Flt-Lt John Borthwick 'Jack' Wilson


  1935 - both 'Flight'

 b. 14 Jan 1901 - Strood, Kent

Father: John Gilchrist Wilson (1867-1915) from Lanark, Scotland, Mother: Bine [Ball] (1867-1936) from Strood.

He was the eldest of 4: Dorothy Sabina Catherine (1902-1980), James William Gilchrist (1903-1983) and William Ball (1905-1978).

Ed. Kings' School, Rochester, Herne Bay College

TA from 9th Jan 1915 (age 14)

m. 1922 in Thanet, Kent, Agnes Blanche [Newell]. 2 sons, (Peter, d. 1924), John Alexander Borthwick (d. 1953 in India, age 25)

RAFVR (General Duties Branch) from 1 Oct 1922; F/O from 1923, Flt-Lt from 1 Apr 1929

"Gained a certain wisdom when in the RAF by ascending to 20,000 feet daily on meteorological duties, weather or no. Thereafter took Desoutters through anything on taxi and charter work. Chief Instructor at Hanworth until acquired by British Aircraft Manufacturing Co Ltd for test pilotage. One of nature's quietest birdmen." - Flight

Pilot for National Air Services 1929-31; Gibraltar Airways 1931-32

Competed in the King's Cup Air Race in 1934 (eliminated in 2nd Round), 1935 (coming 14th / 29) and 1936 (placed 3rd / 26)

For his efforts in 1934, he was presented with a commemorative silver travel clock by the Royal Aero Club:

    With thanks to Gary Wright

Runner-up (Medal and £25, presented by the Cinque Ports Club) in the Folkestone Aero Trophy in September 1935, flying a BA Eagle

Spent 1939 to 1953 in the Royal Navy/Fleet Air Arm, ending as Commander.

d. 8 Feb 1973 - Birchington, Kent

Buried All Saints, Birchington:

Based on research by Alexandra Gilbert


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