Mr William 'Bill' Humble MBE

 

 photo: 1930, aged 19

 

 

b. 14 April 1911 in Doncaster

The Aeroplane described him in 1936 as "A mining engineer ... has to climb up several thousand feet to get into his Speed Hawk Six - from the bottom of the family coal mine." (Ha!)

[From 1937 his father, also called William, was Chairman of the Doncaster Amalgamated Collieries, Ltd, until they were nationalised. William Snr was a keen racehorse owner; his horse 'Nearula' won the 2000 Guineas in 1953 and he died in 1964 aged 89.]

Bill didn't work in the family coal mine, however.

From 1939 to 1948, he was test pilot for Hawkers - initially testing Hurricanes, right up to the prototype Sea Hawk - then later in their Sales Department in the Middle East.

d. 1 Mar 1992

His grand-daughter is Kate Humble, the TV presenter. (See 'Who Do You Think You Are', Series 6). She says 'He was unbelievably handsome ... a rogue, a very good-looking rogue. I was 23 when he died. He lived abroad, but came back to England in the late 1980s, when he got ill. Because he wasn't a good father to my father, and didn't really like children, I only got to know him better when I was an adult.'

 

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