Donald Herbert Drew AFC

 donald drew in 1917

in 1917


adelaide and drew 1929

with Adelaide Cleaver in 1929


b. London 23 Sep 1899

'Aeroplane and Seaplane pilot'

2 July 1930: "AIR PILOT DIVORCED. JUDGE'S COMMENTS ON CO-RESPONDENT. A decree nisi, with costs and custody of the child, was granted in the Divorce Court yesterday to Mrs Arabella Beatrice Angela Drew, who gave her address at the Stafford Hotel, St James's Place, London. She had petitioned for the dissolution of her marriage to Captain Donald Herbert Drew, of the Aerodrome Hotel, Croydon, on the ground of his alleged adultery with Mrs Kathleen Brookie Digby, who offered to write her address, but said she had no permanent home.

Captain Drew, an Imperial Airways pilot, was in charge of the aeroplane from which Captain Loewenstein, the Belgian financier, disappeared over the Channel.

The suit was defended, and Captain Drew and Mrs Digby gave evidence denying the allegation.

Mr Justice Hill, giving judgment, said that there was evidence that Mrs Digby entertained flying officers at the house and that they went there for tea or cocktails. It was obvious from the evidence that Mrs Digby was a woman who was quite capable of committing adultery with Captain Drew or, indeed, he thought, with anybody else."

He married again, a year later:


Miss Betty Eley, the musical comedy actress, who played the part of Lady Mary in " The Vagabond King " at the Winter Garden Theatre, London, has become engaged to Captain Donald Drew, the noted air pilot. Miss Norah Blaney, who was also one of the principals in " The Vagabond King " arranged a tea party in an airplane about four years ago, and Captain Drew piloted the machine over London while the party was in progress. Miss Eley was one of the guests, and she and Captain Drew became friends. About 15 months ago Miss Eley went out to Australia, where she appeared in "Hold Everything," and "Love Lies." She returned to England about six months ago. Miss Eley said to-day: "We shall not be married for some time, as my fianc√© will be away for three months." 

d. 1936: "Capt. Donald Drew, for some years an Imperial Airways pilot, died in London today after a long illness at the age of 36.

Capt. Drew was piloting Capt. Lowenstein's private plane when the Belgian millionaire fell from it into the Channel on July 4. 1928. When Capt. Lowenstein offered him a position as a pilot he would not take it until Imperial Airways agreed to lend him to the 'Lowenstein Navy', as the financier's air fleet was called."

Wierdly,  Lowenstein's biographer, a Mr Norris, in 1987 "concluded that Lowenstein had been thrown from the aircraft by Donald Drew, the pilot, at the behest of Madeleine Lowenstein, the motive being to gain control of Lowenstein's fortune. He suggested that the aircraft's rear door was completely removed while in the air and a replacement fitted on the beach at St. Pol."


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