A Fleeting Peace

Golden-Age Aviation in the British Empire

Air Vice Marshal, CB, CBE, DFC, RNZAF Cyril Eyton Kay


Born 25th June 1902 in Aukland, New Zealand

Distinguished Flying Cross in June 1940:

"This officer was captain of an aircraft ordered to attack important targets in the forests south of Bourlers and Baileux during a night in June. In spite of extremely difficult conditions, and in the face of severe opposition, he successfully bombed the objective, starting several fires which gave accurate direction to other aircraft of this sortie. He then descended to a low altitude and, again in the face of heavy opposition, attacked the woods with all his machine guns. Sqn. Ldr. Kay has conducted a number of operations in recent weeks and has shown daring, determination and outstanding ability."

Died 29th April 1993 in London, aged 90


Cyril Eyton Kay, Hewett's co-pilot, is also his fellow citizen. He was born at Auckland on June 25, 1902. In 1925 he obtained a Short-Service commission (F/O.) in the R.A.F., and was sent from England to Egypt, where he promptly developed enteric and was invalided back after three months in hospital. Between 1926 and 1929 he was with No. 5 F.T.S. (Sealand), No. 2 Squadron (Manston), and, as navigation officer, with No. 26 at Catterick, after a course at Calshot.

In 1929, with F/O. Harold Piper, Kay obtained special leave and flew from London to Sydney in a Desoutter I monoplane. The flight was interrupted for three weeks by a forced landing on the island of Western Baronga, off Burma. Returning to England in 1930, Kay took an Instructor's course at the C.F.S. (Wittering), and was posted, until the end of 1931, as instructor to No. 2 F.T.S. (Digby). He then left the Service, but remained in England until the end of 1932 as demonstration pilot with a commercial company. In 1931 he visited the Wasserkuppe and achieved the distinction of being the first Britisher to secure the "C" gliding certificate. During the last two years he has continued civil flying in New Zealand. Both he and Hewett are married. Delivery of the "Dragon Six" now being built...

Kay, who has held a short-term commission with the Royal Air Force, flew from England to Australia with a brother Flying Officer, Piper, in a Desoutter, in 1930. He is one of the very few men in Australia who holds a second class Air Navigator's Certificate.

ABCs Guide, 1934

MacRobertson Race in 1934

thomas kay

Sgt-Mech Thomas Darrell Kay

b. 20 October 1884 in Creswick, Victoria, Australia.

"Before enlisting in the Australian Flying Corps in 1915, Sgt Kay was employed as an engineer by Ronaldson and Tippett, machinery manufacturers, of Ballarat. He is known by many local residents"

In 1922, in the sordid 'Ballarat Sensation', Sgt Kay had his face slashed by a razor wielded by Susanna Masters and her brother Maurice Wall. Susanna said she had lived with Kay, who "threatened to expose her to her husband because she had refused to marry him. She told Kay she could not marry a man already supporting two illegitimate children, and also accused of being responsible for another child in England". She reckoned that he was "lucky he did not get more. He is the worst man I ever met".

He absconded from the hospital where he was being treated, and disappeared; Susanna (who reportedly had "a fine personality", whatever that means) and Maurice were eventually let off.

d. 19 May 1963

England-Australia Race in 1919

Mr G H Keat

King's Cup in 1932

Mr Reginald Watson Kenworthy


An aeronautical Engineer from Yorkshire, b. 1892. RAeC Certificates 1222 (1915) and 15944 (1938). Test pilot for Blackburn until 1925.

Schneider Trophy pilot in 1923 in the Blackburn 'Pellet'; he had a lucky escape when during take-off "The starboard wing tip float touched, and the machine turned over on its nose and sank. For what seemed a very long time there was no sign of the pilot, and fears were entertained that he had not been able to extricate himself. Suddenly, however, he appeared, bobbing up like a cork, and climbing on top of the wreck was picked up by one of the many motor launches which sped to his assistance as soon as the crash occurred. He promptly fainted on getting safely on to the wreckage, but was soon revived and brought back to his hotel, nursed by Mrs. Kenworthy, who. was in the motor launch Vivid which was among those standing by. He had had quite a marvellous escape, and seemed none the worse for his experience. It was stated that someone actually timed Kenworthy, who was said to have been under water for 61 seconds. He later related how, when the machine turned turtle, he found himself inside the cockpit with his head on the floor and his feet pointing towards the cockpit opening, which he could dimly see. Holding his nose with one hand he wriggled free and shot to the surface."

King's Cup in 1922


 photo: 1928, aged 29

Lieut-Comm George Pearson Glen Kidston, RN

Known as Glen. Survived being torpedoed in WWI on the cruiser 'Hague', had several narrow escapes when motor racing, and in November 1929, he was the only survivor when Junkers tri-motor D-903 crashed near Caterham and caught fire. He "escaped through a hole in the side of the aeroplane almost immediately after it struck the ground, and Prince Eugen [zu Schaumburg-Lippe] fought his way out a little later; but by the time would-be rescuers had arrived there was no hope of saving the others." The Prince died the following day.

Glen spent the winter abroad, then in May 1930, his widowed mother having died, put his house up for sale; Nyn Park, Northaw, near Potters Bar, "nearly a square mile with a small mansion". And a lake.

And a 9-hole golf course. Oh, and 25 cottages. A few smallholdings....

In April 1931 he and Owen Cathcart Jones broke the England to Capetown record, but shortly afterwards (5 May) he was killed in the Drakensburg Mountains, Natal; the aircraft he had borrowed, while his Vega was being overhauled, broke up in mid-air during a storm.

Nyn Park was sold, and the estate broken up. The small (23-bedroom) mansion was bought after WWII by the Alexandra Hospital for Children but never used, and burned down in 1963.

Nyn Park's recent history is here: http://www.pennyarcade.me.uk/Nynhistory/picturepage.html

King's Cup in 1930

Flt-Lt A M Kimmins

King's Cup in 1929

photo: 1918, when 2nd Lieut, RAF, aged 32

Mr John R King

possibly John King, b 1886, from Birmingham; RAeC certificate 7436

'Pat' King, later an Air Vice Marshall


King's Cup in 1924

photo: 1933, aged 20

Mr John Daniel Kirwan

From Perth, 'a student' (yeah, right)

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King's Cup in 1934, 1936


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