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!"

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