• -Company - North British Aviation Co Ltd

     North British Aviation Co Ltd

    Based in Hooton Park, Lake District, 1929-33. Covered Lancashire, Cheshire and the Lake District.

     Founded by E E Fresson and L J Rimmer; also William Mackay; became part of Cobham's Circus in 1933


    - 1920 Avro 504K G-EASF; (ex Berkshire)

    - 1919 Avro 504K G-EAKX; (ex Berkshire)

    - 1923 Avro 504K G-EBGZ;

    - 1923 Avro 504N G-EBHE;

    - 1925 Avro 504K G-EBKX; (ex Berkshire)

    - 1924 Avro 504K G-EBIS written off Apr 1935;

    -1927 Avro 504K G-EBSJ;

    -1928 Avro 504K G-EBXA;

    - 1929 Avro 504K G-AAEZ;

    -1929 D.H. 60G Gipsy Moth G-AAGA (ex Dorothy Hamilton Gault);

    -1930 D.H. 60G Gipsy Moth G-AAYL

    - 1930 Avro 504K G-ABHJ crashed Hooton 1933;

    - 1930 Avro 504K G-ABHK crashed Hooton 1933, as well;

    - 1931 Avro 504K G-ABLL crashed Lowton Morr 1934.

  • -Company - North Sea Aerial Navigation Co Ltd

     North Sea Aerial Navigation Co Ltd

    Scarborough, 1919-22


    - 1919 Avro 504K G-EAGV which crashed Yortkshire Aug 1920;

    - 1919 Avro 504K G-EAGW which crashed Scarborough Jul 1920

  • -Company - Pauline Gower and Dorothy Spicer

     Pauline Gower and Dorothy Spicer

    Miss Pauline Mary de Peauly Gower and her engineer Dorothy Spicer were involved in the British Hospitals Air Pageants in 1933 and 1934 (when it was called the 'Sky Devils Air Circus')

    April 1934: "" Piffling Poems." By Pauline Gower. Price Is. 3d, post free.
    PIFFLING is a misnomer for the collection of poems by Miss Pauline Gower, published recently. They are not perhaps in the highest poetical style, but we don't suppose that they are meant to be. Some of them are parodies of well-known poetry, in an aviation vein, but they are all very readable and amusing. Miss Gower is a "B" licensed pilot who, working together with her Ground Engineer, Miss Dorothy Spicer, has probably done more hard work joy-riding than any other woman pilot in the country, and from her varied experience has gained an insight to the mentality of pilots which has enabled her to make these "Piffling Poems" well worth getting."

    September 1938: " Women With Wings," by Pauline Gower; 10s. 6d., John Long, Ltd.
    A CONTRAST is found in this, another woman pilot's book. The reader must again be prepared to wade through a luxuriant profusion of cliches (everything happens with "a sickening thud"), but the going is made a lot easier by Miss Gower's gay insouciance.
    Everybody in aviation knows now Pauline Gower, as pilot, and Dorothy Spicer (now Mrs. Pearse), as fully licensed ground engineer, operated a Spartan on taxi, joy-riding and air display work. Here Miss Gower offers the inside story of these activities. She flew thousands of joy-riders without mishap, though, judging by some of her confessions, a very special providence must have been watching over the Avian.
    When travelling air circuses become totally extinct (and the time seems very near) the future historian will be able to learn a lot about them from Miss Gower's book. She succeeds completely in conveying the impression of the endless labour of touring—the long hours, car journeys and cross-country flights, problematical fields, accidents to aircraft and personnel, and always malevolent weather.
    A definitely entertaining book, even if 10s. 6d. does seem rather a high price for 223 pages that can be read in an evening."


    - Pauline Gower


    - Dorothy Spicer


    - 1929 Simmonds Spartan G-AAGO;

    - 1930 Spartan 3-seater G-ABKK which crashed Coventry May 1936

  • -Company - Southern Aircraft Ltd

     Southern Aircraft Ltd

    Based in Shoreham, Eastborne, Lewes, 1925-30


    - Eddie Wallace

    - Cecil Pashley

    - F G Miles


    - 1920 Avro 504K G-EATU belonging to Cecil Pashley

    - 1924 Avro 504K G-EBJE bought from F G Miles

    - 1927 Avro 504K G-EBVL;

    - 1928 Avro 504K G-EBYB;

    - 1928 Avro 504K G-AACW which crashed Gatwick Jan 1931

  • -Company - Supermarine Aviation Co

     Supermarine Aviation Co

    Based in Southampton, Bournemouth and the Isle of Wight 1919

    "An extensive programme of pleasure flying trips has been inaugurated recently... visitors at Bournmeouth enthusiastically availed themselves of enjoying the thrills of over-water flying"


    - Cmdr B D Hobbs DSO DFC


    - 1919 Supermarine Channel I

  • -Company - Surrey Flying Services

     Surrey Flying Services

    Based in Croydon, Southsea, Yarmouth and Portsmouth 1919-34

    1921: "The five-seater Avros carried nearly 500 passengers in one day last week - some flying!"

    1922: "Surrey Flying Services have been having a busy time lately. They have been erecting another Avro to add to their joy-ride fleet and, with this completed, have now started on the erection of a D.H. 9."

    June 1922: "There is now too much work for the one Avro. Mr. Yule (sic), who has been engaged for the last three years  piloting machines in Norway, has joined the Surrey Flying Services as pilot, and will be in charge of the new Avro when it is away on joy-riding excursions. During the week-end, Capt. Muir has been at Leighton Buzzard, taking up joyriders in connection with a carnival that is being held there."

    April 1931: "Mr. E. Smith, well known as a pilot of Surrey Flying Services, was killed instantaneously when he and his companion, Mr. C. M. Brown, who was the owner of the machine, crashed in the centre of some cross-roads in Wallington. The machine was an Avro Avian, G-EBZD, which originally belonged to Airways Publications, Ltd., but was sold to Mr. Brown some time ago."

    June 1930: "Surrey Flying Services have had three joy-riding machines constantly in commission over the week-end, during which period they carried over 1,000 passengers, in addition to which 20 pupils are under dual instruction on the Avian, and the D.H.9 is kept busy on Continental work."

     And here is a splendid photo of 'William Alfred Pask of Tailor, Reepham, Norfolk and daughter Rosa' about to enjoy their ride in an Avro 536, which was sent to me by his grand-daughter Enid. Probably at Yarmouth, almost certainly in the 1920s:

    William Pask and Rosa Surrey Flying Services


    - Capt A F Muir

    - A B H Youell (1922-23)

    - Mr E Smith


    Royal blue fuselages with white letters, and silver wings with blue letters.

    - 1919 Avro 504K G-EAIR which crashed Hayling Island Aug 1923;

    - 1919 Avro 536 five-seater G-EAKM which crashed Taplow Jul 1928;

    - 1919 Avro 536 five-seater G-EAKP;

    - 1921 Avro 504K G-EAWI which crashed Croydon Sep 1921;

    - 1921 Avro 504K G-EAWJ;

    - 1922 Avro 548 G-EBBC;

    - 1922 Avro 504K G-EBDP;

    - 1922 Airco D.H.9 G-EBEP, which crashed Surrey Nov 1928;

    - 1923 Avro 504K G-EBFW which crashed Yeovil Sep 1926;

    - 1923 Avro 504K G-EBHM which crashed Port Talbot Jun 1927;

    - 1923 Avro 504K G-EBII;

    - 1924 Avro 548A G-EBIV;

    - 1926 Avro 536 five-seater G-EBOF;

    - 1926 Avro 536 five-seater G-EBOY;

    - 1927 Avro 536 five-seater G-EBRB whcih crashed Barry May 1928;

    - 1927 D.H.60X Moth G-EBSO which crashed Brooklands May 1932;

    - 1927 Avro 536 G-EBTF;

    - 1927 Avro 594 Avian III G-EBVA (later sold to Geoffrey Shaw);

    - 1928 Avro 504K G-EBYW;

    - 1928 Avro 504K G-EBZB;

    - 1928 Avro 504K G-AAAF;

    - 1928 Avro 548 G-AABW;

    - 1929 Airco D.H.9 G-AADU;

    - 1929 Avro 504K G-AAGB;

    - 1930 Avro 504K G-AAYM;

    - 1930 Avro 504K G-ABAY

  • -Company - Welsh Aviation Co Ltd

     Welsh Aviation Co Ltd

    December 1920: "NEW COMPANIES REGISTERED: WELSH AVIATION CO., LTD., 31, Fisher Street, Swansea.

    Capital £5,000, in £1 shares. Acquiring business of aviation carried on at Swansea by F. G. M. Sparkes and E. A. Sullock.
    First directors : T. W. Jones, D. Dill, G. Rowe, F. G. M. Sparkes, E. A. Sullock and C. H. Mills.

     G EAWL1

    G-EAWL at Pendine Sands - via L Pritchard

    The Aeroplane Feb 22 1922: "To satisfy an execution issued by the bailiff against the Welsh Aviation Co. Ltd., four Avro aeroplanes were offered for sale at a public auction at Swansea on Wednesday. The machines went very cheaply. Three with 120-h.p. Le Rhone engines fetched £50, £40, and £30, respectively, and one with 80-h p. Renault engine was knocked down at £12 10s.  They were all purchased by the same buyer, Mr. Evan Williams, a turf accountant of Neath."


    - Capt F G M Sparks

    - Capt H S Broad

    Aeroplanes: "These aeroplanes were familiar at Swansea, Neath, Port Talbot, and Porthcawl, where they regularly ply for hire."

    - 1919 Avro 504K G-EAFH;

    - 1921 Avro 504K G-EAWK which crashed Swansea Bay Oct 1922;

    Gloucester Citizen - Saturday 07 October 1922: "Swansea Aeroplane Tragedy. WITNESS WHO REFUSED A TRIP. A verdict that death was due to asphyxiation through drowning was recorded at the inquest at Swansea on Evan Williams, commission agent, of Neath; Frederick Percy Bush, air pilot of Swansea; and Sergt-Major Biggin of the R.A.S.C.. also Swansea, the three victims of the aeroplane accident over Swansea Bay. After being up for a trip the machine was preparing to alight when it nose-dived into the bay, all three men being drowned.

    Jack Thomas, of Neath, said he was in charge of the motor-car that brought Evan Williams to Swansea. Williams asked Bush to take him and friend for a flight. Witness was asked to go up, but declined. There were no straps on the machine. Consequently no one was strapped in. On returning from the flight after half hour, said witness, the machine was too high to effect a landing at the ordinary spot, and it returned to a lower altitude. He believed that when banking the machine nose-dived into the water two hundred yards from shore.  The machine might have side-slipped. John Marshall, the Cabin Aeroplane Depot. Swansea, said that the machine had been thoroughly overhauled and was in proper order. Witness said he could only guess the pilot lost control of the machine. The Coroner said the cause would more or less always remain a mystery."

    Evan Williams RAeC photo 1916

    Evan Williams in 1916

    - 1921 Avro 504K G-EAWL;

    - 1921 Avro 504K G-EAWM

  • -Company - Western Aviation Co Ltd

     Western Aviation Co Ltd

    Based in Cheltenham, Witney 1927-31

    Gloucester Citizen, March 1927: "NEW COMPANY. Western Aviation Limited has been registered as a private company with capital of £1,000 in £1 shares to carry on the business of manufacturers of and dealers in flying machines, aeroplanes, seaplanes or other aircraft or machines, etc.

    The directors are :— Mr. E. W. Jordan, Belmore House, Bath Road, Cheltenham, engineer, and Mr. J. Sheils, Terry Lawn, Pittville, Cheltenham, secretary.

    The qualifications is and the remuneration as fixed by the company.

    The secretary is Mr. J. Sheils and the solicitor Mr. H. F. Midwinter. Crescent-place. Cheltenham. The registered office is Crescent-place, Cheltenham.

    1927: "WANTED AT ONCE. A really sound " B " licensed Pilot for joy-riding.—Full details, experience to WESTERN AVIATION, LTD., 1, Leamington Place, Cheltenham."

    Gloucester Citizen, October 1927: "FLYING! Western Aviation Ltd. are giving passenger flights from 5s. each at Castle Meads Daily until October 17th. On Sunday afternoon, in addition to the usual passenger flights, a spectacular exhibition of stunt flying will be given. Admission to Field 6d.; Children Half-price.

    Cheltenham Chronicle - Saturday 11 April 1931: "WETTEST EASTER FOR YEARS. In spite of the moist conditions and poor visibility the Western Aviation aeroplane giving flights from Kayte Farm seems to have been busy, and has often been seen flying over the town."


    Avro 504K G-EBQR;

    - Avro 504K G-EBXV

  • -Company - Wight Aviation Ltd

     Wight Aviation Ltd

    1930 - 1932

    May 1930: "THE ISLE OF WIGHT FLYING CLUB cordially invite all members of Light 'Plane Clubs, private owners, and others concerned with aviation, to attend at their Air Pageant, to be held at Shanklin Aerodrome, on Thursday, June 12, at 2 15 p.m., on the occasion of the official opening of the Club
    by Air Vice-Marshal Sir Sefton Brancker.

    Joy-riding will be carried out throughout the meeting by Wight Aviation, Ltd."

    "Capt. Ward who, together with his pilot, Mr. Woodward, runs Wight Aviation, Ltd., and is the founder of the Isle of Wight Flying Club, is to be congratulated on initiating the meeting"


    - 1930 Simmonds Spartan G-ABNU owned by Capt R Ward

  • -Company - Zenith Airways

     Zenith Airways

    Based in Rhyl 1935; Camber Sands, nr Rye, 1936


    May 1935, Flight: "ZENITH AIRWAYS LTD.: Private company, registered May 3. Capital:  £1,000 in 5/- shares. Objects: to operate all methods of aerial conveyance ; manufacturers and repairers of and dealers in all types of aircraft, etc. The subscribers  (each with four shares) are Herbert D. Ward, "Belvedere," Thames Drive. Leighon-Sea. Essex ; Geo. T. Butler. The first directors are to be appointed by the  subscribers."

    March 1951, Stuart Campbell Brander, writing in Flight: "More so, perhaps, than any other veteran type at last year's R.A.F. Display, the Avro 504 must have brought acute attacks of nostalgia to many spectators. Hundreds of Service pilots received their ab initio training on this endearing type, and there are many others who were once engaged in the joy-riding or circus business (or, as some would have it, "racket"): that fraternity of pilots who, throughout the summer months, persuaded their 504s out of incredibly small fields and, after completing the required circuit, gracefully "swish-tailed" in to a brakeless landing.

    My last engagement as a ground engineer on a rotary-engined 504 was in the early summer of 1935 at Camber Sands, near Rye. Later that year I joined Sir Alan Cobham's circus, whose fleet of 504N Avros were, of course, radial-engined.
    The 504 used at Camber Sands was something of a mongrel, as an authentic "N" airframe, owing to the scarcity of Lynx engines, had been modified to accommodate a Clerget rotary."

    "The year before, at Rhyl, we operated directly from the sands, even continuing at high tide when but a narrow strip of foreshore remained. Our "runway" was marked out with red flags which, not surprisingly, were at times insufficient deterrents to prevent children, during a lull in flying, from digging large sand-castles in the middle of the area; and the ensuing ruthless destruction of these hazards often led to tearful protests from their owners or, worse still, to irate admonishments from parents. Absent-minded bathers on their way to the sea, too, would cross over just at the moment of take-off, whilst the ever-present beach dogs were a constant source of worry.
    On Bank Holidays business was particularly brisk, and flying would be almost continuous from early morning till dusk."


    - 1935 Avro 504N G-ADGB

    and possibly one of:

    - 1935 Avro 504N G-ADGC;

    - 1935 Avro 504N G-ADGM;

    - 1935 Avro 504N G-ADGN 

  • -The Aviators

    The Aviators

  • Carr, Reginald Hugh

    Maj Reginald Hugh Carr DSM, AFC

    photo: 1913, aged 26


    b. 9 September 1886 in Walthamstow, Essex, an 'Aeroplane Engineer'.

    Won the the Michelin Cup in 1913 for the year's longest flight (315 miles), and competed in the 1914 Aerial Derby (coming 2nd); the 1914 London-Manchester Race (also 2nd), and the 1914 London-Paris Race.

    19 Squadron in WWI, then a test pilot for Grahame-White.

    d. 1968.

  • Gower, Pauline Mary de Peauly

      Pauline Mary de Peauly Gower MBE




    b. 22nd July 1910 in Tunbridge Wells; younger daughter of Sir Robert Gower, M.P for Gillingham, Kent.

    5 feet 5 in height, in case you wondered.

    The Bystander Special Aviation Edition, 1933

    "In England you can count on one hand the women who are making a living directly from flying. Probably foremost among them are the two girl flyers, Pauline Gower and Dorothy Spicer, who work in partnership at joy-riding. Miss Gower is the pilot and Miss Spicer the mechanic." - Amy Mollison, writing in 1934

    "Pauline Gower, one of the few women who has already achieved a successful commercial flying career, did joyriding last year in 185 different towns with a travelling air circus." - Mary Bertha de Bunsen

    pauline gower with spartan 1932  1932

    She was fined £222 in 1933, having taxied her Spartan into a stationary Moth at Cardiff while giving joy-rides in an air pageant (although she reckoned it had definitely moved since she checked where it was). Three years later, she was taken to hospital suffering from concussion and 'lacerations of the scalp' after she... collided with another aeroplane on the ground, this time at Coventry airport.

    During her air-taxi career, she was reckoned to have piloted more than 33,000 passengers.

    In 1937 she, Amy Johnson and Dorothy Spicer invited "all women pilots interested in the idea of a central meeting-place for women aviators in London" to write to them, but I don't think it ever happened.

    Founder and first Commandant of the Women's Section of the Air Transport Auxiliary in 1940; from 1943, a board member of BOAC. She had a narrow escape in August 1943 when 'Fortuna', an old Imperial Airways airliner, with her and 7 other BOAC officers aboard, made a forced landing near Shannon and was written off.

    See here for more: Gower, Pauline Mary de Peauly (W.25) (


    Married Wing Commander William Cusack Fahie in June 1945, but died of a heart attack in March 1947 giving birth to twin boys, one of whom, Michael, later published 'A Harvest of Memories' about her.

    She owned:

    a 1929 Simmonds Spartan, G-AAGO, (the one which she wrote off in the taxying accident in Cardiff in August 1933), and then

    a 1931 Spartan Three Seater, G-ABKK, the one which she wrote off in the taxying accident at Coventry in May 1936.


  • Hamersley, Harold Alan

      Capt Harold Alan Hamersley MC




    b 6 Feb 1896 in Guildford, W Australia.

    Studied mechanical engineering before WWI, commonwealth commission then transferred to the RFC in June 1916. Served with 60 Sqn in France, where he was awarded the MC for gallantry in leading patrols. Ended the war with 11 victories, despite his SE.5 being damaged and forced down by German ace Werner Voss in September 1917.

    Awarded a permanent RAF commission in 1926, then promoted to Wing Commander in 1938 as Chief Instructor to the London University Air Squadron.

    d. 1967

  • Henderson, George Lockhart Piercey

      Lt-Col George Lockhart Piercey Henderson

      1920, aged 32



    b. 15 Apr 1888 in Simla, India, a 'law student' in 1915

    RFC in WWI; commanded 66 Squadron in 1917.

    In 1919, he offered flights to the general public in an Avro at Hounslow Aerodrome: £1 a head. There was enormous interest; queues of 50 or more were patiently waiting and the aeroplane could hardly get up and down fast enough. Consequently, he was described as the 'best-known of the competitors' in that year's Aerial Derby.

    He and a Lieut Herrstrom then opened a flying school in Sweden - "ideal conditions for winter flying", they said.

    Later, President of the Federation of Pilots; in 1924, he and Frank Barnard were in talks with Lord Thompson about the dispute over terms and conditions for the pilots of the newly-formed Imperial Airways.

    He was still competing in 1927, coming third in the Poole Handicap for owner-pilots.

    He got some flak in 1928 when he opened a service from Cape Town and Johannesburg using Junkers tri-motor aeroplanes but, as he pointed out, it was the cheapest option.

    He was killed 21 July 1930 in Junkers F.13ge G-AAZK belonging to the Walcot Air Line, which crashed near Gravesend, Kent. His co-pilot and the four passengers also died. The inquiry concluded that the aeroplane had broken up in flight due to 'buffetting', but Junkers produced convincing evidence of pilot error, suggesting that he pulled out of an inadvertent dive too violently.

    His ashes were scattered from an aeroplane over Croydon.

    His book 'A Complete Course of Practical Flying' was published almost the same day.


  • Hinchliffe, Walter George Raymond

      Mr Walter George Raymond 'Hinch' Hinchliffe


       in 1927

    b. 10, or 11 Jun 1893, or 1894

    WWI fighter pilot (7 victories, the last of which cost him his left eye); he then became a well-known pilot for Daimler Air Express, which formed part of Imperial Airways in April 1924.

    On 18 December 1924 he flew G-EBBX, a D.H.34  single-engine airliner, from Croydon to Amsterdam but, after setting off on the return journey, the engine oil pressure started fluctuating alarmingly and he turned back; the engine was overhauled, and he tried again, with the same result. Again, the engine was overhauled and tested thoroughly and they finally got back to Croydon on Christmas Eve, although the engine was still running rather roughly.

    The next person to fly the aeroplane was David Stewart; the aeroplane took off from Croydon later the same day and crashed within a few minutes, killing him and his 7 passengers. It was the first fatal crash suffered by Imperial Airways, and it led to the first Public Enquiry into a civil aircraft accident in the UK.

    Hinch carried on as one of Imperial Airways' senior pilots; two years later, for example, he flew Geoffrey and Mrs de Havilland, plus another man and four other women, to India, to inaugurate Imperial Airways' Egypt-India Empire service. 

    September 1925: "AIR PILOT'S RECORDS. COVERED HALF A MILLION MILES. Two world's records for length of time spent in the air and distance flown were created by Mr W. R. Hinchcliffe, the Imperial Airways pilot, who, when he arrived at the London Air Station, piloting a Napier D.H. express from Amsterdam, on Saturday completed 6000 hours' flying.

    Mr Hinchcliffe has been flying continually for more than nine years, and, taking an average speed for the numerous different types of airplanes he has flown, has covered more than half a million miles by air. In flying this distance he has spent the equivalent of 250 entire days, or more than eight months, in the air."

    October 1926: "AEROPLANE BLOWN BACKWARDS CAUGHT BY STRONG WIND AND CARRIED FOR MILE. Captain W. G. R Hiinchliffe, the Imperial Airways pilot, had the unique experience of travelling backwards through the air yesterday while testing one of the big Rolls-Royce air liners at Croydon Aerodrome. Ascending to a height of 2000 feet, he encountered a head wind so strong that his machine was blown steadily backwards for a distance of over a mile."

    He came 4th in the King's Cup in July 1927.


     Then in August 1927 he was asked by wealthy American businessman Charles A Levine to try an east-west trans-Atlantic flight in the Bellanca monoplane NX237 'Miss Columbia'.

      Clarence Chamberlin had set the world long-distance record flying from New York to (near) Berlin in this aeroplane, with Levine as passenger; indeed, they had missed being the very first 'long' trans-Atlantic flight by only a few days.

    However, this idea was abandoned after Leslie Hamilton, Lt-Col Minchin and Princess Lowenstein-Wertheim disappeared in their Fokker FVIIa G-EBTQ when they tried the same thing. Instead, they decided to try to break the long-distance record by flying to India, but only got as far as Vienna when oil pressure fluctuation (again!) and bad weather forced them to land.

    There is some footage of the preparations at Cranwell for this flight, (and of the Fokker 'St Raphael' in which Hamilton, Minchin and Princess L-W lost their lives) here:

    So (Hinch having already agreed a month's leave from Imperial Airways) they then took a leisurely flight round Italy, including an audience with the Pope on 3 October; the Pope gave Mr Levine the apostolic benediction, "blessing his future enterprises". The next day, however, intending to drop a present for Signor Mussolini's new baby boy, they had to make a forced landing in a vineyard, doing serious damage to the aeroplane but luckily not themselves.

    The Bellanca was repaired but later destroyed in a hangar fire; another one, painted to look like it, was in the Virginia Aviation Museum.

    'Hinch' disappeared with Elsie Mackay in 1928 trying to cross the Atlantic from east to west.

    Elsie's parents, Lord and Lady Inchcape, generously put Elsie's £521,101 13s 4d in trust for the nation for about 50 years, after which time they hoped it "should be used to reduce the National Debt". They also gave Capt Hinchliffe's widow Emilie (sometimes known as Eileen) £10,000, his estate being a rather more modest £32.


  • Jones, Oscar Philip

      Oscar Philip Jones




    One of the original 16 pilots of Imperial Airways in 1924

    b. Beckenham, Kent 15 Oct 1898

    RFC in WWI; with Instone Air Line before 1924

    January 1935: "AIR LINER PILOT IN MOTOR SMASH. Captain O. P. Jones, the well-known Imperial Airways pilot, was yesterday involved in a motor smash at Coulsdon, Surrey. Ten minutes later he was circling low over the scene of the accident in a Paris-bound liner. It was in Burton Road, Coulsdon, that Captain Jones' car came into collision with another, both vehicles being wrecked. Apart from scratches no one was hurt."

    Awarded Master Pilot's Certificate in 1935

    17 May 1935: "PILOTS TRAGIC FLIGHT Knowing Widowed Mother Was Dead. With the knowledge that his widowed mother had met with a tragic death, Captain O. P. Jones, a well-known Imperial Airways pilot, had to complete a flight in the course of his duties before he could travel to Hove to identify her body.

    His mother, Mrs. Florence Effle Jones (80), had been found dead in the sitting-room of her flat with the gas tap turned full on. The police, who at once telephoned to Imperial Airways, got into touch with Captain Jones, who learned the news just before he had to undertake the flight.

    The police are stated to have found a note in which the dead woman said that loneliness and depression had been too much for her. Captain Jones was the first pilot in the world to cover 1,000.000 miles in the air. That means that he has spent about 10,000 hours in the air or more than a year's continuous flying. He has been apilot with imperial Airways for more than 11 years. He has often piloted royal passengers, including the Prince of Wales, and recently the Duke and Duchess of Kent."

    May 1935: "FATAL DEPRESSION. MOTHER'S LAST LETTER TO CHILDREN Mrs. Florence Jones (60), mother of Captain O. P. Jones, an Imperial Airways pilot, was found dead in a gas-filled room at her home at Cambridge Road, Hove, yesterday, and at the inquest at Hove to-day a verdict of "Suicide while of Unsound Mind" was recorded.

    In a letter to her son and daughter she wrote: "Loneliness and depression and money troubles have become too much for me. Love to all of you." Captain Jones said that his mother had had fits of depression since the death of his father in 1914. She had no need to worry over money, as she had a small income."


  • Leleu, Lionel Louis

    Lionel Louis Leleu


      b. London 29 Jun 1897

    pilot with Berkshire Aviation Tours until 1926, then Imperial Airways

    Lived at 67 Wavertree Rd, Streatham Hill, London in 1932

    Killed in the crash of the AW Argosy II G-AACI 'City of Liverpool' in Belgium on 28th March 1933.

    In April 1933, "Mrs Leleu, widow of Captain Leleu the Imperial Airways pilot, who lost his life in the disaster to the "City of Liverpool" last month, gave birth to a son yesterday at her home at Purley. Both mother and child are doing well."

    "The late Capt. Leleu at one time held a commission in the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry"


  • Miles, Frederick George

      Mr Frederick George Miles

      1930, aged 27



    Brilliant aircraft designer, and... biro manufacturer. Taught to fly by (and formed the Southern Aircraft company with) Cecil Pashley.

    The story of the Miles Aircraft Company is being put together here:



  • Muir, A F

      Capt A F Muir





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