• Aga, Tariq Ali Khan

    Tariq Ali Khan Aga  

      photo: 1933, aged 24

  • Alcock, Edward Samson

     Edward Samson Alcock  
    Edward Samson Alcock (1901 - 1974) - Genealogy

    In November 1931 he was pilot of 'Horsa', the first H.P. 42, on a leisurely trip to Heliopolis via Paris, Lyons, Marseilles, Pisa, Rome, Naples, Catania, Malta, Tripoli, Sirte and Marsah Mutra. "Ample time will be spent at each stopping place". The flight took seven days.

    Awarded Master Pilot's Certificate in 1934

    September 1934: "Captain Alcock is a younger brother of the late Sir John Alcock, who made the first Atlantic flight in 1919. After a period of service in the Royal Air Force, Capt. Alcock joined Imperial Airways in 1929, and has now flown a distance of more than 750,000 miles"

    Promoted to Senior Master in October 1938

    d. 1974 in Surrey


  • Alger, Howard Whitmore Cowell

    Howard Whitmore Cowell Alger

    Imperial Airways HWC Alger 

    b. 12 May 1901, Kidderminster

    Imperial Airways pilot from 1928

    based Cairo

  • Alington,  Cyril Geoffrey Marmaduke

     Cyril Geoffrey Marmaduke Alington

      photo: 1933, aged 19

    photo: 1936, aged 22

    b. 19th August 1914 in Richmond, London, the youngest of four brothers.

    Their father was Lt-Col Arthur Cyril Marmaduke Alington, and their mother was herself a pilot and had made parachute descents; they could trace the family back to William the Conqueror.

    [The eldest brother, William James Marmaduke Alington (known as 'Marmie') was chief instructor at the Yapton Flying Club in 1937, and taught Lettice Curtis to fly.]

    In 1933, a public schoolboy in Hythe, Kent; by 1936 a student at the de Havilland Technical School.

    d. 1987


  • Alington, Rupert Hildebrand

      Paymaster Lt Rupert Hildebrand Alington 


    Cyril's elder brother, b. Hythe, Kent 16 March 1911.

    Killed in WWII: 10 September 1943, a Lt-Cmdr aboard the minelayer HMS Abdiel, which was mined at Taranto.

  • Allen, Helen Naomi

     Helen Naomi Allen

    naomi heron maxwell 1934  RAeC

    naomi heron maxwell 19342 1934

    Allen Naomi 1 with Cobham's Flying Circus

    ...my mother-in-law was 96, so her memory may not have been what it was. 

    I mentioned I was going to the ATA Museum. She said "I met a ferry pilot a few times, she was Mrs Allen, and she flew planes across the Atlantic".

    "Oh yes", I thought "No ATA women ferry pilots actually did that, but anyway..."

    "Really" I said.

    "Yes, she came to visit her mother-in-law who was our neighbour, Kitty Allen. This was when my sister worked at Bletchley Park."

    "Right", I said, thinking "OK, there were 2 Mrs Allens in the ATA..."

    "Yes, it was terrible how her husband died. It was after an operation. Apparently it was quite a straightforward operation, he woke up, said 'Hello Darling' and then promptly had a heart attack and died".

    "OK", I thought, Helen Naomi Heron-Maxwell's first husband Mr Allen died in... let me see... January 1939, after they were married in... March 1938..."

    "Maybe Helen or Naomi Heron-Maxwell?", I said.

    "That name sounds familiar. Her family were very upper-crust, you know. Very well-connected. And another thing, who was it lived at Sissinghurst?" (Which I think signified the end of that part of the conversation).

    So, I searched the Times Archive. Good grief, in 1939, 

    "ALLEN. On January 23rd 1939, in Austria, following an operation, FRANCIS CECIL HOWARD, adored husband of Naomi (nee Heron-Maxwell) and son of Mrs WHR Allen of Periwinkle, Long Acre Lane, Sisley, Sussex, aged 34"

    And moreover, I discovered that Naomi moved to Los Angeles in 1948, married again, divorced and then moved into Leisure World in Laguna Hills, California, dying there in 1983.

    Which is exactly when we lived in Mission Viejo, California - a few miles from her. If only I'd known!

    (Mind you, Owen Cathcart Jones only lived a few miles in the other direction - if only I'd known, again!)

    So there you go. (Nearly) a brush, or two, with dramatis personae... 


    Air Transport Auxiliary in WWII


  • Ambler, Geoffrey Hill

     Geoffrey Hill Ambler CB CBE AFC LLD DL

    b 23 Jun 1904, a 'worsted spinner' from Yorkshire

    Inventor of the Ambler Superdraft System of Spinning, which (you'll have to trust me on this) accelerated production of worsted yarn, and a serious oarsman in his youth: Henley Royal Regatta crew member (Shrewsbury School) in 1922, and then in the 'B' crew for Cambridge (Clare College).

    Geoffrey is 4th from left, shown here during practice for the 1922 University Boat Race

    but he didn't quite make the final team in 1922 or 1923, briefly had to stand down in March 1924 as he "showed signs of developing a boil", but came back and helped Cambridge win a surprise victory in the 1924 Race. Oxford "completely went to pieces and were beaten very badly indeed".

    He was then elected Hon. Sec. of the Cambridge University Boat Club, and rowed in two more Cambridge victories: the 1925 race (when Oxford capsized), and 1926 (when Jumbo Edwards, in the Oxford boat, stopped rowing because 'he hadn't trained properly' - The Times reckoned he was a stone overweight), later becoming President of the Club. [In 1926, both Jumbo (HRA) and ECT Edwards were in the Oxford crew].

    Joined the RAFVR in 1931 (608 North Riding(Bomber) Sqn); Sqn Ldr from 1934, until Geoffrey Shaw took over on 30 October 1938. Wing Commander from January 1940.

    Married Phoebe Gaunt in June 1940; they had 3 daughters.

    Air Commodore until 1943, when he became Deputy Senior Air Staff Officer at HQ Fighter Command.

    Retired as Air Vice Marshall and rejoined Fred Ambler Ltd, eventually becoming Chairman. Joined Martin's Bank as regional director in 1951, then Grout & Co in 1959.

    d. 26 Aug 1978


  • Anderson, Elizabeth Ann Roche

     Miss Elizabeth Ann Roche Anderson

    Royal Aero Club Certificate 8735 (26 Jun 1929)



    The Sketch - 1929


    b. Dullatur Scotland, 18 Aug 1908

    A Masseuse


  • Andrews, Hugh Thornley

    F/O Hugh Thornley Andrews



    b 28 Jul 1907, Swansea, Glamorgan

    RAF 1925-1930

    He entered for the 1929 King's Cup Race, but withdrew before the start 

    Chief Test Pilot for Spartan Aircraft Co Ltd, Woolston, Southampton, 1 Feb 1930 to 8 Sep 1931

    He made two entries for the 1930 King's Cup Race, in Bluebird G-AATS and Spartan G-AAGO, and eventually flew in the latter but was unplaced.

    He then entered Spartan Arrow, G-AAWZ in the Europa Rundflug 3-week Air Race, 16 Jul-8 Aug 1930

    Test Pilot for Fairey Aviation Co, Hamble, Nov 1931 to Dec 1933

    RAF in WWII, then Sales Manager for Cunliffe-Owen Aircraft Ltd, 1946-52



    Research: thanks to Steve Brew

  • 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. "


  • Armour, John George Denholm

     Flt-Lt John George Denholm Armour

      Jack', chief test pilot for for Blackburn, later a Wing Commander. Susan Slade's cousin.

  • Armstrong, William

      William Armstrong AFC 
     w_armstrong.jpg   w armstrong 1934   in 1934

    b. Gateshead-on-Tyne 4 Feb 1897

    RFC in WWI; pilot for Airco 1919-20

    Imperial Airways pilot from 1924

    Awarded Master Pilot's Certificate in 1935 

  • Asjes, Dirk Lucas

     Dirk "Dick" Lucas Asjes



     Born 21st June 1911 in Surabaya

    Died 2nd February, 1997 in the Hague, aged 85

  • Atcherley, David Francis William

    Flt-Lt David Francis William Atcherley DFC DSO

     Twin brother of Richard, so you don't need another photo. "Licences which he holds are (according to himself) motor (endorsed), gun, dog, and 'A'."

    He and his brother became "a legend in the RAF".

    d. 8 Jun 1952


  • Atcherley, Richard Llewellyn Roger

     F/O (later Flt-Lt) (Sir) Richard Llewellyn Roger Atcherley KBE, CB, AFC

      photo: 1929, aged 25

     Batchy', twin brother of David, b. 12 Jan 1904

    1929 Schneider pilot and later Air Marshall in the RAF and Chief of Air Staff for the Pakistan Air Force. Put on a bit of weight later on, and ended up as Sales Director for Folland Aircraft.

    Died 18 Apr 1970.



  • Attwood, Ernest Henry


    Ernest Henry 'Titch' Attwood
    Ernest Attwood in 1917  Flt-Lt in the RFC in 1917 - mentioned in despatches

    Ernest Attwood in the Middle East before 1926  in Egypt after WWI


    Ernest Attwood Imperial Airways 

    on duty with Imperial Airways in Southampton

    with a tall dark and mysterious woman *

    Ernest Attwood in May 1938  in May 1938

    b. Birmingham, 6 Mar 1899; joined the RFC in 1917, saw active sevice in Egypt and then became a training instructor at No 5 RAF Flying School in Sealand, Cheshire.

    He joined Imperial Airways in November 1926.

    September 1932: "The Prince of Wales will leave London this morning in the Imperial Airways liner Heracles for Copenhagen, where he is to open the British Exhibition. Two halts will be made en route—one at Amsterdam and the other at Hamburg. The complete journey is expected to take six and a half hours. Captain E. H. Attwood, of Imperial Airways, will be the pilot, and two R.A.F. flying boats from Calshot will escort the Prince on the first stage of his journey across the Channel from Dover. "

    Chief Pilot, South African Division in 1932

    He was killed in November 1938, when piloting Empire Flying Boat G-AETW 'Calpurnia' which hit bad weather, and crashed and sank in Lake Ramadi, 15 miles short of the Imperial Airways base at Habbaniyah. Four of the crew of six were killed; there were no passengers.

    Calpurnia was carrying mail at the time. "Many mailbags burst in the crash, and hundreds of letters are floating on the surface of the shallow lake in which the flying boat lies submerged." The letters were scooped up where possible, marked "Received in Damaged Condition ex Flying Boat Calpurnia" and sent on:

    Calpurnia Mail

    Ernest's grandson (who also kindly sent me the photos) tells me that, although he never met his grandfather, "I knew his wife well, my grandmother, who was a nurse in The Great War and died in 1963. I was told that he did not consider himself to be in the 'real war' but that his brother, who was in the trenches, was the brave one!"

    * Adrian Constable, British Airways Archivist, kindly tells me that "The lady was Minnie Mann. Minnie was one of Imperial Airways senior secretaries, and a more-than-keen photographer.  That photo was almost certainly taken with her camera, and is one of the few times she appeared in front of the lens rather than behind it.  She was apparently well liked by all the pilots, and managed to get in to situations with her camera that others would have found "against the rules".  I wish we had more of her pictures than we do!"

  • Ayre, E D

    Flt-Lt E D Ayre 

    known as 'Don'

  • 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

  • Bagshaw, Jack

     Jack Bagshaw



    Accompanied Tommy Rose in the Schlesinger Race; described as 'a young South African pilot'.

    That's it, so far; sorry.

  • Bailey, Francis Joseph

      Flt Lt Francis Joseph Bailey

     Imperial Airways FJ Bailey


    One of the original 16 pilots of Imperial Airways in 1924

    b. 9 Sep 1897 in London

    Flight Sub-Lt in the RNAS in WWI, then with British Marine Air Navigation Co

    Also held 2nd class navigators licence


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