A Fleeting Peace

Golden-Age Aviation in the British Empire

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Mr A LT Naish


Director of Aircraft Exchange and Mart Ltd, Airspeed's sales agents.. Formerly a Flying Officer in the RAF; spent 3 years in the Middle East.

King's Cup in 1934


photo: 1937, aged c.30

Mr Carill Stanley Napier

b c.1907. From Putney, London

Son of the famous engine-maker Montague; an apprentice with Westlands in 1929. 'his one recreation apart from flying is the commendable indoor sport of darts. Believes that air-racing is good fun only when taken not too seriously''

Killed in WWII: 29 April 1941, when a Captain in the Air Transport Auxiliary; buried RAF Halton, Bucks.


King's Cup in 1929, 1930, 1931, 1933, 1934, 1937

photo: 1928, aged 38

Mr Thomas Humphrey Naylor

Director of Royal Insurance; in 1950 High Sheriff of Cheshire; died 1966


King's Cup in 1930

Mr E H Newman

King's Cup in 1934


Barbara Mary Nicklin of Heston owned 1929 Desoutter I, G-AAPK

photo: 1920, aged 33

Lieut Robert H Nisbet

b. 16 Oct 1887 in Fife, N.B.

Can't tell you much about him, sorry: resigned his commission in Jan 1924, took out some patents when working for Sperry Instruments in 1939, and

d. before 1951

Aerial Derby in 1919, 1920

photo: 1921, aged 27

Sqn-Ldr J Noakes

presumably Jack Noakes, b. 9 Apr 1894 in Brighton

RAeC Certificate 1092 (1915); later an Air Commodore

King's Cup in 1928

Mr Antony CW Norman

b. Apr 1912 (so, aged 23)

A member of the Old Etonian Club

King's Cup in 1935

photo: 1926

Mr (Sir) Henry Nigel St Valery Norman CBE

b. c.1898. From Rendcomb, Glos.

Always known as Nigel; from 1939, 2nd Baronet of Honeyhanger, later Air Commodore Sir Nigel. Co-founded Airwork Services with Alan Muntz at Heston.

Killed in WWII: 19th May 1943, on a flight from St Mawgan, buried Rendcomb, Glos.

King's Cup in 1930

Miss Rosalind Laura Norman

b. 1908

Nigel's sister Rosalind was a regular on the Court Circular, attending endless weddings, dances, balls, luncheons, etc, etc.

The following December (1931), Rosalind accompanied Commander Sir Walter and Lady Windham on their trip to Ceylon; she met them at Marseilles, and "after visiting Ceylon spent some time visiting friends in India."

In August 1933 she made another flying tour, to Poland and Germany.

She 'quietly' married Aubrey Burke in February 1936, becoming Lady Burke, and they had two daughters and a son.

From her obituary: "Lady Rosalind Burke, a glamourous aviatrix in the halcyon inter-war years of private aviation who became an extraordinary aircraft factory manager during the second world war, has died aged 86.

Her zest for aviation came from her brothers, who had all taken up flying, and she gained her private pilot's licence at Heston, the aerodrome founded by her brother Nigel (later Air Commodore Sir Nigel Norman). During the early thirties, she took part in many of the fashionable private aero events throughout Europe. She also possessed a remarkable practical flair, making model aircraft in her home workshop, and going on to create the largest model aircraft factory in the country.

Aubrey Burke

She met and married another aviator, Aubrey Burke, at Heston in 1936 (he had flown the Atlantic by R100 airship in 1930 and joined Imperial Airways in 1935). They also joined forces in business as Burman Engineering (the name being an amalgam of their surnames), and began to provide full-scale aircraft components. At the outbreak of war, he joined the civil repair organisation of the Ministry of Aircraft Production set up to restore battle-damaged aircraft. She kept up her reputation for the rapid supply of accurate aircraft parts, matching female labour and the production capacity of her several factories.

She perceptively recruited volunteers for what became known as the IPP (Immobile Part-time Production) through radio broadcasts and lecture tours, with the allure of making a real contribution to the war effort. She also instituted an imaginative scheme for reducing aircraft assembly-line waste with numerous village-based groups retrieving and sorting many thousands of small items - nuts, bolts and rivets - from the sweepings of factory floors or the debris of blitzed factories. She was an energetic, inspiring leader, taking her three young children round this network with her, the youngest in a carry-cot. By the end of the war, the Burman factories had the commendable record of two million man/woman hours worked, and over 150 million components delivered.

Post-war, she devoted her attention to her family and travelled extensively with her husband as he rose to become chairman of the de Havilland Aircraft Company and vice-chairman of the Hawker Siddeley Group. She also helped him to build up a pedigree herd of Guernsey cattle.

Rosalind Laura Burke, born February 20, 1908; died April 1, 1994."

Aerial Tour in 1930


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