King's Cup - 1932

  • -King's Cup - 1932

     Click here to see the Newsreel!

    Waiting to start:(click to enlarge)

    No. 9 (Philip Sayer, Blackburn B2 G-ABWI);     No 21 (Clive Mayers, Comper Swift G-ABJR);

    No 16 (Winnie Brown, Avian G-ABED);     No 12 ((Richard Westenra, Moth G-ABJL), and

    No 50 (Edgar Percival, Gull G-ABUR)

     

    Friday 8th/Saturday 9th July. Brooklands.

    Wally Hope's 'easy' third win, after 1927 and 1928.

    The Story of the race

    Pilot Aircraft   Race No Fate
    Mr J F Legard Avro 594 Avian IIIA G-ABPU 1 retired at Leicester
    Mr G H Keat Avro 616 Avian IVM G-AATL 2 34th
    F/O J W Gillan Blackburn B2 G-ABUW 3 14th
    F/O S A Thorn Spartan 3-seater G-ABTR 5 26th
    Miss Winifred E Spooner D.H.60G Moth G-AAYL 6 15th
    Mr W L Hope D.H.83 Fox Moth G-ABUT 7 winner
    Mr J G Ormston Avro 616 Sports Avian G-ABIB 8 disqualified - failed to cross line
    F/O P EG Sayer Blackburn B2 G-ABWI 9 22nd
    Mr J Grierson D.H.60G Moth G-AAJP 10 23rd
    Lt-Cdr C RV Pugh,RN Avro Sports Avian G-ABDN 11 31st
    Hon R Westenra D.H. Mcth G-ABJL 12 24th
    Mr R TM Clayton Blackburn Bluebird IV G-AACC 14 retired Shoreham - cracked crankcase
    Lord M A Douglas-Hamilton D.H. Moth G-AAHP 15 11th
    Miss Winifred S Brown Avro 616 Sports Avian G-ABED 16 21st
    Air-Comm F E Guest Hawker Tomtit G-AALL 17 retired at start - oil trouble
    F/O H RA Edwards Southern Martlet G-AAYZ 18 forced landing near Warrington - cracked fuel tank
    Mr H C Mayers Comper Swift G-ABJR 21 disqualified - failed to cross line
    Mr M A Lacayo Comper Swift G-ABUU 23 disqualified - missed turning point at Woodford
    Mr G E Lowdell Comper Swift G-ABTC 24 16th
    Sqn-Ldr J W Woodhouse Avro 631 Cadet G-ABVU 25 17th
    Sqn-Ldr W Helmore Hawker Tomtit G-ABII 26 withdrew at Brooklands (not making handicap speed)
    Mr W L Runciman D.H.80a Puss Moth G-ABLG 27 3rd
    Mr A CS Irwin D.H.80a Puss Moth G-AAVA 28 4th
    Mr C L Pashley D.H.80a Puss Moth G-ABLS 30 33rd
    Mr Geoffrey R de Havilland D.H.80a Puss Moth G-ABGT 31 8th
    Flt-Lt H M Mellor D.H.80a Puss Moth G-ABGX 32 withdrew at Brooklands (Day 2)
    Flt-Lt N Comper Comper Swift G-AAZD 33 12th
    Lt-Cdr G Rodd, RN D.H.80a Puss Moth G-AAYB 36 7th
    Lt Caspar John, RN Avro 625 Avian Monoplane G-AAYW 37 18th
    Flt-Lt A PK Hattersley D.H.80a Puss Moth G-ABDF 38 6th
    Capt H S Broad D.H.60G Moth Major 'Jason 4' * G-ABVW 39 5th
    Mr F R Walker Comper Swift G-AAZC 40 27th
    Flt-Lt W EP Johnson D.H.80a Puss Moth G-AAXM 41 29th
    Wing-Cmdr J M Robb Comper Swift G-AAZF 42 retired at Birmingham
    Flt-Lt E A Healy Avro 616 Avian IVM G-ABME 44 20th
    F/O E CT Edwards Arrow Active I G-ABIX 46 10th
    F/O H H Leech Arrow Active II G-ABVE 48 19th
    Flt-Lt J GD Armour Segrave Meteor G-AAXP 49 retired
    Capt E W Percival Percival D1 Gull Four G-ABUR 50 13th
    Mr A J Styran Comper Swift G-ABWH 51 9th
    Flt-Lt E H Fielden Comper Swift G-ABWW 52 2nd
    Capt H A Brown Avro 627 Mailplane G-ABJM 53 36th

    * which formerly belonged to Amy Johnson

    Starters: 42 (out of 52 entries) Finishers: 31


    Did not start:

    Mr W H Rhodes-Moorhouse DH.60G Gipsy Moth G-ABOA 4  
          19  
          20  
          22  
    Mr W L Hope DH.80A Puss Moth G-AAYD 29  
    Miss F J Crossley Comper CLA.7 Swift G-ABUA 34  
          35  
    Capt H H Balfour Spartan A24 Mailplane G-ABLI 43  
          45  
          47  
  • -The Aviators

    The Aviators

  • 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.

  • Broad, Hubert Stanford

     Capt Hubert Stanford Broad MBE AFC

      photo: 1930, aged 33

    b. 18 (or 20) May 1897

    shot through the neck in WWI by one of Richtofen's Red Circus pilots; [c.f. Angus Irwin]; second in Schneider 1925, to Jimmy Doolittle.

    In 1928, he spent possibly the most boring 24 hours of his life by beating 'all existing figures' for long endurance flights in light aeroplanes (unfortunately there was no official 'record' to beat as such, the FAI not recognising such things). His log makes, um, rivetting reading:

    --0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--

    5:30pm: Hendon

    7:40pm: Gloucester

    8:30pm: Coffee and sandwiches

    11pm: Over Central London, 3,000ft; watched theatre crowds leaving

    Midnight to dawn: Remained over Edgeware

    2:30am: second meal

    4:10am: First signs of dawn

    5:10am: Biggin Hill. Saw night bomber in air

    ...

    Noon: Stamford. Very sleepy

    4:30pm: Ipswich

    --0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--

    Having trimmed the controls, Hubert settled down and read 3 complete novels 'to relieve the boredom'.

    When he finally landed, he he said that he was very stiff with cramp, and promptly went home to sleep. His Moth still had 12 gallons of fuel, so it could have kept going for another 4 1/2 hours...

    He was named as co-respondent in Beryl Markham's divorce in 1939.

    de Havillands test pilot until 1935 (Bob Waight succeeded him) - broke the world's speed and height records for light aircraft in the original monoplane Tiger Moth, then joined RAE Farnborough; Hawker test pilot post-WWII; died 1975

    FLIGHT MARCH 28TH, 1946

     No. 2. CAPT. H. S. BROAD, Senior Production Test Pilot, Hawker Aircraft Co.

     FOR sheer wealth of flying experience it is doubtful whether there is another pilot in the world to equal Hubert Broad. He has flown everything from diminutive single-seaters to multi-engined--bombers, and including a number of out-and-out racing aircraft. His logbooks, of which he has filled some nine or ten, total over7,500 hours' flying time and 182 separate types. These are honest types—not modifications or different mark numbers of the same aircraft. Many of these he has also flown as seaplanes. Broad, at the age of nineteen, learnt to fly at the Hall School of Flying at Hendon in 1915. The aircraft on which he made his first flight (there was no dual, a pupil did straights across the airfield until he felt it was safe to do a circuit)was the single-seater Caudron with35 h.p. Y-type Anzani engine. Believe it or not, with this tiny horsepower the Caudron occasionally was made to stagger into the air with two people on board, but the passenger had to sit on the wing by the side of the nacelle.

     Early Days

     The end of 1915 found Broad in the R.N.A.S. at Eastchurch, and he was on the very first course at Cranwell, which was then a R.N.A.S. establishment rejoicing in the name of H.M.S. Daedalus. His first tour of duty at the front was with No. 3 Squadron at Dunkirk. He was among a number of pilots lent by the R.N.A.S. to the R.F.C. No. 3 Squadron flew Sopwith Pups, and it was while he was on one of these, escorting a bombing raid by 90 h.p. R.A.F.-engined B.E.s, that he was shot through the neck by one of Richtofen's later Goering's—Red Circus pilots.

     On recovery he spent a while as an instructor at Chingford and then went for his second tour of operations with No. 46 Squadron, who flew Sopwith Camels. The end of the 1914-18 war found Broad instructing at the Fighter Pilots' Flying School at Fairlop.

     Peace found him, as it found so many other young fellows ,with the ability to fly aircraft superbly and no other means of making a living. But a good living could be made by joy-riding in the early 1920's. First he joined the Avro Company, who were running joy-riding in a fairly big way, and in 1920 went to the Adiron Lakes in America with two Avro 504 seaplanes. These two aircraft saw their last days in Long Island, where they were completely wrecked by an autumn gale.

     By the next year he was back in England competing in the Aerial Derby air race round London on a Sopwith Camel. He finished 6th.In October, 1921, Broad joined de Havillands. Those who know this great concern now will smile to learn that when it started in those days it consisted entirely of two fabric hangars and a hut at Stag Lane. If memory serves, the capital of the company at that time was £100.

     The D.H. series numbers, which started in the Aircraft Manufacturing Co. Ltd., were carried on in this new firm, and Broad flew every one of the D.H. designs from the D.H.27 to the D.H.90. In the same period he did a lot of test flyingfor other aircraft constructors.

     He did the W.10, Handcross, Hendon, and some others for Handley Pages, the Parnall Pipit and the Saunders A. 10 fighter. On the Gloster Grebe he ran into wing flutter for the first time (this trouble, in those days, was on a par with the compressibility troubles we have now).

     Seaplane testing

     Another big job he did was most of the development work on the Gloster II and III racing seaplanes. Over a period I used to go with him to Felixstowe regularly. As a Press man I was forbidden the precincts of the R.A.F. seaplane station, but there was a perfectly good Great Eastern Railway pier alongside the station. I used to climb over the fence and watch the proceedings from the pier head. Broad nearly lost his life there one day in October,1924. As he was landing the Gloster II a forward strut to the floats collapsed, and the aircraft turned completely over. Mrs. Broad was watching from the shore, and it seemed a very long time before Hubert appeared on the surface.

     In 1925 Hubert Broad flew the Gloster III racing seaplane in the Schneider Trophy contest which was held that year over Chesapeake Bay in America. This was the race in which Henri Biard, flying the SupermarineS.4—the true forerunner of the Spitfire—crashed in the water with wing flutter. Broad finished this race second to Jimmy (now General) Doolittle. That must have been a vintage generation, because many names from that period have found their way into the high-spots of this last war.

    With the advent of the D.H. Moth in all its variants, Broad was to be seen performing aerobatics at most flying club meetings and entering many of the races. These included the King's Cup Race, which he won in 1926. He was flying a delightful Cirrus I Moth, which was a study in ivory and red. His average speed over the whole732 miles was 90.4 m.p.h. His piece de resistance in aerobatics was a perfectly formed big loop, the base of which was only some 150ft from the ground. It was a joy to behold, but very dangerous to perform. Broad had sufficient sense to realise this and sufficient courage to stop doing it.

     "Hooked"

     It was during an aerobatic show that Hubert had his closest shave in a life packed with incident. And it was so simple. Flying a D.H. Tiger Moth with no one in the front seat, he did a slow roll—a stunt at which he was a master. The safety belt in the empty cockpit was loosely done up. While the Moth was inverted the belt hung down and, as the aircraft turned the right way up again, the belt came back over the joy-stick. The result was that Broad had only about 1 1/2 inches of stick movement; but, nothing daunted, he made a sort of tail-up, seaplane landing. In this connection it is to be remembered that there were no lovely 2,000-yard runways on which to this sort of thing. In those days there was not a single runway available in Britain; not even for the take-off of over-loaded aircraft for long-distance records!

     Another unhappy moment occurred when he found the tail trim (the incidence of the whole tailplane was adjustable)of a D.H.34 had been connected in reverse. By a good deal of jockeying he managed to get into Northolt. On yet another occasion a careless mechanic left a screwdriver jammed in the chain and sprocket of the rudder actuating gear. This necessitated a down-wind, crosswind, finishing up into-wind landing at Hendon airfield, because that was a bit bigger than Stag Lane.

     One of the prettiest little aircraft he ever flew was the original D.H. Tiger Moth monoplane. This was tailored exactly to fit Broad. Physically he is not of big stature and few other pilots could get into the machine. In the front of the cockpit was a bulkhead which had two holes just large, enough for the feet to be threaded through, and these holes had to be padded with sorbo rubber so that Broad's shins did not get barked while landing and taxying. Springing was almost non-existent. Span was22ft 6in and length only 18ft 7m.

     In August, 1927, on this machine he broke the world's record for light aircraft for both speed and height. For the former the figure was 186.47 m.p.h., he having taken19 min 59 sec to cover the 10 km, and for altitude he reached 20,000ft in just 17 min. A year later he took two more world's records on the D.H. Hound.

     In 1935, after 20 wonderful years of service, he left de Havillands and later did some flying for the Air Registration Board. From here he went to the Royal Aircraft Establishment and finally joined Hawkers to be in charge of all their production testing at Langley. He will be 50 in a matter of a few weeks, yet every day sees him at oxygen height testing Tempest IIs. As he says, he has gone from 35 h.p. in the Anzani to over 3,000 h.p. in the Centaurus and Sabre VI, and from 2 ½ lb/sq ft in the Caudron to 40 lb/sq ft in the Tempest II.

     

  • Brown, Harry Albert

     

     Capt Harry Albert 'Sam' Brown

     

    The 'amiable' ex-instructor for the Lancashire Aero Club; joined Avro after WWI and became their chief test pilot from 1928.

    From 1921-26 he was Avro's man in the Spanish Naval Air Service.

    Badly injured in 1929 when the first Avocet crashed at Woodford.

     
  • Brown, Winifred Sawley

     

     Miss Winifred Sawley Brown

    Royal Aero Club Certificate No. 8091 (6 Apr 1927)

     

       photo: 1927, aged 28  

     b. 26 November 1899 in Brooklands, Cheshire; her father was director of a firm of butchers.

     

    She said she learnt to roll her own cigarettes at the age of five; expelled from school at age fourteen (for writing 'the headmistress can go to hell' on the toilet wall), she made her first flight in 1919 from Blackpool sands.

      "A Well-known English Pilot" - The Sketch, 1929

    First woman to win the King’s Cup (in 1930); well known in Lancashire as a hockey player who kept goal for the county and toured Australia with an English team; also a pretty good golfer, sailor and tennis player.

    To see her being thoroughly embarrassed by her reception back at the Lancs Aero Club after winning the King's Cup, and to hear her say “Thank you for this welcome, it’s awfully good of you and I’m awfully happy to be back again in Lancashire, at the aerodrome where Captain Brown taught me to fly…. I’m delighted to have won the race and, well, thank you all very very much, I can’t say any more”, see here

    Her son, Tony, b. 11 December 1940 in Angelsey, is "loved and remembered by millions as slippery Adam Chance in Crossroads".

    She owned:

    the 1928 Avro 594 Avian III, G-EBVZ - which her father bought for £500 - in which she won the King's Cup in 1930, then

    a 1930 Avro 616 Sports Avian, G-ABED.

    'Win' died in July 1984 in Hove, Sussex.

    And you can now get a proper biography, entitled "WINIFRED BROWN: Britain's Adventure Girl No. 1", written by King's Lynn's most famous living author, Geoff Meggitt.

    See www.pitchpole.co.uk for details!

    b 26 November 1899 in Brooklands, Cheshire; her father was director of a firm of butchers.

    Learnt to fly in 1926, but in 1928 was the pilot in a horrific accident when she was duped into a publicity stunt by Walter Browning, the 'Dancing Airman', who told her a film had to be delivered urgently, and persuaded to land her Avian in a field. She was surprised to see a crowd of people, realised she wasn't going to stop in time and tried to take off again, but hit the crowd standing near a wall; a 10-year old boy was killed, several persons injured, and "many women fainted". It turned out that the 'urgent film' never existed, just an empty box. She was exonerated of any blame.

    First woman to win the King’s Cup, in 1930. She became an instant star across the world, especially in her home city of Salford. Invited to the 1930 Historical Pageant at Buile Hill Park shortly after the race, crowds chanted for a speech to be made. Winifred said “This is really wonderful of you all, I am very glad to belong to Salford” which prompted one audience member to start a sing along of ‘for she’s a jolly good flyer’. The Mayor of Salford congratulated Winifred on behalf of the people, and joked “No man begrudges you your honour and you have put us all back in our place”.

    Before the Race, she was "well known in Lancashire as a hockey player who keeps goal for the county and has toured Australia with an English team".

    One of the guests of honour at the Ladies Night dinner of the Press Club in December 1930; the chairman reckoned that "Women had forced their way into the columns of the Press, and now they seemed to be on the way to monopolizing them".

    She was still an active ice hockey player in 1933, flying herself from Manchester to London to take part in the Sheridan Cup, where she kept goal for the "Queen's Ladies". She was also a pretty good golfer; she and her partner Mrs Brooks got to the last 8 of the Ladies' Northern Foursomes at Leeds in 1938.

    Later sailed from North Wales to Spitsbergen in her 45-foot yawl Perula. During WWII, Chief Coxswain in the Marine Department of Saunders Roe.

    In 1940 she gave birth to a son, Anthony, after it was revealed she had "secretly married her long time adventure companion Ron Adams" (although I'm not sure what was so secret about it).


    She attended the 1950 King's Cup Race, but was "horrified  ... I thought sadly of Bert Hinkler, Cobham, Barnard, Hubert Broad and Wally Hope."

    'Win' died in July 1984 in Hove, Sussex.

    Winifred Brown was born [26 November] 1899 in Brooklands, Cheshire. She moved to Salford at an early age and went on to attend ‘Bella Vista’, Broughton High School for Girls. Winifred’s father, Mr Sawley Brown, was director of Messrs. James S. Brown & Sons, a firm of butchers.

    Winifred was a natural sportswoman, and achieved great success in flying when she became the first woman to join the Lancashire Aero Club in 1926 and the first woman in the region to qualify for a pilot’s licence in April 1927. By March 1928 Winifred was recruited to the rank of a private owner member, and that same year she won the club’s Rodman Trophy.

    By the 1930 King’s Cup Air Race, a 750mile race around England, Winifred Brown was an experienced pilot, although she had never flown such a long distance. In the pre-race articles that appeared in Flight magazine, on June 13 1930,Winifred’s entry was not taken seriously, mentioned with six other pilots of the ‘fairer sex’ only briefly. Winifred flew an Avro Avian with a Cirrus III engine with her co-pilot, and later husband, John Ron Adams. The Air Race was full of excitement, after starting the race at Hanworth, London. By the time she reached Barton Aerodrome, Winifred was in third position and the large crowds roared with excitement. The final finish was at Newcastle, by which time she’d run away with the lead. There was a dramatic finish when Winifred spotted a large aircraft behind them. Believing it to be a competitor and determined not to be beaten to the finish line, the Avian was pushed to speeds of 160 miles per hour! Afterwards a mechanic told the Salford Reporter that this speed ‘was courting disaster’. By pushing her Avian to the limits Winifred beat her male contemporaries, including Flight Lieutenant Waghorn, winner of the prestigious Schneider Cup.

    As the first woman to win the King’s Cup, Winifred became an instant star across the world, especially in her home city of Salford. Invited to the 1930 Historical Pageant at Buile Hill Park shortly after the race, crowds chanted for a speech to be made. Winifred said “This is really wonderful of you all, I am very glad to belong to Salford” which prompted one audience member to start a sing along of ‘for she’s a jolly good flyer’. The Mayor of Salford, Samuel Finburgh, congratulated Winifred on behalf of the people, and joked “No man begrudges you your honour and you have put us all back in our place”(Salford Reporter 11 July 1930).

    Winifred’s later adventures in the 1930s went beyond Britain, this time sailing rather than flying from North Wales to Spitsbergen in her 45-foot yawl Perula. During the Second World War, Winifred worked as Chief Coxswain in the Marine Department of Saunders Roe, the flying boat constructors in Beaumaris. Winifred worked with a fleet of R.A.F. craft with all-male crews, she met Catalinas from Bermuda, landed and embarked crews and towed aircraft.

    In 1940 she gave birth to a son, Anthony Sawley Adams, after it was revealed she had secretly married her long time adventure companion Ron Adams.

    With thanks to John B. Coxon and Tony Adams

    http://www.salford.gov.uk/d/LTL26v3final.pdf

    In 1950, Winnie wrote this lovely article for 'Flight':

    POST-WAR AIR RACING - is Something Missing?

    A Pre-war Winner Asks Some Pertinent Questions

    By WINIFRED BROWN

    As something "rather different" in post-war air races, the Daily Express  "International South Coast Race" on September 16th seems likely to be watched with interest, especially by "the forgotten pioneers of long ago" - in which category a South African magazine recently included me!

    For some time we have been asking ourselves " What has gone wrong - air racing or we old pilots?" Has the sport really lost its thrill and popularity, or have we merely become the club bores who stand at a bar counter and say, between beers, "Things aren't what they were"?

    I have been thinking about these questions for several weeks - ever since, in fact, I set off, in excited anticipation and an Austin Seven - to see this year's King's Cup Race. The Wolverhampton Aero Club had very kindly invited me - "Just to show them you are still in the land of the living, Win?" chuckled John Bill over the telephone, for the previous year the B.B.C. had coupled my name with the type of wings that go with a harp! It was 20 years since I had won the King's Cup and 19 years since I have even seen an air race. I had a shock coming to me!

    When asked if I were flying, I laughed and replied ungrammatically, "What, me! I'm used to 105 m.p.h.,not 501." And as my little car proceeded at a sedate 40m.p.h. my mind went back 20 years. Who would be there? Tommy Rose, Jimmy Jeffs, Robin Cazalet, "Lamps"? What fun it would be to see them all again!

    On arrival at the Star and Garter I rushed to look at the hotel register... I didn't recognize a single name! They must still be in the bar... we had always lingered... they would come later; so, casting respectability to the wind, I ignored my married name and wrote " Win Brown and son."

    That night there was a R.A.F.A. dance - to meet the "famous pilots"! The dancing was popular enough, but we were not; when we went on the stage the room practically emptied - the dancers had probably done far more flying than we had!

    Still there was a nice bar upstairs, and I talked with interest to the 1950 pilots. "Do you have flying pageants these days?" I asked a young man. For a moment he looked puzzled, then replied "Yes, but we call them 'air rallies'". When I flew in 1930 we had a 750-mile course. Do you like these short circuits? " "Oh yes! It's a better test of flying—none of this navigation stuff enters into it. '

    I thought sadly of Bert Hinkler, Cobham, Barnard, Hubert Broad and Wally Hope. That night I went to bed at 11.30 - if there was a party I didn't find it!

    Next day I got to the airfield early. I looked and blinked. Was I back in 1930? Where were these modern super aircraft? I felt I could have got into almost any one of the competing machines, and flown as I used to do; but my son, aged nine, was thrilled as I took him round. It was then the Press descended on us - "That's right,sonny - smile up at your grannie!'' My expression was such that the pictures did not appear, but fortunately the bar tent opened and Jack Cantrill, who had given me my first flying lesson in 1925, assisted me to recover.

    Then a few old faces appeared, but we all sadly agreed that "things ain't wot they was." As for the race itself - well, it sounded fine on the radio but, with no rudeness intended, I would not describe Hawk Trainers and Austers "screaming" round anything. Princess Margaret's Hurricane gave us a thrill and it was beautifully handled by Townsend, but the two Spits that I hadrelied on to impress my son promptly took off and got lost - so perhaps there is something in this ''navigation stuff" after all! One we never saw again, but the other obligingly returned, much to the delight of my small son, and the spectators - but probably less so to the owner of the aircraft whose tail it knocked clean off.

    But what horrifies me about this race - and, for that matter, present-day air racing in general - is that the slide-rule experts, secreted with Charles Gardiner in glass towers, seem reasonably able to forecast the result after one lap! In the King's Cup they were about 60 yards out, and in the two Newcastle races a few weeks later it seems from Flight's report that the ultimate winners appeared unbeatable almost from the outset.

    Where is the sport, the fight, the fun of the thing? It seems to me that if you haven't beaten the handicappers before you start you might just as well stay in the bar. On a long circuit a race was never lost until it was won. Engines could pack up in sight of home; flimsy racing wheels could buckle on a careless landing; you might run into cloud or fog and fail to find that white cross in the field; but no matter what happened there was always home - the others might be faring worse. To beat the handicappers was a decided help, but only the beginning of a long story.

    After this year's King's Cup I scanned the newspapers, but gone were the old headlines. The little publicity there was went to the tragic accident rather than to Edward Day. I wondered vaguely if a victory for Princess Margaret would have received more publicity, but I doubt it - my papers were full of the footballers who received a free trip to South America, £25 each and the offer of some £175 a month, and returned highly incensed because a hair-cut cost 7s and the people carried rifles!

    So good for British prestige, and obviously so much more important than a few men and women who risk their neck for British aviation, a possible prize of £150 and a replica of the Cup. I did risk my neck for about £1,000 in 1930, and in those days the cup was won outright.

    What has caused this lack of interest on the part of the Press and public? Has flying become too common? But, for that matter, what could be more common than football and race-horses, sports which still hold the crowds? Perhaps it is the effect of the war - petrol only just off the ration, money short, private owners and aero clubs unable to afford the high-powered aircraft we now scarcely glance at as they do, literally, scream through the sky.

    Presumably with the industry in a transition stage pending large-scale production of military jet aircraft, and because of present-day-economic conditions, the trade cannot give the support it did to racing. For this reason one must admire the present-day private owner. Gone are the days of dual at £1 an hour, free petrol, a loaned engine, and perhaps even a free aircraft. To-day one can hardly afford to patronize the bar tent!

    My small son was all for presenting the King's Cup to Cole and his Comper Swift. ''That little one has done best, Win - t has gone all that way against the big ones." Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings.... Would the old Circuit of Britain again arouse public interest? Personally, I think it would. Some 15,000 people were present at Wolverhampton this year, but in 1930 similar, if not larger, crowds assembled at each of the controls at London, Bristol, Manchester, Newcastle and Hull, not to mention the turning-points at Southampton, Birmingham,Liverpool, Leeds and Leicester. The King's Cup race belonged to the country as a whole and not just to one area.

    But there is another point, and an important one. The rot started to set in way back in 1931, when new King's Cup regulations caused the entries to drop from 101 to 41. Restrictions! They are ruining our country to-day. It seems to be that the South Coast Race is, in some degree, a return to old conditions, and that if it is successful it may influence next year's King's Cup. I hope so, for personally I would like to see a grand and glorious free for all - Maggies to Meteors on the old circuit of Britain.

    ''What else would you do, Win?" asked one of the old timers as we stood discussing the matter in the bar. "I'd have bookies under nice, coloured umbrellas - but I'd keep them away from the slide-rule experts!" And I suppose you'd have better prizes and bigger bar tents? "Sure!" I laughed. "Well," said an old pilot, slowly, "something has got to be done; the King's Cup to-day is no different to the little races we used to take part in every Saturday at the old pageants." "Rallies, dear, rallies," I corrected.

    So we all had another beer, and my small son, waiting outside, began to take a dim view of aviation.

     

     

  • Clayton, Roscoe TM

     Mr Roscoe TM Clayton

     in 1931, when a Captain in the RE, at RAE Farnborough, aged 31

    Not sure about this - he's the only R Clayton I could find

     

  • Comper, Nicholas

    Flt-Lt Nicholas Comper

     in 1916, aged 19

     

    lecturer at the Cranwell Engineering Laboratory, ex Cambridge University.

    Designer of the Comper Swift; died in 1939 after a practical joke went wrong

  • de Havilland, Geoffrey Raul

     Mr Geoffrey Raul de Havilland

      1936

    Geoffrey Junior, aka 'Young D.H.' born in 1910 and learnt to fly at Stag Lane at a tender age. Took over as chief test pilot at de Havillands when Bob Waight was killed.

    Second Brit to fly a jet-propelled aircraft on its first flight, the Vampire in 1943. Killed when the second DH108 Swallow broke up and crashed in the Thames estuary in 1946.

    Flight 18th April 1946

    As a test pilot young D.H., as he is universally called,has not an exceptionally long history. He took over the chief test pilot's position in October, 1937, when R. J. Waight unfortunately lost his life on the T.K.4. Being, however, the son of his illustrious father, Sir Geoffrey de Havilland, who designed, built and test flew his own aircraft from 1911 onwards, young Geoffrey can be said to have been ''in the industry'' from the very cradle. It is not generally known that Sir Geoffrey took his R.Ae.C. ticket No. 53 in February, 1911, on the second machine of his own design and construction, and that he has made many of the first flights on new D.H. types right up to the Moth Minor in 1938.

    Geoffrey's first flight is lost in the dim past, but certain it is that at the tender age of six he was flying with father at Hendon in a D.H. 6 (also known as the Clutching Hand). When 18 years of age he left school and came to de Havillands as a premium apprentice for 4 years and learnt to fly on Moths at the firm's reserve training school. After spending two years in the drawing office—much of the time being spent looking out of the windows envying the pilots—he joined the Air Operating Company, who were doing a lot of air survey work in South Africa. This, however, gave him but very little flying, and at the end of six months, he came back to England to become a flying instructor to the D.H. Technical School. The aircraft were wooden Moths built by the students. In 1929 he took his B licence; a very simple business in those days. Some 20 or 30 hours' solo flying, a little cross-country work, a simple "Met" exam, and about one hour's night flying at Croydon was sufficient to qualify.

    In 1934 Capt. Hubert Broad was chief test pilot of de Havillands, and Bob Waight looked after the production side. There was so much work, however, that Geoffrey was given the opportunity to lend a hand testing Tiger Moths, Dragons, Rapides, Express Air Liners, and Hornet Moths.

    Broad left the company in 1935 and Waight took over, starting, with the Dragonfly and later the Albatross. It was during the period when the prototype Albatross was going through its development flying that Waight lost his life, and de Havilland took over as chief test pilot. Nobody could have taken on a more interesting or more complex job because the Albatross was completely experimental from tip to tail. Engines were new, construction was new, and the layout was extremely advanced.

    He had a curious experience on the Albatross. While its strength was ample for all flying loads, some unfortunate drilling had weakened the fuselage under ground loads, and shortly after landing from a test flight the machine broke in halves on the ground.

    When war broke out lie was busy testing Oxfords and Flamingoes, but when things became desperate at the time of the Battle of Britain, de Havillands did a big job doing emergency repairs to shot-up Hurricanes.

    Dick Reynell of Hawkers came over and gave Geoffrey the "know how" on Hurricanes. A little later Dick went out on operations with his old squadron (No. 43) and was, unfortunately, shot down.' He was an excellent test pilot and a gallant gentleman.

    Improvised Runway

    Geoffrey flew the first Mosquito at Hatfield on November 21st, 1940, but he is more proud of the first flight of the prototype Mosquito fighter. This was built at a dispersal factory with no airfield. To save some six week's wasted time in transport and re-erection at Hatfield, Geoffrey used local fields by having bridges built over ditches to give him a 450yd run for take-off, and then flew the fighter to Hatfield.

    He is, of course, one of the only two men in Britain to have made first flights on jet-propelled aircraft. The Vampire was flown for the first time on September 21st, 1943, but Geoffrey had already flown the Gloster E.28 at Farnborough. The first airing of the Vampire proved it to be a tribute to the D.H. design and aerodynamics staff, as it behaved almost exactly as they had forecast. There was, however, somewhat of an aileron overbalance which limited the speed to 250 m.p.h. and a rather severe tip stall.

    Geoffrey de Havilland had made a number of investigation flights on Mosquitoes for compressibility effects, but on the Vampire he has done extensive work. The Vampire, under the effects of compressibility, executes a series of sudden high-speed stalls: the path of the machine is similar to an artist's conception of a streak of lightning, and unless the pilot is strapped-in tightly he is likely to be knocked out by hitting the cockpit roof.

    Geoffrey, with another pilot, has flown the Vampire in tight formation at over 500 m.p.h., and to investigate snaking, which is causing considerable trouble on most jet aircraft, he has flown the Vampire with rudder locked.

    Like most of the test pilots, he is living on borrowed time, they having at some stage of their careers had close shaves. Strangely enough, Geoffrey's nearest go was on about the mildest type he ever flew. It was the first production Moth Minor. The prototype had completed its spinning tests, and the same tests on the production model appeared to be only a matter of form. He was flying with John Cunningham (now Group Capt., D.S.O.,D.F.C., and test pilot for the D.H. engine division) at the time. The Minor was put into a spin at 5-6,oooft, but after it had failed to come out in five turns and the engine had stopped, a panic decision was made to abandon ship.

    Test-flying a Hurricane, too, almost saw him off. This particular aircraft had had a gruelling time in the Battle of Britain, and the whole canopy came off at 4,000ft.hitting him in the face as it blew backwards. At first blind through the amount of blood in his eyes, he flew more by instinct than anything else until he found he could get a little relief by holding his face close to the instrument board. The blood dispersed a little and he was able to land through what appeared to be a thick yellow haze. He wears the scars across his nose to this day, and there was a terrible moment during that flight when he thought he was really blind.

    On another occasion the oxygen bottle contained only compressed air, and the effects from this were at first blamed on the previous night's party.

    At the other end of the scale was the test of the T.K.5, a tail-first aircraft built by the technical school. Impecunious at the time, Geoffrey had already mortgaged the bonus for the first flight. Imagine his consternation then when, after roaring the whole length of Hatfield airfield, the machine showed no sign of lifting. The forward elevator was ineffective. The T.K.5 never did fly and was finally abandoned.

    In the days of peace before the war Geoffrey de Havilland was to be seen at all the air meetings and twice finished 4th in the King's Cup Race flying the TK1 and TK2.

     

  • Edwards, Edward Cecil Theodore

     F/O (later Flt-Lt, Sqn Ldr) Edward Cecil Theodore Edwards

     

      1931, aged 26

     
     

    Cecil, brother of Hugh. From Kensington, London. Sometimes known as "Sphinx".

    M.A.(Oxon); rowing blue in 1925 and 1926 (when he was the "best man in the crew, as always"); the first member of the Oxford Air Squadron to qualify as a pilot.

    Flew, with Winifred Spooner, a Desoutter in an attempt to reach Cape Town in 1930, but they had to ditch in the sea off Italy, and swim about a mile to shore.

    Winner of the King's Cup in 1931; here is his "Competitor's Armband" from the race:

    cecil edwards kings cup armband 1931 

    Apparently, after the race, "a triumphant Cecil 'Sphinx' Edwards was invited to Sir Robert MacAlpine's house to celebrate the win (Sir Robert had lent Sphinx his Bluebird aeroplane). On leaving the party, Sir Robert grabbed the trophy, said "Well done Edwards" and that is the last that Sphinx or the family would ever see of the trophy. It is now awarded at Henley as The Prince of Wales Challenge Cup after mysteriously being donated to Henley by an antique shop owner."

    with many thanks to Gavin Jamieson, who found the armband among his family's archives

     

    Killed in WWII: 31st August 1940, when a Wing Commander (pilot) 53 Sqn RAF; buried in Rotterdam, Holland.

     

  • Edwards, Hugh Robert Arthur

     P/O (later F/O, Flt-Lt) Hugh Robert Arthur Edwards

     

      1929, aged 23

     
     

    'Jumbo', the famous Oxford rowing coach, younger brother of Cecil

     

    His grand-daughter's husband Gavin has written Jumbo's story, in four parts, starting here:

    https://heartheboatsing.com/2020/02/17/jumbo-edwards-oarsman-coach-and-raf-pilot-part-i/

     

  • Fielden, Edward Hedley

     Flt-Lt (Sir) Edward Hedley Fielden KCVO CB DFC AFC

     

     
     

    'Mouse', b. 1903. Prince of Wales' (i.e. Edward VII's) pilot, later Captain of the King's (and Queen's) Flights until 1962.

    DFC, 1943: "This officer has flown on various operational missions, some of a most hazardous nature. He has displayed a high standard of operational efficiency, setting an example which has contributed materially to the high morale of the air crews under his command. His great organising ability has proved a valuable asset.”

    Edward Fielden (RAF officer) - Wikipedia

    d. 1976

     

  • Gillan, John Woodburn

     F/O John Woodburn Gillan DFC and bar, AFC 

     mini_-_j_w_gillan.jpg

     

    b c1907. From Edinburgh.

    Established a world's land plane record in an RAF Hawker Hurricane on February 10, 1938; flying "blind", he covered the 327 miles from Edinburgh to London in 48 minutes, an average speed of 408.75mph. This feat earned him the nickname of 'Downwind Gillan'.

    AFC in January 1939 as Sqn Ldr.

    Killed in WWII: 29th August 1941, when a Wing Commander (pilot) RAF; buried Dunkirk.

  • Grierson, John

      Mr John Grierson

     

     

    Having joined the RAF but then regretted it, John tried to resign in 1931. However, his resignation being refused, he smuggled himself from where he was stationed in India into his D.H.60G Moth 'Rouge et Noir' (which he had bought from Glen Kidston, and which was painted red one side and - you guessed it - black the other), and flew home, making long hops to avoid R.A.F. aerodromes. "The business was settled in the end without a courtmartial, though not without a period of open arrest".

    Next came a solo flight of 9,000 miles round Russia, and then an abortive attempt on the Arctic air route in Rouge et Noir equipped as a seaplane; a nose-over into a choppy sea at Reykjavik put paid to the attempt.

    Rebuilt, and fitted with wheels and ski equipment, the little Moth finally carried Mr. Grierson round Eastern Europe in mid-winter.

    Then, in 1934, he made a successful westbound Atlantic flight via Iceland in his de Havilland Fox Moth 'Robert Bruce'.

    Transferred to Hawker and then Gloster as a test pilot; he was one of four pilots to fly Britain's first jet aircraft, the Gloster/ Whittle E.28/39.

    Wing commander after WWII, then a Member of the Council of the Royal Geographical Society.

    d. 21 May 1977 in Washington DC, aged 68. He was addressing a symposium at the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum to mark the 50th anniversary of Lindbergh's transatlantic flight when he was taken ill; he died a few hours later in hospital.

     

  • Guest, Frederick Edward

      Capt (later Sqn-Ldr, Air-Comm) the Hon Frederick Edward Guest CBE DSO MP

     mini_-_hon_f_e_guest.jpg 1929, aged 54

     

     freddie_guest.jpg

     

    b. 14 June 1875 in London.

    'Freddie', Winston Churchill's cousin; Diana's (q.v.) father; Liberal then Conservative politician (Secretary of State for Air in 1920-22, despite the fact that, at the time, he knew "very little about aviation, but it is to his credit that he does not pretend to know").

    Died 28 April 1937.

     

  • Hattersley, Arthur Patrick Kilvington

      Flt-Lt Arthur Patrick Kilvington Hattersley

        Daily News (London) - Friday 20 November 1936

     

    RAF from Feb 1918

    "RECORD FLIGHT FROM FRANCE A record flight from Lille (France) London was made last night by British Continental Airways when an air liner their regular dally service completed the 160 miles' Journey In one hour. The machine was piloted by Chief Pilot Captain A. P. K. Hattersley and carried passengers and luggage. Captain Hattersley reported visibility to quite exceptional, and said that the evening light the coast England could be clearly seen before leaving the French side." Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Wednesday 20 May 1936


    d. 19 Nov 1936 in British Airways (ex-KLM) Fokker F12 G-AEOT, which crashed near Gatwick Airport - "The pilot, Flt Lt A.P.K. Hattersley, was very experienced and had about 5,000 hours logged - he had, however, only done 2 hours in a Fokker F12 prior to the accident."

    "Captain Arthur Patrick Kilvington Hattersley was 36 years old and had been flying since the age of 17. He was a flight lieutenant in the R.A.F. during the war. In 1923 he joined the South African Air Force and returned to England in 1926, becoming an R.A.F. instructor. Hattersley became one of the chief pilots of British Continental Airways, which later merged into British Airways. "

     

  • Healy, Lewin Edward Alton

      Flt-Lt Lewin Edward Alton Healy

     

     

     RAF Cranwell, 1922. Twice mentioned in dispatches.

     

     

  • Helmore, William

      Sqn-Ldr (Air Commodore) William Helmore

     

     

     RAeC Certificate 9698 (1931)

    William Helmore - Wikipedia

     

  • Hope, Walter Laurence

      Capt Walter Laurence 'Wally' Hope

      1917, when a 2nd Lieut in the RFC, aged 20

      1928, aged 31

     

    Technical director of Air Freight.

    b. 9 Nov 1897 in Walton, Liverpool

    Aged 18, and described as a "trick-cyclist", he was summoned in 1915 for committing a breach of the Realms Act by taking a photograph of one of his Majesty's ships at Barrow; he pleaded not guilty, admitted that he was carrying a camera, and was fined £5.

    A close friend of Bert Hinkler, he made an extensive search over the Alps at his own expense when Bert went missing on his fatal flight in 1934, but then sued the Daily Mirror when they published their hair-raising account of his exploits, "Captain Hope's Ordeal in the Alps". He said there was "not one word of truth in it."

     m. 1920 Marjory [Stone]

    Three-time winner of the King's Cup Race (1927, 1928 and 1932)

    In the 1926 King's Cup race, "he had to descend at Oxford while racing for home in the last lap with a small “airlock" in his petrol pipe, which effectually put his tiny Moth machine out of the running. He landed in a small field - so small that he found it impossible take off again when his minor trouble had been rectified without pushing his  plane through three fields to a broader stretch of country, where he could rise. By this time it was so late that he decided that would abandon the race and go on at his leisure to Hendon.

    Interviewed at his home in Hendon yesterday, Mr. Hope said: “The only thing that I am really disappointed about is that I feel sure that if this trifling mishap had not occurred I should most certainly have won. For three laps I was racing neck and neck with Captain Broad, with an aggregate speed equal to his - between 90 and 91 m.p.h." Daily Herald

    At the end of the 1928 race, "Thinking all was over he proceeded to loop and stunt before landing, and having landed switched on his well known winning smile. Suddenly there was a terrific hooting, and Sir Francis McClean in his white Rolls-Royce came tearing across to tell Hope he had not crossed the finishing line... Within 30 seconds Hope was in the air again, discovered the finishing line, landed, and again switched on the winning smile fortissimo." C G Grey

    Entered for the MacRobertson Race in 1934 (No 24) but didn't take part in the end.

     m. 1954 Hilda L [Stone or Hunt]

    d. Oct 1979 - Isle of Wight

     

  • Irwin, Angus Charles Stuart

      Mr Angus Charles Stuart Irwin

      1916, when a 2nd Lieut, Royal Irish Rifles, aged 18

      1931

     

    born in Motihari, India; educated at Marlborough and Sandhurst. RFC in WWI: 2 victories, but was then shot in the foot by a member of Richtoven's squadron.

    Post-WWI, was "engaged in the estate business" (whatever that means).

     

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