Air League Challenge Cup - 1923

  • -Air League Challenge Cup 1923

    6 August 1923

    "The race for the Air League Challenge Cup will form part of the programme of the Aerial Derby meeting at Waddon Aerodrome, Croydon, on August Bank Holiday.
    It will be decided over a triangular course of about 100 miles.
    The course will be made known to the competitors one hour before the start. They will be started at intervals of two minutes, and the competitor who completes the course in the shortest time will be the winner."

    All competitors will be on Bristol Fighters, fitted with 275 h.p. Rolls-Royce 'Falcon' engines.

    Representing Pilot
    RAF Andover

    Wing-Cmdr John Tremayne Babington D.S.O.

    RAF Cranwell

    Flt-Lt Frank Gerald Craven Weare M.C.

    RAF Duxford Flt-Lt L M Bailey A.F.C.
    RAF Eastchurch Capt Horace Scott Shield M.C.
    Farnborough F/O G W Hemming D.S.C.
    Flowerdown F/O G V Howard D.F.C.

    Flt-Lt Edward Brownsdon Rice

    Henlow Flt-Lt Charles Edward Hastings Medhurst
    Kenley F/O Leslie Hamilton, M.B.E., D.F.C.
    Martlesham Heath Flt-Lt J Potter
    Netheravon Flt-Lt B Ankers D.C.M.
    Northolt Air-Cmdre Hugh Caswall Tremenheere Dowding C.M.G.
    Old Sarum F/O P Murgatroyd
    Shotwick F/O C F Toogood
    Spittlegate Wing-Cmdr A S Barratt C.M.G. M.C.
    Upavon F/O N C Waltho
  • -The Aviators

    The Aviators

  • Ankers, Burton

      Flt-Lt (Later Wing Cmdr) Burton Ankers  DSO DCM



     b. 12 Aug 1893

    Service Number: A15088/39 RFC and RAF in WWI

    1919 - "Miss Dorothy Gent, formerly a cashier in a Chester cafe, was awarded £300 damages at Chester Assizes in an action for breach of promise brought by her against Burton Ankers, a captain in the Royal Air Force."

     He broke off the engagement with Ms Gent in July 1918, and married Dorothy M [Horwood] in October.

    1938 - "The Air Ministry announces that the King has approved of the undermentioned rewards for gallant and distinguished services rendered in connection with the operations in Waziristan during the period 16 September to 15 December, 1937: Distinguished Service Order.—Wing- Commander Burton Ankers."


    d. 9 Aug 1939 in Bristol Blenheim L1546 that was lost at Kutumba, India:


    Wing Commander Killed

    Wing-Commander Burton Ankers and two other men of No. 39 Squadrdn, R.A.F., were killed in a crash at Kotumba, India. Corporal Robert Samuel Gilbert and Aircraftman Arthur Reginald Harris were the other victims. Wing-Commander Ankers was the pilot. Two other occupants, Aircraftman Richard Wallace Bloss, and Mr R. C. R. Tapper, escaped by parachute. "


  • Babington, John Tremayne

    Wing-Commander John Tremayne Babington, D.S.O. 

    mini - j t babington

    Represented RAF Andover in the Air League Challenge Cup in 1923

  • Bailey, L M

     Flt-Lt. L. M. Bailey, A.F.C.


     Represented RAF Duxford in the Air League Challenge Cup in 1923

  • Dowding, Hugh Caswall Tremenheere

      Air Commodore (Later Air Chief Marshal) Hugh Caswall Tremenheere Dowding, 1st Baron Dowding, GCB, GCVO, CMG

      RAeC Certificate (No 711), 1913

     Hugh_Dowding.jpg 1940

    b. 24 April 1882, Moffat, Dumfriesshire

    d. 15 February 1970


  • Hamilton, Leslie

      F/O Leslie Hamilton




    A stunt pilot known as the 'Flying Gypsy'; RAF in WWI (6 victories in Greece) who was Princess Anne Lowenstein-Wortheim's pilot after the war.

    He and his friends piled into his Vickers Viking flying-boat G-EBED in 1927 (the same year it was written off, btw) to fly from the Swiss Winter Sports' Season to spend a holiday on the French Riviera." - see the video here: By Air To Anywhere - British Pathé (

    They, together with Fred Minchin (left), were killed when trying to cross the Atlantic from East to West in 1927.

    For a video of them and the aeroplane, see the middle bit here: Old Flying Stories - British Pathé (

    [The rest of it shows Walter Hinchliffe's preparations for a planned similar flight with Charles Levine (qv)].


  • Hemming, Harold

      Maj Harold Hemming AFC


    photo: 1916, when a Lieut in the Worcestershire Regiment, aged 23



    Director (with Alan Butler as Chairman) of the 'Aircraft Operating Company'. In 1925, they were air surveying in British Guiana.

    In 1923, he flew Alan Butler's DH37 'Sylvia' in the King's Cup, coming 5th (as had Alan himself, the year before), and then borrowed it again in 1925, coming 3rd.

    Unfortunately, while he was making a test flight in 1927 in the DH37 (now re-engined and called 'Lois') the aircraft hit a scoring board and crashed. The passenger was killed and Hemming lost an eye and sustained other injuries.


  • Medhurst, Charles Edward Hastings

      Flt-Lt (later Air Chief Marshall) Charles Edward Hastings Medhurst KCB OBE MC RAF


      1941 (NPG)

     b. 12 Dec 1896, Smethwick

    2nd Lieut., Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers then Royal Flying Corps in WWI

    RAeC Certificate No 1437 on 13 Jul 1915 (Maurice Farman Biplane, at Military School, Farnborough)

    His son Pilot Officer R. E. H. "Dickie" Medhurst was killed on September 19, 1944 when the Douglas Dakota Mk. III he was co-piloting exploded after taking AAA fire during an air drop mission during Operation Market Garden.

     d. 18 Oct 1954

    bur. St Michael and All Angels Churchyard - Great TewOxfordshire


  • Murgatroyd, P

      F/O P Murgatroyd




    Posted to the School of Army Co-operation, Old Sarum. in 1923, then H.Q. Iraq in December 1924


  • Rice, Edward Brownsdon

      Flt-Lt Edward Brownsdon Rice




    b. 5 July 1892 in Cape Town

    later a Group Captain

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



  • Shield, Horace Scott

      Capt Horace Scott Shield, M.C.



     b. 14 Feb 1895 in Newcastle


  • Toogood, Charles Francis

      F/O Charles Francis Toogood



     b. 18 Feb 1889, London

    2nd Lieut, RFC in WWI

     d. 14 Aug 1965 - Surrey


  • Waltho, Neville Charles

      Flt-Lt Neville Charles Waltho



     b. 22 Jul 1898, Walsall

    d. 28 Aug 1923 - he was "Britain's first glider victim" and died at Upavon, 22 days after competing in the Air League Challenge Cup.


  • Weare, Frank Gerald Craven

      Flt-Lt Frank Gerald Craven Weare, M.C.

     mini_-_f_g_c_weare.jpg  1917,when a 2nd Lieut, The Buffs



    b. 15 Jun 1896 in Tunbridge Wells


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