A Fleeting Peace

Golden-Age Aviation in the British Empire

Flt-Lt Robert Linton Ragg CB CBE AFC

Later an Air Vice Marshall

King's Cup in 1928

photo: 1933, when 2nd Lieut in the Grenadier Guards, aged 20.

in 1936

Lt Patrick Randolph

b 25 Jan 1912 in Chelsea, London.

His parents (American-born Arthur Bertram Randolph and Enid Saffron Pickersgill-Cunliffe) had made the society pages when they had a 'best girl' as well as a best man at their wedding in 1908.

However, his father was killed in WWI, his mother remarried (becoming Saffron Duberly, and 'lady of the manor' in St Neots) and in 1924 she and Mr Duberly sailed off to Jamaica, leaving the 12-year-old Patrick to go with his aunt Adelaide to the USA, presumably to visit family (his grandfather Arthur Randolph Randolph had emigrated and died there in 1885).

It seems that Patrick subsequently lived with his aunt Adelaide and her husband Lionel in Dorset - he always quoted their address as his own, and again visited the USA with her in 1935.

In December of 1933, he and fellow-officer Capt Goschen flew (in Pat's Percival Gull) to Egypt to take up an appointment at the Flying School for 2 years. Whilst there, he took part in the 'Oases Circuit Air Race' along with 31 others from Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Jugoslavia, Sweden and Belgium.

He "sportingly flew up for the race round the Isle of Man in 1936 during 48 hours leave and flew back the same night".

He took part in several other races, e.g. the Folkestone Air Trophy in August 1933; the London-Cardiff Race in 1936, and the Manx Air Race in June 1937. He entered for the Schlesinger Race in 1936 (as co-pilot to Lt Misri Chand) but the aeroplane wasn't ready in time.

He owned 4 aeroplanes:

- G-AACV, a 1928 Avro Avian IVM;

- G-ACJW, a 1933 Percival Gull which was sold in Australia in 1934 and became VH-UTC;

- G-ACUL, a 1934 Gull Six (sold in New Zealand, becoming ZK-AES), and finally

- G-AEKD, a 1936 Vega Gull.

It was this aircraft in which he was killed in a crash in Jaipur, India on 12 October 1937, aged 25. P Q Reiss (q.v) was also seriously injured in the same accident.

A few weeks before his death, he and his uncle-in-law Lionel had been the joint executors for the will of his father's half-brother, Judge Joseph Randolph J.P., selling Eastcourt Estate ('A Georgian house with 484 acres, garages, stabling, and 9 cottages').

(His mother Saffron's son by her second marriage was also killed, in WWII. Her second husband died in 1951; she herself died in 1980).

King's Cup in 1936

Flt-Lt Arthur Harold Charles Rawson

King's Cup in 1928

photo: 1920, aged 27

Mr Frederick Philips Raynham

'Fred', originally from Suffolk; the first man to recover from a spin, (although he didn't know how he had done it); test pilot for Hawkers; died 1954 in the USA and is buried in Colorado Springs. Survived a lot of crashes.


King's Cup in 1922, 1923

Dr Edward Whitehead Reid

See here

Rosemary Theresa Rees (Lady du Cros) MBE in 1934

b. 23 September 1901 in London, the daughter of Sir John and Lady Rees. He was MP for East Nottingham.

She volunteered to fly Christmas presents to Prague in December 1938, for refugees.

From her obituary: "ROSEMARY, Lady Du Cros, who has died aged 92, was a pre-war dancer turned aviatrix and became one of the first of the wartime Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) women ferry pilots. She continued her flying career long after the war.

Born Rosemary Rees, daughter of Sir John Rees, she went to ballet school in Chelsea, and joined a dancing troupe performing in revue. Returning to the UK in the early thirties from touring in Ceylon, China and America, her attention was diverted to flying after a friend had persuaded her to take a lesson and she enthusiastically embraced what was to be the enduring passion of her life.

Going solo in 1933 after seven hours' instruction, and complete with a private pilot's licence, she bought her own aeroplane and toured air-rallies, with excursions to practically every European country, enjoying the life of the halcyon years of pre-war private flying.

At the outbreak of war in 1939 she had acquired an instructor's licence, flown more than 90 aircraft types and had 600 hours in her logbook."

One of the ATA Women

photo: 1931, aged 34

Mr Peter Quentin Reiss

an Insurance Broker and Underwriter, originally from Manchester. Lieutenant, Lancs Fusiliers in WWI. started flying with the RFC in 1917 and was still active in 1964, when he gave a dinner for Gatwick's controllers.

Amy Johnson gave him some flying lessons in 1931, and he adored her with "an unquestioning devotion"- in the post-Jim era he was one of her unsuccessful suitors. He flew to Brussels in 1936 and brought her home after her first attempt to fly to Cape Town had ended in Colomb Bechar, a French air base in the Sahara.


King's Cup in 1936

v rendle

Lt Valdemar Rendle

England-Australia Race 1919


Miss Consuelo Mary de Reyes, at the time a famous playwright and theatre owner; amongst her best-known works were a series of plays about the life of Queen Victoria.


She was instrumental in setting up The Little Theatre Cinema in Bath, the UK's oldest surviving independent cinema still in family ownership. Her daughter, Hilary King, wrote a short history of it a few years ago. See this article at http://www.thisisbath.co.uk

Consuelo owned a 1930 DH.60M Moth, G-AAVR.

Flt-Lt Edward Brownsdon Rice in 1916

b. 5 July 1892 in Cape Town

later a Group Captain

killed in WWII: 5th September 1943, and is commemorated at the Sai Wan War Cemetery


Air League Challenge Cup in 1923

photo: 1926, when profession: 'None', aged 20

Mr Thomas Herbert Ottewill Richardson

b. Barton-on-Sea, Hampshire. from St Albans.

"Has owned an Avro and is a consistent and capable amateur with no previous record of indulgence in racing or spectacular flying of any sort. Succumbed to competitive urge early this year [1936] and bought a Comper Swift previously His Majesty's [i.e. Edward VIII] when Prince of Wales"

Killed in WWII:  3 April 1943, when a Flt-Lt 78 Sqn RAF piloting a Halifax II; buried in Eindhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery.

King's Cup in 1936

photo: 1930

Lieut L G Richardson, RN

King's Cup in 1928, 1929, 1930

photo: 1916, when a Captain in the 4th Northumberland Fusiliers, aged 21

photo: 1944, aged 49

Sqn-Ldr (later Wing-Cmdr) James Milne Robb GCB KBE DSO DFC AFC

from Northumberland. RAF during WWI, then Iraq and Kurdistan. Chief Flying Instructor at RAF Wittering 1927-30.

Later Air Chief Marshall Sir James; WWI ace (7 victories); helped form the Empire Air Training Scheme in 1939; advisor to Mountbatten, Eisenhower in WWII. Died 1968


King's Cup in 1931, 1932

photo: 1932, when A Officer, aged 20

Mr Owen George Endicott Roberts

died before 1963


King's Cup in 1935

Sqn-Ldr F L Robinson

King's Cup in 1923

photo: 1930, aged 29

Lt Patrick Geoffrey Tremayne Rodd, RN

"He runs a Puss Moth as well as a Speed Six Bentley. He is probably unique, in that he has had his chauffeur, Mr. J. Camp, taught to fly at the Hanworth Club, so that he can have either his aircraft or his car brought to him when he requires them. He does a great deal of Continental flying..."

He was killed 31 Jan 1933 when making too 'impetuous' a turn after taking off from a snow-covered lake at St Moritz.

A 'good natured, wealthy young pilot'. And his 1919 diaries are in the National Archives.

King's Cup in 1931, 1932


a certain Lady A Rodger owned a 1929 DH.60G Gipsy Moth, G-AAIE, but I'm afraid have no idea who she was.

photo: 1930

Flt-Lt Tommy Rose

One of the best-known racing pilots of the 30s. Left the RAF in 1927, became a national hero after his flight to Cape Town (beating Amy Johnson's record).

Won the King's Cup in 1935:

Tommy Rose Kings Cup 1935 0122 0170 RAeC

Before the 1936 Schlesinger Race to Johannesburg, he predicted: "It is my opinion that the pilot of the aeroplane which gets there in under forty-eight hours will deserve just about the biggest bunch of bananas ever found.

Having got lost myself many times down this route when flying without wireless, I fully expect to do so again, and the pilot in this race who can honestly say at the end that he was sure of his position all the time will either be very lucky, very clever, or have a queer idea of honesty."

in 1939 he was shot down by a 'friendly' Spitfire (not, you understand, an 'unfriendly' one) and bailed out in his pyjamas; later a Squadron Leader.

Died 1968 in the Channel Islands.


King's Cup in 1929, 1930, 1934, 1935, 1936, 1937

Schlesinger Race in 1936

photo: 1932, aged 20

Sir Charles Henry Rose

from Oxford. "Director of the Portsmouth Flying Club and lately director of Portsmouth Southsea and Isle of Wight Airways. Had very bad luck when starting in the King's Cup of 1934. Made forced landing at Aldenham. Again bad luck in London-Cardiff Race in 1934 when motor stopped over finish line."

Another director of PS&IOWA was Lionel Balfour.

King's Cup in 1934

 mini - j s l ross

Lt J S Leslie Ross



Killed in the crash of the Allance 'Endeavour' on the 13 November 1919, during the England-Australia Race 1919

photo: 1916, when a Flight Sub-Lieut in the Royal Navy, aged 19

Flt-Lt Herbert Victor Rowley

born in Derbyshire; WWI ace (9 victories); Air Commodore in WWII, in India and Burma


King's Cup in 1930

photo: 1928, aged 28

Hon Walter Leslie Runciman OBE AFC

2nd Viscount Runciman of Doxford, from Newcastle-upon-Tyne; after Eton and Cambridge, joined his dad's shipping firm, then Imperial Airways. First Director-General of BOAC, Commodore of the Royal Yacht Squadron, OBE, etc, etc; died 1989

His sister, Margaret Fairweather, was killed in WWII serving in the ATA.

King's Cup in 1930, 1932, 1933

photo: 1930, aged 23

Hon Leopold Oliver Russell

At the time, an Assistant Advertising Manager from Milton Ernest, Bedfordshire; later Director-General of the British Cement and Concrete Association! (1958); died 1988


King's Cup in 1931


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