 1964 in Longcross, Surrey.
||Hon. Charles Stewart Rolls |
||Charles Stewart Rolls was born in Berkeley Square, London, on 27 August 1877, the third son of John Allan Rolls,
the 1st Baron Llangattock and Georgiana, Lady Llangattock. After attending Mortimer Vicarage Preparatory School in Berkshire,
he was educated at Eton College and then attended Trinity College, Cambridge, where he studied mechanical and applied
In 1901, along with with Frank Hedges Butler and his daughter Vera, he formed The Aero Club, becoming
the Royal Aero Club on 15 February 1910.
Rolls graduated from Cambridge in 1898 and began working on the steam yacht
Santa Maria followed by a position at the London and North Western Railway in Crewe. However, his talents lay more in salesmanship
and motoring pioneering than practical engineering; in January 1903, with the help of £6,600 provided by his father,
he started one of Britain's first car dealerships, C.S.Rolls & Co. based in Fulham, to import and sell French Peugeot
and Belgian Minerva vehicles. Together with Henry Royce he co-founded the Rolls-Royce car manufacturing firm. A
pioneer aviator and initially, balloonist, making over 170 balloon ascents. Also in 1903 won the Gordon Bennett Gold Medal
for the longest single flight time.
He gained his Aviators Certificate on 8 March 1910 flying a Short Wright Biplane
at Shellbeach. In 1909 he had bought one of six Wright Flyer aircraft built by Short Brothers under licence from
the Wright Brothers, and made more than 200 flights. On 2 June 1910, he became the first man to make a non-stop double crossing
of the English Channel by plane. On 12 July 1910, Rolls was killed in an air crash at Hengistbury Airfield, Southbourne,
Bournemouth when the tail of his Wright Flyer broke off during a flying display. He was the first Briton to be killed
in an aeronautical accident with a powered aircraft, and the eleventh person internationally.
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||Alfred Rawlinson |
||Alfred Rawlinson was born on 17 January 1867 at the family home in Charles Street, Mayfair, in the West End of
London. He was educated at Eton College and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, after which he obtained a commission as
a Lieutenant in the 17th Lancers. A sportsman, Rawlinson he was part of the Foxhunters Hurlingham polo team which won
the Olympic gold medal in the 1900 Summer Olympics. He was also a keen motor racing driver, resigning from the army to concentrate
on the sport. He took part in the 1908 Isle of Man RAC Tourist Trophy race, driving his Darracq into 7th place. |
It was only natural that he was attracted by the emerging world of flying and he gained his Aviators Certificate on
5 April 1910, flying a Farman Biplane at Shellbeach. In 1914 he volunteered for active service and on 20 June 1915, he
was appointed Lieutenant-Commander of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and tasked with raising a new squadron of the RNAS
Armoured Car Section. However, in August, he was interviewed by Commodore Murray Sueter RN, who was the commander of London's
anti-aircraft defences, under whom he formed the Royal Naval Anti-Aircraft Mobile Brigade. In February 1918, he
obtained a transfer to the Intelligence Corps with the rank of Colonel.
When Alfred's older brother Henry died
on 28 March 1925, he became the 3rd Baronet, but didn't inherit his brother's barony which became extinct.
Sir Toby Alfred Rawlinson, 3rd Baronet, CMG, CBE, DSO, died suddenly of natural causes at his flat in Clapham on 1 June
||Cecil Stanley Grace |
||Grace was born in Vina-del-mar, Chile on 31 December 1883, the son of John William Grace of New York. His uncle,
W. R. Grace, was a former mayor of New York City. Grace gained his Aviators Certificate on 12 April 1910 and became a naturalised
British citizen on 18 October the same year. On 22 December 1910 while attempting to win the de Forest Prize for the longest
cross-channel flight completed by the end of the year, flying a Short S.27, he disappeared. A body resembling Grace's was
found in Ostend harbour on 14 March 1911, but it was too badly disfigured to be identifiable. In March 1911 he was formally
declared to have died. He was posthumously awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Aero Club "for his achievements as
a pilot and competitor". |
||George Bertram Cockburn |
||George Bertram Cockburn was born on 8 January 1872 in Birkenhead. He was sent to Loretto School in Musselburgh
from 1887 until 1892 and in October 1892 entered New College, Oxford to read Natural Sciences, specialising in Chemistry.
He graduated in 1895 and on leaving Oxford he went to the Chemistry Laboratory of St George's Hospital in London. In February
1909 Bertram Cockburn was elected to membership of the Royal Aero Club and, later that year, travelled to France to become
the first pupil in Henri Farman's flying school at Châlons-sur-Marne. He made his first flight in June of that year
and took part in the Grande Semaine d'Aviation at Rheims in August. He represented Great Britain in the competition for
the Gordon Bennett Cup but unfortunately crashed into a haystack and was unable to complete the course. Now living at
St Mary Bourne near Andover, Hampshire, he gained his Aviators Certificate on 26 April 1910. In June 1910, he won a prize
of £100 in the 'Quick Starting' Competition at the Wolverhampton Air Meet . Although he actively promoted air races
as an incentive to develop improvements in aircraft performance, he never flew competitively again following the death of
his friend Charles Rolls at Bournemouth. In 1912 he became a founder member of the Royal Aero Club's Public Safety and
Accidents Investigation Committee |
Bertram Cockburn devoted himself to the training of other pilots. He obtained
permission from the army to rent a shed at Larkhill adjacent to Salisbury Plain, from where he and other aviators gave
private instruction in flying to army officers. By 1910, he and Captain JBD Fulton had founded the first aerodrome for the
army. In 1911, following the death of Cecil Grace in a flying accident, he volunteered to train the first four naval pilots
at Eastchurch on the Isle of Sheppey. This he did free of charge while lodging with Maurice Egerton after which he returned
In 1914 he was appointed to be an Inspector of Aeroplanes for the Aeronautical Inspection Directorate
of the Royal Flying Corps at Farnborough. In the New Years Honours of 1918, he was awarded an OBE for his services. Shortly
afterwards, he became Head of the newly established Accidents Branch of the Department of the Controller-General of Civil
Aviation, Air Ministry.
George Bertram Cockburn OBE died at Larksborough near Whitchurch in Hampshire on 25
||Claude Grahame-White |
||See Grahame-White |
||Alec Ogilvie CBE, FRAeS |
||Alec Ogilvie was born on 8 June 1882 in the Marylebone district of London. He was educated at Rugby School and
Cambridge University. In 1908 Ogilvie, having watched Wilbur Wright carry out a demonstration flight in France, within two
months he had ordered a Wright Biplane for himself. Before the biplane was delivered in 1909 he practised flying at Friston,
Sussex using a glider. Ogilvie established a flying base on Camber Sands near Rye, Sussex and took part in a number of
aviation meetings around the country. He joined the Royal Aero Club on 11 May 1909 and gained his Aviators Certificate
on 24 May 1910 flying a Short Wright biplane at Camber Sands. In 1910, using a Wright racing biplane, he entered
the Gordon Bennett competition at Belmont Park in New York, where he was placed third in the competition (for which he
was awarded the Silver medal of the Royal Aero Club).The following year he had more success in that race, coming in fourth
in his Wright at an average 55 mph. In 1912, Ogilvie invented an airspeed indicator which was later adopted by the RNAS. |
On 19 February 1915 Ogilvie was commissioned as an RNAS officer in the rank of Squadron Commander and was initially
given responsibility for overseeing flying training at the Naval Flying School, Eastchurch. On 5 April 1916 he took command
of the aircraft repair depot at Dunkirk, and was promoted acting Wing Commander on 31 December 1916. On 5 March 1917 he
became a member of the Air Board, eventually serving as controller of the technical department. The rank of Wing Commander
was confirmed on 30 June 1917. On 1 April 1918, along with all other RNAS personnel, Ogilvie transferred to the newly established
Royal Air Force in the rank of Major (temporary Lieutenant-Colonel).
Ogilvie resigned from the Air Board in 1919,
being placed on the RAF unemployed list on 10 March. He then worked as a consulting aeronautical engineer under the name
"Ogilvie and Partners", which in 1919 became the Limited company "Ogilvie and Partners Ltd.", with
offices at Gwydir Chambers, 104, High Holborn, London. He subsequently moved to Australia for some years.
Alexander Ogilvie CBE, FRAeS, died on 18 June 1962 at his home in Ringwood, Hampshire.
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||A. Mortimer Singer |
||Adam Mortimer Singer was born on 25 July 1863 in Yonkers, New York, to Isaac Singer, the founder of the Singer
Sewing Machine Company. Shortly after Mortimer's birth, his parents moved from New York to Paris, and then, following the
outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, to Oldway Mansion in Devon, England. He attended Downing College, Cambridge,
in 1881, but left the university without taking a degree. While originally born an American citizen, he naturalised as a
British subject in 1900. |
Singer's first passion was thoroughbred horses, but he was also a keen sportsman and
a pioneer in the early development of cycling, driving, and flying in Europe. In January 1910, he became the twenty-fourth
person in France to hold a pilot's certificate from the Aéro-Club de France, andgained his R.Ae.C Aviators Certificate
on 31 May the same year.
In the following years, he offered a series of awards for the development of British
aviation, including a £500 bounty for the first practical British-built amphibious aircraft, won by the Sopwith Bat
Boat in 1913.
Singer acquiring a country estate at Milton Hill, near Steventon, Berkshire, and two days after
the outbreak of the First World War he offered the recently rebuilt house as a military hospital for soldiers and NCOs;
it grew to a 220-bed facility, the largest of the privately run wartime hospitals, and treated over 4,500 men. Singer
and his brother Washington underwrote the entire operating costs of the hospital, and Singer worked throughout the war
as its chief administrator. His wife worked as matron-in-chief.
After the war, Singer became a Justice of the Peace,
was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, and in 1921 he served as the High Sheriff of Berkshire.
Sir Adam Mortimer Singer, KBE, JP, Singer died on 24 June 1929.
| || ||
||Samuel Franklin Cody |
|| See Cody |
||Launcelot D. L. Gibbs |
||Although normally going by Launcelot D. L. Gibbs, he was born Louis Dwarris Launcelot Gibbs in June 16, 1885.
As he usually went by Launcelot (and not Lancelot as sometimes misrepresented), quite likely writers of the period just
assumed the first ‘L’ stood for Launcelot. However, to confuse matters further, in the 1911 census, while
living at “The Downs”, Eling, he referred to himself as Launcelot Louis Dwarris Gibbs, while his wife was Isolda
Dwarris Gibbs, inferring Dwarris Gibbs as a family name. This even followed through into In “The London Gazette”,
in its bankruptcy declarations, gives one Louis Dwarris-Gibbs living at “The Downs”, Eling! |
at Little John's, Greenwich, he joined service in 1905, as 2nd Lieut. Duke of Connaughts Own Hampshire and Isle of Wight
Regt. of Artillery. In 1906 he was sent to H.M. Balloon Factory, Aldershot, for an aeronautical course in kites and ballooning
and on 24 May 1908 transferred to the Royal Field Artillery and was sent back to H.M. Balloon Factory in conjunction with
Lieut. Dunne's tailless experiments and later to Blair Athol where the first flight was made.
Some time after
these experiments, he left the RFA and worked as an independent demonstration pilot in both England and France, where he
gained French certificate No 82. In April 1910, Gibbs flew from Paris to do demonstration flying at Durango, in Spain,
on April 24th, 25th, and 26th. Unable to demonstrate due to the weather, the crowd turned ugly and burned both the hanger
and Gibbs Farman. He gained Aviators Certificate on 7 June 1910 and the same month formed L. D. Gibbs and Co., Ltd., with
premises at 166, Piccadilly. The company initially acted as agents for Cecil Grace and Graham Gilmour, as well as Gibbs
himself, but by May of 1911 later was renamed Universal Aviation Co., Ltd. and began manufacturing machines of their own.
At the outbreak of war, Gibbs returned to the R.F.A. from 1914 until he joined the British War Mission in the United
States of America on June 27, 1917. Post war it appears that he was no longer involved in aviation, styling himself as
an import/exporter, travelling extensively between Britain and the United States. It appears that he retired to Portugal
in 1935, but returned from there some time before his death on 6 December 1945.
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||Hon. Maurice Egerton |
||Maurice Egerton was born 4 August 1874, the 4th and last Baron Egerton of Tatton. He was known as an aviation
and motor car enthusiast and a friend to the Wright brothers. He gained Aviators Certificate on 14 June 1910 on a Short
Wright biplane at Eastchurch. That same year he was set to fly in competitions but crushed two fingers in the engine gears.
He had hardly recovered when he almost lost his left leg in a serious crash. He served as a Lieutenant in the Royal Naval
Volunteer Reserve during the First World War, after which he was granted some land in Ngata area near Nakuru in Kenya
under the Soldier Settlement Scheme. He later purchased a further 21,000 acres around the same area from Lord Delamere.
On this land, he founded a school in 1939 named Egerton Farm School (now Egerton University). The school was meant to prepare
white European youth for careers in agriculture. |
Maurice Egerton, 4th Baron Egerton, did not marry and on his
death on 30 January 1958 the barony became extinct, and Tatton Park was given to the National Trust.
| || ||
||James Radley |
||See Radley-England |
||Hon. Alan Reginald Boyle |
||Alan Reginald Boyle was born on 8 October 1886 at oakfield, Ayr, the eighth child of the 7th Earl of Glasgow.
He was educated at Haileybury College, Haileybury, Hertfordshire and founded the Scottish Aeroplane Syndicate in 1909.
He gained his Aviation Certificate on 14 June 1910 at Brooklands flying an Avis monoplane built by the Scottish Aeroplane
Syndicate. He took part in the 1910 Bournemouth international meeting, flying the Avis monoplane but unfortunately the machine
turned over during a landing on rough ground and Boyle was thrown out, receiving severe head injuries from which he never
fully recovered and which put an end to his flying career.
In the First World War, he was a Lieutenant in the
Royal Scots Fusiliers and, from January 1916, the Royal Flying Corps as a balloon officer, later becoming a Lieutenant
in the Royal Air Force. He was decorated with the award of the Air Force Cross (AFC) in 1919. From 1932 to 1945 he was president
of the Scottish Gliding Union; and he also served as chairman of the aviation committee of the Scottish Council for Industry.
Alan Reginald Boyle AFC died suddenly on 10 October 1958 while shooting at the Blair Estate in Dalry, Ayrshire
||John Armstrong Drexel |
||John Armstrong Drexel was born on October 24, 1891 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, the grandson of Anthony
Joseph Drexel, millionaire banker and founder of Drexel University. He gained his Aviators Certificate on 21 June 1910 and,
with William McArdle, he founded the New Forest Flying School at East Boldre, the second school for pilots in Great Britain
and the fifth in the world. On August 12, 1910, he set the world altitude record of 6,750 feet in a Blériot monoplane. |
During World War I, he enlisted with the French Lafayette Escadrille on 26 October 1916, serving until 1917. On 11
October 1917 he was commissioned Captain in the Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps, promoted to Temporary Major on 28
December 1917 and to Lieutenant Colonel on 26 August 1918. He returned to the United States on 8 June 1918 and was honorably
discharged on 13 February 1919.
John Armstrong Drexel died in 1958.
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||George Cyril Colmore |
||Lieutenant George Cyril Colmore was the first serviceman to gain a Royal Aero Club Aviator's Licence. He was
born on 14 September 1885 in Hathern, Loughborough, Leicestershire and joined the Navy as a 15-year-old Cadet, going to
the Thames Nautical Training College (also known as HMS Worcester) in Dartford, Kent. In 1910 at his own expense he joined
the Royal Aero Club and learned to fly at Eastchurch flying ground, gaining his Aviators Certificate on 21 June 1910 flying
a Short biplane. Three weeks later Comore, and others, entered the Bournemouth International Aviation Meeting from 6-16
July. As entrant No.7 he won the £100 prize offered by ‘The Car’ fund, 'to the competitor who, on an all
British machine, shall have performed most meritoriously during the meeting.' Following his success the RAeC approached
the Admiralty and offered to train more Naval aviators. |
In 1914 Colmore was transferred to the Royal Naval Air
Service. He was confirmed in the rank of Temporary Flight Lieutenant on 23 Nov 1914 with seniority 11 September and ordered
to report to HMS Pembroke III for training at the Farnborough Naval Airship Station. After training, he was appointed on
23 July 1915 as first Commanding Officer of Luce Bay Airship Station (later West Freugh airfield). He was wounded in the
leg by an overenthusiastic sentry whilst driving near Polegate on 16 April 1915, then on 4 September promoted Acting Flt
Commander, eventually confirmed on 30 June 1916.
On 1 November 1916 Colmore was appointed to RNAS Howden as Captain
of the Parseval airship (HMA.No.4). In February 1917 Colmore was sent to the Survey Section at RNAS White City, and three
weeks later assumed command of RNAS Wormwood Scrubs (HMS President) on 14 March. Colmore was also attached to the RNAS
Examination Committee and in autumn 1917, in that capacity, visited the The Somme. He was recommended for special promotion
to Sqn Cdr, this was rejected on 1 January 1918, and promoted instead as Acting Sqn Commander.
On the 1 April
1918 the Royal Naval Air Service and Royal Flying Corps merged to form the Royal Air Force. Eighteen days later Colmore
transferred to the new service "in the same rank he would have been had he been confirmed in the rank prior to transfer”.
His RAF record is brief. As the RAF initially used Army ranks, he became a Captain at Wormwood Scrubs and on 12 July 1919
he was promoted Major, being Mentioned in Dispatches in August. He retired on 12 October 1919 at the age of 34.
Lieutenant George Cyril Colmore RN died 23 June 1937 in Cerney Wick, Gloucestershire
| || ||
||George Arthur Barnes |
|| See G.A. Barnes |
||George William Patrick Dawes |
||George William Patrick Dawes, born on 25 January 1881 in Dublin, Ireland, was career soldier and much decorated
Boer War veteran. He served as a Captain with the Royal Berkshire Regiment and gained his Aviators Certificate on 26 July
1910, flying a Humber monoplane at Wolverhampton, transferring to the newly formed Royal Flying Corps soon after. |
Dawes was a Flight Commander in No 2 Sqn when it flew to France in August 1914. On 22 August he was flying as observer
with Major Longcroft in a BE.2a, when the first German aircraft seen in the War, an Albatros biplane, was encountered
over the RFC aerodrome at Maubeuge. Having commanded No. 11 Squadron for eight months in 1915, on 20 September 1916 Lt Col
Dawes was appointed as commander of the 16th Wing RFC on the Macedonian Front. The Wing comprised No 47 Sqn, No 17 Balloon
Section and an Aircraft Park. On 25 March 1917 Lt Col Dawes attempted to visit the Wing Commander at Mudros, and was posted
missing after suffering engine failure and having to make a forced landing in a remote spot. He was eventually located by
an air search and then brought back to Salonika by destroyer on 27 March.
On 19 June 1918 Lt Col Dawes handed
over command of the 16th Wing RAF to Lt Col G E Todd and returned to Home Establishment, where he became Commandant of
16th Group of the Royal Air Force. Mentioned in dispatches on seven occasions, Dawes was honoured by the Greek and Serbian
Governments and awarded the French Croix de Guerre.
In March 1920, Dawes relinquished his temporary RAF commission
and return to Army duty then, 20 years later in November 1940 returned to aviation when he was granted a commission as
a Flying Officer in the Administrative and Special Duties Branch of the RAF for the duration of the war.
George William Patrick Dawes, DSO, AFC, died on 17 March 1960 in Nottingham.
| || ||
||Alliott Verdon Roe |
|| See A.V. Roe biography |
||Arthur Edward George |
||See George and Jobling |
||Richard Francis Ernest Wickham |
||Richard Francis Ernest Wickham was born on12 November 1886 in Twickenham, Middlesex, the son of Ernest Edward
Wickham, Registrar Shorditch County Court. Like his father, he attended Winchester College, (Du Boulay's boarding house
on Southgate Hill), leaving there in April 1904. His further education is not known, though it appears he passed the Law
Society Preliminary Examination in July 1904.
He spent between May 1908 and May 1909 in Canada, but by mid-1910
was once again in England where he joined the Royal Aero Club and gained his Aviators Certificate on 20 September 1910,
flying a Sommer biplane at Brooklands. Notably the address on his Certificate is given as Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Montreal.
The then bought the Avis II monoplane, which he intended to make an attempt for Baron de Forest's cross-Channel prize, a
feat he did not eventually undertake.
Wickham was presumable a wealthy young man, as he described himself in the
1911 census as being ‘of independent means’. In May 1911, he set sail for New York, with onward journey to
Porcupine, Ontario. His intentions in visiting the Americas are unknown, but likely he gave exhibition flights in both USA
and Canada, possibly travelling as far west as Vancouver.
One report has Wickham returning to England in April
1912, although another gives him in Canada in early 1915. Possibly the 1912 voyage was merely a visit. Either way, in
1915 he joined the RNAS as a Probationary Flight Sub-Lieutenant, for temporary service, with seniority of 26 June, with
rank being confirmed on 29 September 1915. Promoted to Flight Lieutenant in December 1916, he finished the war as Captain
R.F.E. Wickham, RAF, at Pulham Airship Station.
Wickham appears to have left the RAF in 1919 and on 19 October
1920 left England for Mombasa, seemingly intending to live in East Africa. However, on 10 February 1925 he returns to
England from Durban, South Africa, with his new wife.
His activities are unrecorded from then until the outbreak
of the Second World War, when he joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, Administrative and Special Duties Branch,
as a Pilot Officer on 26 September 1939. He was promoted to the rank of Flight Lieutenant (temp) on 22 September 1942
and Squadron leader on 1 September 1943.
Richard Francis Ernest Wickham died at RAF Hospital Halton on 28 June1945.
||Francis Kennedy McClean |
||McClean was born on 1 February 1876 at Ferncliffe, just outside Tunbridge Wells, the son of Dr. Frank McClean,
and was educated at Charterhouse and the Royal Indian Engineering College at Cooper's Hill. He worked as a civil engineer
in the Indian Public Works Department from 1898 to 1902 and then returned to England and joined the family business. In
1902 he became a director of the Cannock Chase Colliery Company. |
He had his first experience of flight in 1907
as assistant to Griffith Brewer in the Gordon-Bennett balloon race from Berlin. In the next year's race from Zurich he
was a pilot and on 7 December of that year flew with Wilbur Wright at Le Mans.
Early in 1909 Griffith Brewer and
Charlie Rolls bought 400 acres of land at Muswell Manor and Frank McClean paid for it to be levelled and converted into
a suitable airfield. Later in 1909 Rolls had started using fields at Stonepitts Farm, near Eastchurch village, on the
Isle of Sheppey, Kent, to teach himself to fly and it was agreed that it was the less soggy of the two sites and so Frank
bought the farm and told all Aero Club members that they could move there for a rent of one shilling per year and use of
the airfield. It was there he ained his Aviators Certificate after flying a Short S.27 biplane on 20 September 1910.
In February 1911 he offered to let both the Admiralty and War Office use the aircraft and airfield at Eastchurch
to teach naval and military personnel to fly heavier-than-air machines. Although the War Office declined the Admiralty
accepted and started to train the first naval aviators.
McClean also was a pioneer in aerial photography: with the
help of Hugh Spottiswoode he took some acclaimed photographs of the wreck of the SS Oceana just off the coast at Eastbourne.
In August 1912 he flew a floatplane between the upper and lower parts of Tower Bridge and underneath London Bridge.
In 1914 he made a flight following the course of the Nile between Alexandria and Khartoum in a specially built four-seater
aircraft, the Short S.80 The Nile. Beset by mechanical problems, the flight took from 2 January until 22 March. On the
outbreak of the First World War in August he joined the Royal Naval Air Service and carried out patrols in the English Channel
before becoming chief instructor at Eastchurch. He transferred to the Royal Air Force when it was formed in 1918 but he
resigned in 1919. McLean was a founder member of the Aero Club of Great Britain (later the Royal Aero Club) and was chairman
in 1923-24 and again from 1941 to 1944.
After the war tested the Saunders Kittiwake flying boat designed by F.P.H.
Beadle, and undertook joyriding with Avro seaplanes, but ill-health forced abandonment of flying. Thereafter, he established
an employment bureau and aircraft sales agency. He was to be seen at many aeronautical sporting events and in 1923 was
the entrant of the winning aircraft (a Sopwith Gnu flown by S/L. W. H. Longton) in the first Grosvenor Challenge Cup Race.
Three years later, on 3 July 1926 he was knighted in recognition of his services to British aviation, and in the same
year the RAeC. awarded him its highest honour, the club's Gold Medal.
He was appointed High Sheriff of Oxfordshire
for 1932. On the outbreak of World War II rejoined the RNVR. in advisory capacity as Lt.-Commander, but retired through
ill-health in 1944.
Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Francis Kennedy McClean died in a London nursing home on 11 August
1955, after a long illness.
||Captain Edward Keith Davies |
||Edward Keith Davies was born on 10 June 1886 in London, trained as an engineer and later became interested in
aviation. In his early life he normally went by Keith Davies, but in his later years appears to have styled himself Edward
Keith-Davies. He started his flying career with Claude Grahame-White early in 1910, and assisted with the famous London
to Manchester flight. He then carried out experimental work on monoplanes with the Humber Company and on 5th October 1910
won a prize for duration flying at Brooklands. He gained his Aviators Certificate on 11th October, after tuition at the
Hanriot Flying School at Brooklands. Davies was the school's first pupil. |
For India’s first aviation meeting,
preceding the United Provinces Exhibition in Allahabad, there were two biplanes and four monoplanes, all of which had
been supplied by Humber. The aeroplanes were shipped Bombay in large crates, and they were then sent on by rail in special
trucks to Allahabad. Two aviators were selected by Humber to represent the firm at Allahabad, Henri Péquet and
E.K.Davies. Keith Davies became the first person to fly an aeroplane in India; he assembled one of the monoplanes and made
a flight of 200 yards on 25th November 1910. Following this the monoplanes were taken to Bombay where they were flown
successfully at the Oval. Keith Davies flying there from one end of the Oval to the other amid great acclaim, and as a
novelty, flights were also made in darkness, the ground being lit up with lamps.
In 1912, Keith Davies was the
second officer to be gazetted to the RFC reserve, as a Second Lieutenant in the Special Reserve of Officers, Royal Flying
Corps. Military Wing, and later was attached to the Royal Aircraft Factory as an experimental pilot. He was one of the first
pilots to undertake night-flying tests, and after being a member of the AID at Farnborough, Davies transferred to Parnall
& Sons where it was intended that he should take on the duties of a test pilot flying both landplanes and seaplanes.
Keith Davies was promoted to Captain on 1 December 1915 and joined Parnall in 1916, where he was responsible for the concept
of the Scout (a.k.a Zepp-Chaser). After his early work with the Scout, he left the company to take over an aircraft factory
in London until the end of the war.
Meanwhile Davies, with F Boyle Monkman, had formed Keith and Boyle,
Ltd. in mid-1913, registered with an authorized capital of £2000 and offices at 31, Gt. James Street, Bedford Row,
W. C., to carry on the business of manufacturers and builders of motorbuses and chars-a-banes, motor-haulage contractors,
etc. Following the war, he returned to this business, where he would appear to have remained until the early 1950’s.
Captain Edward Keith Davies died in April 1968 in London.
| || ||
||Maurice Ducrocq |
||Maurice Ducrocq was born 4 December 1874 in Paris, France, and gained his Aviators Certificate on 1 November
1910. He had done his flying training at the Hewlett-Blondeau school at Brooklands and was the school’s first graduate.
He was the General Agent for the British Empire for Nieuport monoplanes’ from 1911. M. Ducrocq was also the UK agent
for Viale engines, managed Hanriot (England) Ltd and, at the Ducrocq Flying School, Brooklands, had the distinction of teaching
John Alcock to fly.
During the First World War, Maurice Ducrocq worked as a test pilot for Vickers.
||James George Weir |
||James George Weir was born on 23 May 1887 in Cambuslang, Lanarkshire, Scotland, the son of James Galloway Weir.
He was educated at Dollar Academy, Glasgow University and the Sch. of Mines, Freiburg.
Weir was commissioned on
24 February 1906 as an 2nd Lieutenant in the 3rd (Renfrewshire) Volunteer Battalion, Princess Louise's (Argyll and Sutherland
Highlanders), promoted to Lieutenant on 1 November 1907. On 1 April 1908 he transferred to the 3rd Highland (Howitzer)
Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, being promoted to Captain on 1 Jun 1909.
Weir gained his Aviators Certificate
on 8 November 1910, flying a Bleriot Monoplane at Hendon. On 28 October 1914 he was transferred to the Royal Flying Corps
as a Flying Officer, was promoted to Flight Commander on 24 March 1915 and Flight Commander 22 June 1916. On 14 December
1916 Weir became Deputy Assistant Director, War Office (graded as a Staff Captain) and was appointed a Companion of the
Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) on 1 January 1918. On 1 Apr 1918, he transferred to the newly formed RAF in the
rank of Lt Colonel, rising to Acting Brigadier-General on 24 May 1918.
Weir was appointed an officer of the Order
of the Crown of Italy on 8 November 1918, a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) on 3 June 1919 and, on
11 July 1919, was appointed an Officer of the Légion d'honneur by the President of the French Republic. On 15 February
1919 he was transferred to the Unemployed List and on 28 September 1920 relinquished his Commission in the RAF on appointment
to the Territorial Force. Weir was appointed a Flying Officer in the Reserve of Air Force Officers on 20 Apr 1923, becoming
Air Commodore on18 May 1923.
In 1926 he helped form and became Chairman and Managing Director of the Cierva Autogiro
Company. He later, in 1935, became a Director of the Bank of England. He was also deputy director of the engineering company
G & J Weir Limited.
Air Commodore James George Weir, CBE CMG, died on 7 November 1973 in Ayr.
||Hugh Evelyn Watkins |
||Hugh Evelyn Watkins was born in late 1881 in Kensington, London, his father a serving army officer. He was commissioned
as a 2nd Lieutenant in 3rd Essex Regiment on 27 February 1902, being promoted to Lieutenant on 12 December 1903. He gained
his Aviators Certificate on 8 November 1910, flying Capt. Maitland's Howard Wright biplane at Brooklands. He had intended
to fly this same machine in the Baron de Forest £4,000 Cross-Channel Prize contest. The machine was to have flown
from Shorncliffe, fitted with a special compass, and with ‘wireless telegraphy apparatus’, by which Watkins
hoped to be able to keep in touch with Capt. Maitland, who would be following the flight on a tug. Unfortunately an accident
while experimenting with the machine eliminated him from the competition, eventually won by Thomas Sopwith. |
1911, Douglas Mawson, who had accompanied Ernest Shackleton's British Antarctic Expedition of 1907–09, planned his
own Antarctic expedition. He considered taking a plane to the Antarctic, which could work as a reconnaissance tool, transport
cargo, and assist with search and rescue. Crucially, as no plane had yet been taken to the continent, it could also be
used to generate publicity. Unsure of the type of plane he should take, but considering a Blériot, Mawson mentioned
his plans to Scott's wife Kathleen Scott, an aircraft enthusiast. She recommended he take a monoplane, and conveyed his
interest to Lieutenant Hugh Evelyn Watkins of the Essex Regiment. Watkins had connections with aircraft manufacturer Vickers
Limited, which had recently entered into a licence agreement to build and sell aircraft in Britain designed by the Frenchman
Robert Esnault-Pelterie. On Kathleen Scott's advice, Mawson purchased a Vickers R.E.P. Type Monoplane, one of only eight
built. The machine was duly shipped to Australia, where a series of public demonstrations were planned in to assist in fund-raising,
the first of which was scheduled for 5 October 1911 at the Cheltenham Racecourse in Adelaide. Unfortunately the aircraft
crashed during this flight, Watkins being slightly injured. No longer needing a pilot, and believing him to be responsible
for the crash, Mawson dismissed Watkins and he returned to the UK. The aircraft was shipped to Antarctica for use as a
tractor and abandoned there. Its remains were discovered in 2010.
Watkins returned to his regiment, seeing active
duty in France during the First World War, where, by now a Captain, he was wounded in February 1915. On 24 September 1920,
Watkins was Gazetted out of the Army with the rank of Major and on December 8 1920 joined ADRIC (The Auxiliary Division
of the Royal Irish Constabulary). On 20 January 1922 discharged on the demobilisation of ADRIC.
Evelyn Watkins died on 26 September 1942 in London
||Clement Hugh Greswell |
||Clement Hugh Greswell was born 5 December 1890 in Alveston, Gloucestershire. He gained his Aviators Certificate
on 15 November 1910 on a Grahame-White biplane at Brooklands. Following this he had intended to try for the Baron de Forest
£4,000 Cross-Channel Prize contest. However, storms in mid-December of 1910 wrecked his machine and he did not participate.
When Claude Grahame-White opened his flying school at Hendon in 1911, He was hired as chief instructor. As part of
the celebrations for the Coronation of King George V in 1911 an aerial postal service was operated between Hendon Airport
and Windsor Castle (distance of 21 miles). This was the first scheduled air mail service in the world with a total of 16
flights from Hendon and 4 from Windsor. The first flight (by Gustav Hamel in a Bleriot) was on 9 September 1911 and the
last on 26 September. The planes used were two Bleriots and a Farman with the Farman being depicted on the special cards
and envelopes. Four pilots were involved: Gustav Hamel, E F Driver, Clement Greswell, and Claude Hubert although Hubert
crashed on his first take off on 11 September, breaking both his legs.
Soon after this, Greswell left Grahame-White
and in May 1912 joined the British Deperdussin School as their chief instructor. His stay there was even shorter, as by
June he was back at Hendon, this time as manager of the Practical Flying Department of the Aircraft Manufacturing Company
Ltd, which had been formed on 6 June. By December he was assistant manager in charge of aircraft delivery.
arrived in New York 25 Apr 1917 aboard the SS Adriatic, returning 10 November. His US Draft Registration card, dated 5 June
5 1917, states “Sent to this country to build aeroplanes for the government by the Aircraft Co”, so presumably
he was there associated with the US production of the Airco DH.4. While representing AIRCO and the British Government in
the USA, he was gazetted on 27 December 1917 in the rank of 2nd Lieutenant (on probation), confirmed in rank on 20 August
1918. He was transferred to the Unemployed List on 19 February 1919.
He returned once again to the United States,
probably in 1919, returning to England on 14 March 1920, most likely just for an extended vacation.
his marriage (1 December 1922) and the birth of his daughter Pamela, nothing is recorded of his life from this point on.
||John Duncan Bertie Fulton |
||John Duncan Bertie Fulton was born on 23 July, 1876, at San Francisco, the son of Frederick George and Jane Elizabeth
Fulton. He attended Malvern College (Huntingdon House), leaving in mid-1893. He entered the Royal Artillery in March, 1896,
and served throughout the South African War, where he took part in the operations for the relief of Ladysmith, amongst
many others. He was mentioned twice in dispatches and received both the King's and Queen's medals with eight clasps. |
On 5 October 1909, then a Captain, RFA, he was elected a member of the R.Ae.C and in early 1910 he bought a 28 h.p.
Grahame-White Bleriot-type monoplane out of the proceeds of patents for the improvement oi field-guns, and during that
year he continued to fly and experiment at his own expense, keeping his machine in a shed at Larkhill, on Salisbury Plain,
as his battery was stationed at Bulford. His machine was kept in a shed originally built for the Hon. Charles Rolls, but
unused due to his death.
He took his Aviators Certificate on 15 November 1910, flying an historic Farman biplane
belonging to Mr. G. B. Cockburn, who was at the time also experimenting at Larkhill. This machine, which was nicknamed "the
Father of all Farmans," was the first machine M. Henri Farman ever built and had been flown by Mr. Cockburn at the
great Reims Meeting of 1909, and at Wolverhampton and Bournemouth in 1910. He, along with Richard Talbot Snowden-Smith,
who gained his the same day, was one of the first two British officers on the Active List to pass for his certificate.
On 1 April 1911, when the Air Battalion, Royal Engineers, was formed, Fulton was appointed to command No. 2 (Aeroplane)
Company at Larkhill. During October and November of that year he travelled to France with Frederick (later Sir Frederick)
Sykes visiting Rheims, along with other aerodromes. A direct result of their visit was the organization of Squadrons and
aerodromes of the RFC In December of 1911, Fulton became the first British officer to secure the Special Flying Certificate
of the Royal Aero Club, and only the third overall, for which the tests consist of a 100-mile cross-country flight, a
1,000-ft. altitude flight, and a vol plane, with engine completely stopped, from 500 ft.
In May 1912, he was appointed
to the newly-formed Central Flying School as an Instructor, graded as a Squadron Commander. The Aeronautical Inspection
Department, a division of the Military Aeronautics section of the War Office, came into being in December 1913, with Fulton
in the position of Chief Inspector. He was awarded Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in the New Year Honours of
1914, announced on 2 January 1914. On 31 October 1915 Fulton was promoted to Assistant Director of Military Aeronautics,
with rank as temp. Lieutenant-Colonel.
Captain John Duncan Bertie Fulton RFA died on 11 November 1915 after
falling ill that morning in his office.
||Leslie F. Macdonald |
||Leslie Falconay MacDonald was born on 12 March 1890 in Bristol and gained his Aviators Certificate on 15 November
1910 on a Bristol Boxkite at Brooklands, the first to obtain his Certificate on a Bristol. Almost immediately afterwards
the British and Colonial Aeroplane Co arranged for a special mission to Australia, the team consisting of Macdonald,
Sydney E. Smith, the Company's manager (see No. 33), pilot Joseph Hammond (see No.32), and a staff of mechanics. The tour
started on 3 January 1911 in Perth, Western Australia, finishing on 9 May in Sydney, New South Wales. |
to England he was engaged by Vickers to test their machines. On 13 January 1913 MacDonald, together with his passenger,
mechanic Harold England, left the Vickers flying ground near Dartford for a short trial flight in a 70 h.p. Vickers monoplane
when, after they had flown for a few minutes at a height of a few hundred feet, trouble with the engine caused them to
make a rapid descent and he was forced to ditch in the Thames near Erith. The monoplane floated for about one minute and
one man was seen climbing along the wing before the machine sank. He then swam a few yards and disappeared. This was persumably
England, for MacDonald was unable to swim and evidently went down with his machine.
| || ||
||Richard Talbot Snowden-Smith |
||Richard Talbot Snowden-Smith was born on 23 April 1887 at St Austell Cornwall. He was educated at Sandhurst and
commissioned into the Army Service Corps in 1906. He began flying in 1910, gaining his Aviators Certificate on 15 November
1910 flying a Farman biplane, Blondeau's second pupil to win his Certificate at Brooklands and, along with Captain John
Duncan Bertie Fulton RFA, who gained his the same day, was one of the first two British officers on the Active List to
pass for his certificate. |
Although he participated in many trials before World War One, including the Brooklands
to Brighton Air Race, he remained a career soldier and appears to have participated little in aviation following the outbreak
of World War One. Having originally retired in 1940 from Inspector of Royal Army Services Corps at the War Office, he
was recalled later that year as Director of Supplies & Transport, War Office finally retiring in 1943 with the rank
of Major-General. In the 1942 New Year Honours was awarded Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB).
Richard Talbot Snowden-Smith, CBE, MIMechE, died in on 14 August 1951 in London.
| || ||
||Horatio Barber |
||See Aeronautical Syndicate |
||Thomas Sopwith |
|| See T.O.M. Sopwith biography |
||Joseph Joel Hammond |
||Joseph Joel ('Joe') Hammond was born in Fielding, in the Manawatu District of the North Island of New Zealand,
on 19 July 1886. He attended Campbell Street School in Palmerston North, then, during 1899-1901, St Patrick's College, Wellington. |
He left New Zealand, likely in late 1904, travelling first to Australia, where he worked on a sheep station, then
reputedly as a prospector in the Klondike and a trapper in Alaska. He spent much of 1905 in Phoenix, Arizona, working
on a cattle ranch before leaving the United States on 20 November, returning to either Australia or New Zealand.
In 1908, he returned to the Americas, sailing from Sydney, via Fiji and Hawaii, arriving in Vancouver, Canada on 9 April.
He travelled south to the USA and it must have been during this time that he joined William F. Cody, aka “Buffalo
Bill”. Cody’s final European tour had ended in 1907 and, in 1908, he and Pawnee Bill, another showman, joined
forces and created the "Two Bills" show. This would presumably have been the show Hammond became involved with.
Later in 1908, Hammond left Cody and toured much of Europe, apparently using as a base the East Sussex seaside town
of Seaford and on 19 November 1909 married local Seaford girl Ethelwyn Wilkinson. In France, shortly after his marriage,
Hammond had received some flying tuition from renowned pilot Léon Delagrange, probably at Reims and when, in July
1910, Hammond attended the second of the famous annual Reims flying meetings, it rekindled his desire to fly. Instructed
by Henri Molla at the Sanchez-Besa school at Mourmelon (Camp de Châlons), Hammond gained his French Aviators Certificate
(No.258) on 4 October 1910, flying a Sanchez-Besa Biplane. Returning to England, he gained his RaeC Aviators Certificate
on 22 November 1910, flying a Bristol Boxkite at Salisbury Plain.
Hammond was hired by the British and Colonial
Aeroplane Co and almost immediately afterwards they arranged for a special mission to Australia, the team consisting of
Hammond, Sydney E. Smith, the Company's manager (see No. 33), pilot L.F. Macdonald, (see No.28), and a staff of mechanics.
They arrived in Fremantle on December 13, 1910 and transferred to Perth. The aeroplane used for the first flight was assembled
at Belmont Park Racecourse during the last day of 1910, and there that the first flight of a heavier-than-air machine
in Western Australia took place on January 3, 1911 with Hammond piloting a Bristol Boxkite. Hammond made a final flight
in Perth on January 12, 1911, after which the aircraft was dismantled and crated for shipment to Melbourne.
Melbourne the team was hoping to interest the Commonwealth Government in purchasing planes for military reconnaissance.
Had this been successful, the company had intended establish a factory in Melbourne to build the planes. They selected
the site at the rear of Altona House as their flight headquarters and on 18 February 1911, Hammond undertook his first flight
in Victoria. On 20 February 1911, flew from Altona to Geelong and landed on the Geelong Racecourse, taking 55 minutes
to cover 42 miles, the following day returning back to Altona, the first cross country flights in Australia. Another "first"
accolade was achieved when Hammond flew around Altona for 12.4 miles with his wife as a passenger on 23 February. On 2
March, two new records were established. A Melbourne businessman, M. H. Baillieu, paid to be taken for a flight. This was
the first paid charter flight and the first carrying an Australian citizen as a passenger. Public demonstrations followed
as well as numerous other flights before Hammond moved on to New South Wales where on 18 April 1911 Hammond made the first
ever flight in Sydney, flying from the Ascot Racecourse, Mascot. The Bristol tour ended in May 1911, but the Hammond’s
remained behind in Australia.
||Hammond and his wife left Sydney in May 1912, returning to England by way of Vancouver and New York. He continued
working for the British and Colonial Aeroplane Co. until August of that year, when he was hired as an instructor at the
Eastbourne Aviation Co.'s School under Mr. F. Bernard Fowler. On 26 February 1913, Hammond joined the Royal Flying Corps
Military Wing (special reserve of Officers) with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant (on probation). |
The end of the year
saw him once again in New Zealand. A Blériot XI-2 had been presented to the New Zealand Government by the Imperial
Defence Committee at Hendon in June 1913. Christened ‘Britannia’ by Lady Desborough on 22 May 1913, the machine
was shipped to New Zealand, Hammond being hired to give demonstration flights. The Blériot arrived at Wellington
on 29 September, minus propeller, and was fully erected in Auckland on 7 January 1914. Hammond made his first flight on
17 January from the Epsom showgrounds, but the NZ government soon decided it had no further use for the aircraft and Hammond
returned to England.
In March 1915 Hammond was confirmed in his rank of 2nd Lieutenant, being promoted to Lieutenant
the next month, this later antedated to 26 November 1914. In January 1916 he was promoted from flying officer to Flight
Commander with the rank of Captain.
On 27 March 1918 Left from Liverpool bound for New York as part of the British
Air Mission to the United States. On 22 September 22, returning to Indianapolis from the Fourth Liberty Loan War Bond Drive
air display at Greenfield, his Bristol Fighter F2B entered a right hand spin from 600 feet, its left wing striking a tree
before crashing in a cornfield of the Marion County Poor Farm near its boundary with the Indianapolis Speedway. Hammond
was killed outright.
At the funeral, Hammond’s coffin was draped with an American and British Flag and
was attended by US and British soldiers, including a firing squad of American and British aviation officers. Thousands of
citizens attended the ceremony, at which the Bishop of Indianapolis officiated.
Hammond was cremated and his
remains were then stored in the family mausoleum of Carl Fisher who was the founder of the Indianapolis speedway. Carl
Fisher had graciously temporarily donated his own plot in the mausoleum until Hammond’s family could come and claim
the remains after the war. Hammond’s remains were never collected and still reside in Carl Fisher’s mausoleum,
Crown Hill cemetery, Indianapolis.
At the time of his death Joseph Hammond was the longest serving New Zealand
pilot in the British services. He was thirty-one years old.
| || ||
||Sydney Ernest Smith |
||Smith was born on 24 April 1881 at Farnham, Surrey. Trained as a Civil Engineer, he joined the Bristol Tramways
and Carriage Co., owned by his uncle Sir George White. Smith was also a Captain in the 3rd Volunteer Battalion, The
Gloucestershire Regiment, being promoted the 6th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment on 1 April 1908. |
British and Colonial Aeroplane Company was founded in February 1910, also by Sir George White, Smith was appointed manager.
He gained his Aviators Certificate on 22 November 1910, flying a Bristol Boxkite at Brooklands. Almost immediately
afterwards the British and Colonial Aeroplane Co arranged for a special mission to Australia, the team consisting of Smith,
Leslie Macdonald (see No.28), Joseph Hammond (see No.32), and a staff of mechanics. The tour started on 3 January 1911
in Perth, Western Australia, finishing on 9 May in Sydney, New South Wales.
At the beginning of the First World
War Sydney Smith rejoined his old battalion as Major, and in 1915 he was attached to the Royal Flying Corps. He went through
the war in the RFC and later in the RAF, was mentioned in dispatches, and retired with the rank of Colonel. In June 1919,
he was awarded Commander of the British Empire (CBE).
Smith was a director of the Imperial Tramways Company between
1926 and 1930 and a director and general manager of the Bristol Tramways and Carriage Company until he retired in 1935.
He was also a director of the Bristol Aeroplane Company and a member of the firm of George White and Co., stockbrokers,
(also founded by Sir George White) until his death.
Col. Sydney Ernest Smith, CBE, died at the Bristol Royal Infirmary
on 11 June 1943
||Archibald Reith Low |
||See Archibald Reith Low biography |
||Robert C. Fenwick |
||See Mersey |
||Andrew George Board |
||Board was born in Westerham, Kent on 11 May 1878 the third son of Major John Board and his wife Mary, his father
was a Magistrate. |
Following a time in the militia Board was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the South Wales
Borderers on 18 April 1898, serving in India and South Africa. In 1910 at his own expense he learned to fly at Hendon. On
29 November 1910 flying a Bleriot monoplane at Hendon he was awarded his Aviators Certificate. At that point he was still
listed as a Captain of the 2nd Battalion South Wales Borderersat at the Artillery Barracks Pretoria, South Africa.
On 18 April 1913, Board was posted as Flight Commander, No 6 Squadron, RFC and on 1 March 1914 became Flight Commander,
Central Flying School at Netheravon, Wiltshire. On 28 Sep 1914 he became the officer commanding 7 Squadron RFC at Netheravon
before moving to the western front in April 1915 to command 5 Squadron RFC. He later commanded the 10th Wing RFC before
taking over the control of a 20th (Reserve) Wing in Egypt.
On 1 January 1918 he was awarded the Distinguished
Service Order distinguished service in the Field and on 1 January 1919 the Companion of the Order of St Michael and St
George to in recognition of distinguished services rendered during the War. With the formation of the Royal Air Force in
1918 Broad was awarded a permanent commission as a Lieutenant Colonel. He rose to the rank of Air Commodore before retiring
in 1931. In 1939 he re-joined the RAF as a Group Captain before retiring again in 1941. In 1943 he became a Deputy Lieutenant
Air Commodore Andrew George Board CMG DSO DL died on 25 February 1973 at Morfa Bychan, Caernarvonshire,
||Herbert Frederick Wood |
||Herbert Frederick Wood was born on 12 February 1882 in Rawalpindi Punjab, Pakistan, the son of Lt.-Col. David
E. Wood. He was educated at Harrow and Sandhurst, serving with the 9th Lancers in South Africa. He gained his Aviators
Certificate on 29 November, 1910 on a Bristol Biplane at Brooklands. |
On 28 March 1911 he was appointed manager
of Vickers’ aviation department and made the first flight from their new aerodrome at Joyce green, near Dartford,
He rejoined his old regiment at the outbreak of The First World War.
Major Herbert Frederick Wood
died on 11 December 1918 in Marylebone, Greater London, of influenza.
| || ||
||Cecil Compton Paterson |
||See Cecil Compton Paterson biography |
||Bethell Godefroy Bouwens |
||Bethell Godefroy Bouwens was born on 9 February 1884 in London, the son of son of Lt.-Col. Lambart Henry Bouwens
and Charlotte Bouwens, and educated at Eton (September 1897 to August 1900) and Trinity College, Cambridge (Nat. Science
Trip. pt. I class III 1906). |
After leaving Cambridge in 1906 he worked for a time on experimental aircraft
with various private constructors. He gained his Aviators Certificate on 7 January 1911, flying a Bleriot monoplane at Hendon
and in 1912 became Director of Salisbury Plain Motors, Ltd. along with Captain Clutton, who was the original secretary
and builder of the Hendon aerodrome.
He entered the Army in 1914 and served as a 2nd Lieutenant, later Lieutenant
in the Royal Army Service Corps of Motor Transport, both at home and in France until 1918, when he was discharged for medical
From 1918 to 1935 he was unable to work owing to the state of his health, but in 1935 he undertook duties
as Managing Director of Road and River Motors, Ltd., Shepperton, from which he retired in 1938.
Bouwens MA (Nat. Sci. Camb.), MIAE, MIMT, died on 24 October 1942 in Holborn, London.
| || ||
||George Bayard Hynes |
||George Bayard Hynes was born on 12 April 1887, in Malta the son of William and Mary Hynes. He was educated at
Portsmouth Grammar School. |
Hynes gained a commission in the Royal Artillery in 1905 and gained his Aviators Certificate
on 7 January 1911on a Bleriot monoplane at Hendon. He was then seconded to the Air Battalion of the Royal Engineers and
later in 1912 to the Royal Flying Corps. In 1914 he went to France with the RFC as a Flight Commander, was later promoted
to Captain and then to Lieutenant Colonel, being placed in command of the engine repair depot at Pont de l'Arche. Here
his sound engineering knowledge soon made itself felt. During the War Hynes was five times mentioned in dispatches, and
in January, 1917, was awarded the DSO.
Receiving a permanent commission in the RAF in 1919, he was posted in 1921
to the RAE, Farnborough, as Chief Experimental Officer (Engines), while two years later he became Principal Technical
Officer (Engines). It was in 1927 that he went to the AID, to become Chief Inspector (Engines) under Lieut.-Col. Outram.
His valuable work in this responsible position received general recognition in 1936 by his promotion to be Deputy Director
of Aeronautical Inspection, the post which he held at the time of his death.
Group Captain George Bayard Hynes,
DSO, died in London on 30 May 1938.
||St. Croix Johnstone |
||St. Croix Johnstone was born 2 January 1887 in Chicago, USA, the only son of a Chicago physician. Before taking
up aviation, he had been a motorcycle racer and race car driver. |
He gained his Aviators Certificate on 7 January
1911 on a Bleriot monoplane at Hendon. Returning to the United States, he accomplished several firsts: on 29 June 1911,
Johnstone became the first aviator to cross the Detroit River, crossing the northern boundary line of the United States
and flying over Windsor, Ontario. Next, on 27 July 27, flying an American-built Moisant Bleriot monoplane, broke all American
records for duration and distance flying. He remained in the air for 4 hours 1 minute 53 3/4 seconds, circling the aviation
school fling field 39 times for a distance of 176 miles 1,254 feet.
Unfortunately, just three weeks later on 15
August 1911, Johnstone was killed when his Moisant Bleriot crashed into Lake Michigan while he was taking part in the
1911 Chicago International Aviation Meet.
||Henry Cook |
||Henry Rex Cook was born on 17 August 1863, Bombay, India. In 1892, with rank of Captain, he was appointed adjutant
of the Cork Artillery (Southern Division) in Ireland. He continued at Cork until 1897. In 1901 Cook was attached to the
Jubaland Force as an interpreter with responsibility for mapping and as an intelligence officer. He took part in the Ogaden
Punitive Expedition of 1901 and was promoted to Major the same year. |
Cook joined the Aeronautical Society of
Great Britain on 14 December 1909. He took flying lessons in 1910 and gaining his Aviator's Certificate flying a Blériot
monoplane at the New Forest Aviation School, Beaulieu, on 31 December 1910. In December 1911, Cook was promoted to Lieutenant
Colonel and, following the creation of the Royal Flying Corps in May 1912, was seconded from the Royal Artillery to the
RFC's Central Flying School as an instructor in theory and construction. After the Commandant, Captain Godfrey Paine RN,
Cook was next most senior officer at the School and by August he was being described as the Assistant Commandant. While
at the CFS, Cook was involved in teaching theory. In September 1912 he was awarded Royal Aero Club Special Certificate
No. 7 for carrying out a series flights and aerial manoeuvres which were of special merit in the early years of aviation.
In December 1912, Cook spent some time in India, visiting Agra where he made observations on the ability of birds to soar
and theorized on the effect of sunlight on air.
On 23 June 1913, Cook returned to the Royal Garrison Artillery
and was placed on the RFC's reserve list. He served throughout World War I, retiring on 14 September 1919 as a substantive
colonel with the honorary rank of Brigadier-General.
Brigadier-General Henry R Cook died on 21 January 1950 in
||Basil Herbert Barrington-Kennett |
||Basil Herbert Barrington-Kennett was born in Hove, Sussex, in 1884 to Lt. Col. Brackley Herbert and Ellinor Frances,
and educated at Eton. In 1907, he was gazetted into the Grenadier Guards. He became a keen balloonist, and it is known he
took part in the 1909 Hurlingham International Balloon Race, (although he was not placed in the results), and the 1910
Hedges Butler Challenge Cup for Balloons - Long Distance Competition. |
He gained his Aviators Certificate on 7
January 1911, flying a Blériot Monoplane at Hendon. In April 1911, he joined the Air Battalion of the Royal Engineers,
and by February 1912, he had set a record for flying in a closed loop of 249 miles and 840 yards in a Nieuport monoplane.
He stayed with military forces and at the outbreak of World War One he became Brevet Major, in the Military Wing, Royal
Flying Corps., serving as their Adjutant.
In 1915 he returned the 2nd Grenadier Guards and was killed in action
on 18th May that year, and buried in Le Touret Military Cemetery, France.
| || ||
||Paul Georges Leon Jezzi |
||See Jezzi |
||Lt. Reginald Archibald Cammell, RE |
||Reginald Archibald Cammell was born 10 January 1886 in Inverness, the son of Archibald Allan & Katherine
Marion (Orr) Cammell. Educated at Repton School (September 1899-July 1904) and Sandhurst, he was Gazetted as a 2nd Lieutenant
in the Corps of Royal Engineers on 26 July 1906 and promoted to Lieutenant in 1908. He gained his Aviators Certificate
on 7 January 1911 and his Airship Pilots Certificate (No. 6) on 22 April. He was killed when flying an ASL Valkyrie at Hendon
on 17 September 1911. |
||Oscar Colin Morison |
||Oscar Colin Morison was born on 22 November 1884 at Dulwich, London, and educated at Madras College, St Andrews,
Fife. He gained his Aviators Certificate on 31 December 1910 at Brooklands Aerodrome using a Bleriot monoplane. Morison
did not have to take the official tests. The Aero reported in its 25 January 1911 issue that: ‘Morison, having done
two of his test flights in France last year, has now been presented with his brêvet in consideration of his magnificent
flying lately, the ordinary test flight being an obvious absurdity for him to waste castor oil over.’
He flew exhibition flights in the early days of aviation in England. In 1911 he entered the Daily Mail Circuit of Britain
Air Race but failed to start. On 7 March 1911 he became the first aviator to fly in to Shoreham Aerodrome in a Bleriot
monoplane. In May 1911 he was in a well-publicized air-race with Graham Gilmour from Shoreham Aerodrome to the eastern boundary
of Brighton at Blackrock, Morison taking the straight course passed the winning post one minute before Gilmour.
With the outbreak of the First World War, Morison joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) on 23 December 1914
with the rank of Temporary Lieutenant. On 18 February, 1916 he transferred to the Military Wing of the RFC as a Second
Lieutenants (on probation), but by 11 May had relinquished his commission on reappointment to the R.N.V.R. Morison
later became a Temporary Major with the Royal Air Force when it was formed in 1918.
between the wars appear to be unrecorded. He rejoined the RAF on 4 July 1939 as a Pilot Officer (on probation) and I3 March
1940 was promoted to the rank of Flying Officer.
Morison died on 17 May 1966 in Bournemouth, Hants.
||James Valentine |
||James Valentine was born in Lambeth, London on 22 August 1887, the son of James and Fanny Valentine. His father
was managing director of the Northern Assurance Co. He educated his son at Dulwich College, and then apprenticed him to
the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway locomotive works. |
In July 1910 he went in to partnership with Robert
F Macfie, providing a 50 h.p. rotary engine for fitting to the latter’s biplane. Valentine gained his Aviators Certificate
on 31 December 1910 at Brooklands on the Macfie Biplane. When Macfie began to concentrate on his next design in early 1911,
this marked the end of the partnership.
Valentine acquired a 50 h.p. Deperdussin monoplane which he entered
in the Circuit of Europe Air Race. The Circuit of Europe started on 18 June 1911, the only British aviator to compete
in race and one of the few competitors to complete the course. Next was the Daily Mail sponsored Circuit of Britain air
race, over a 1,010 mile course, starting at Brooklands on 22 July. Valentine, again flying the Deperdussin, was one of
only four airmen to complete the race. In the Aerial Derby of eighty-one miles around London on 3 June 1912, Valentine was
third flying a Bristol Prier monoplane.
Valentine either purchased a Bristol Prier monoplane or, more likely,
was retained by Bristol’s as a demonstration pilot. He flew it cross country to qualify for one of the first Superior
Certificates granted by the Royal Aero Club. Prier and Valentine flew the two-seater Bristol-Prier No.58 extensively during
September and October, 1911, and generated sufficient interest for Bristols to commit to build another six in prospect of
domestic and overseas orders. On 22 December Valentine became the first man to fly a heavier-than-air machine over central
Paris and the first to fly one around the Eiffel Tower.
Valentine joined the RFC with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant,
on probation, on 12 August 1914, and was promoted to Flying Officer on 30 August 1914, antedated to 6 August. In October
he was posted to Paris to organize a department for the supply of French aircraft, engines, spares and stores, and to
report on the performance of new aircraft and promoted to Lieutenant on 11 November.
Lieutenant (Temporary Captain)
James Valentine, Special Reserve, was appointed as Equipment Officer on 16 January 1915 and graded as a Flying Officer
on 8 February 1915. With the rank of Captain, he was appointed Flight Commander on 15 October 1915. The French made Valentine
a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour on 8 November, 1915 in recognition of this work.
| || ||In
August 1916 Valentine was selected to head a training mission to Russia, and on 20 October 1916 was promoted to Temporary
Major (but without the pay and allowances of that rank) while specially employed. The intention seems to have been to train
Russian pilots to fly British-built aircraft but, like the other British forces out there, Valentine became involved with
the 1917 Revolution and its initial aftermath as Kerensky sought to keep Russia in the war against Germany. On 25
May 1917 he was again promoted, from Flight Commander to Squadron Commander and Mentioned in Dispatches in July of the
same year. On 4 June 1917, Valentine was appointed a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order for distinguished service
in the field. Valentine also received the award of the Order of St George (4th Class) for distinguished service at Tarnopol
and Trebovlay in July, 1917, to add to his 1st Class Cross of Stanilaus. |
That month the Kerensky offensive failed
and the German and Austro-Hungarian armies began exerting pressure against a Russian army on the verge of disintegration.
On 19 July nine divisions attacked the Russian 11th Army on the Tarnopol sector and the following day Locker Lampson,
commanding the RNAS armoured car unit in Russia, found himself trying to stop the Austrians as well as to protect other
British property and nationals. Lampson’s advance base was set up at the aviation camp beyond Podgaitse, reached on
22 July. Lampson now began a fighting retreat and Valentine was caught up in this.
It is believed that James Valentine
died at Kiev on 7 August 1917 Though the circumstances of his death are unclear, most likely due to dysentery. He was
reportedly buried in Kiev in Bratskoe (Brotherly) cemetery
||Henry J. Delaval Astley |
||See Astley |
||Robert Francis Macfie |
||See MacFie |
||Cecil Howard Pixton |
||Cecil Howard Pixton was born on 14 December 1885 in Didsbury, Manchester, the son of John Sutcliffe Pixton and
Elizabeth (Naylor). |
Early in 1910, Pixton wrote to A.V. Roe, asking to be taught flying, and was initially taken
on by Humphrey Verdon Roe as a mechanic, working for no pay in return for flying tuition. He gained his Aviators Certificate
31 December 1910 on a Roe Triplane IV at Brooklands, awarded on 24 January 1911. However, the date of 31 December is in
doubt and is most likely 19 January 1911. Unfortunately, as Roe could no longer afford to pay him, he left in the second
half of 1911 to join the British and Colonial Aeroplane Co. In 1912, he demonstrated Bristol Boxkites in both Spain and
Germany and flew one of the Bristol-Coanda machines in the 1912 British Military Aeroplane Competition of August that
In early 1914 Pixton left Bristol and joined the Sopwith Aviation Company Ltd. Under Harry Hawkers leadership,
Sopwith has developed a seaplane to compete in the 1914 Schneider Trophy race. With Hawker away in Australia on a sales
tour, it fell to Pixton to test fly the machine, by now named the ‘Tabloid’ in March. On 20 April in Monaco,
Pixton became the first pilot to win the Schneider Trophy seaplane race for the Great Britain at an average speed of 86.83
miles per hour.
Before the outbreak of the First World War, Pixton joined the Air Inspection Department at Farnborough.
On 1 April 1915 he joined the Royal Flying Corps., Military Wing, as a 2nd Lieutenants (on probation), but remained with
the civilian AID. He was confirmed in rank on May 1915 and on 21 May graded as a Flying Officer. On 2 November the same
year he was promoted to Temporary Captains. On 5 September 1916 he was once more regraded, this time to Flight-Commander,
and on 13 October promoted to Captain. When the AID closed at Farnborough in 1917 and introduced Inspection Centres around
the country, Pixton was sent to the Newcastle Acceptance Park in December 1917 for six months, followed by a further six
months in Dublin. Then, in October 1918, he was transferred to AID Headquarters in London.
Following the end
of the First World War and the lifting of restrictions on civil aviation, Avro formed the Avro Transport Company in early
1919 and entered the pleasure flight business. Pixton was appointed the chief pilot at their seaplane base at Cockshot
Point, Lake Windemere, originally home of the Lakes Flying Company. However, rather than joyriding, the Avro seaplanes at
Windermere were chiefly engaged with carrying the Daily News to Douglas, Isle of Man. Avro Transport Company failed to
renew operations that ceased at the end of the season in October 1919, so Pixton formed the Lakes Motor and Seaplane Company
in 1920to continue operations there, adding a garage specialising in light cars and motor cycles as well as catering for
motor car and motor boat repairs.
Presumably this business did not prosper as the Lancashire Aero Club Report
for week ending 4 February 1928 announced the appointment of Pixton to the the ground staff. He retired to the I.O.M in
1932 and became a leading figure on the Manx aviation scene. During the 1939-45 war he rejoined the AID at Farnborough.
He died on 7 February 1972 and is buried at Jurby Churchyard.