Early Aviators - 51 to 100

Holders of RAeC Aviators Certificates 51 through 100

51 Herbert John Thomas
    Gained Certificate on 24 January 1911. Born 1892, he was at the time the youngest pilot to have been awarded the Aviator's Certificate. He was a founding member of the British and Colonial Aeroplane Company, formed 1910, and stayed with the company under its various names until his death following surgery in 1947, at which time he was assistant managing director of the Bristol Aeroplane Company. He had also served as chairman and council member of the Society of British Aerospace Companies.
52 Sir Ellis "Victor" Sassoon (announced under the name E."Smith")
    Gained Certificate on 24 January 1911. 3rd (and last) Baronet Sassoon.
53 Geoffrey de Havilland
    See de Havilland
54 Captain Daniel Goodwin Conner RFC
    Gained Certificate on 7 February 1911. Capt. Conner was a flight commander in No. 5 Squadron RFC and later, as temporary Major, squadron commander. A photograph of Lt. Conner appeared in Flight Magazine's "Aviation Pioneers" series in its issue dated 4 March 1911.
55 James Vernon Martin
    Gained Certificate on 7 February 1911. Martin was an American citizen and inventor, who took out many aeronautical patents, including an "automatic stabilizer (1916) and retractable landing gear (1916)".
56 Arthur Haynes Aitken
    Gained Certificate on 14 February 1911. Flight Roll of Honour: Reported missing on 11 November 1918: Aitken, Sec. Lieut. A.H.
57 Charles L A Hubert
    Gained Certificate on 14 February 1911. French aviator, born 16 March 1889; took part in the King George V Coronation (airmail) flights from Hendon, where he crashed his Farman III and broke both legs.
58 George Henry Challenger
    See Challenger biography
59 George Richard Sutton Darroch
    Gained Certificate on 14 February 1911. Blériot school, Hendon. 22 Feb. 1880, d. 3 Dec. 1959; went to Eton College; was an apprentice at the London & North Western Railway (LNWR) in Crewe; fought in World War I, being awarded the Croix de Guerre; returned to work in Crewe, eventually becoming Assistant Works Manager with the LNWR and its successor, the London, Midland and Scottish Railway; retired in 1941. During his first employment in Crewe he designed and supervised the construction of the "Orion", a one-sixth scale model Webb Compound locomotive now maintained and operated by the Stephenson Locomotive Society.
60 Archibald Knight
    Gained Certificate on 14 February 1911. at Bristol Flying School, Brooklands; instructor at the Vickers Flying School; joined the RFC in 1914; recalled to join Maxwell Muller in managing the Vickers works at Weybridge as works manager until his retirement 1936; returned in 1939 to manage Wellington and Warwick repair.
61 Collyns Price Pizey
    Gained Certificate on 14 February 1911. Used a Bristol Biplane at Salisbury Plain. Later chief instructor at Bristol's Brooklands school. Died of dysentery in Greece 11 June 1915, he was a Flt. Lt. in the Royal Naval Air Service working for the British Naval Mission to Greece.
62 Louis Maron
    Gained Certificate on 14 February 1911. A French aviator who used a Bristol Biplane at Salisbury Plain.
63 William Hugh Ewen
    Gained Certificate on 14 February 1911. Scottish aviator who used a Bleriot Monoplane at Hendon. Performed the first flight across the Firth of Forth in 1911. At the end of 1911, he contacted the Caudron Brothers at Rue and his company, W.H.Ewen Aviation Co Ltd, Hendon, became the registered agent for the construction and sale of Caudron aeroplanes in the British Empire. Founded the Ewen Flying School at Hendon in 1912. Served in the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force, reaching the rank of Major, resigning his commission due to ill health in 1918.. He died in 1947. Ewen was also an organist and conductor (he composed the Zephyr Waltz), and appeared in the 1913 aviation film Through the Clouds.
64 Gustav Hamel
    Gained Certificate on 14 February 1911. Holder of the French aviator's certificate no. 358, he disappeared over the English Channel on 23 May 1914 while returning from Paris in a new 80 hp Morane-Saulnier monoplane he had just collected. At this time of high international tension, there was speculation that he might have been the victim of sabotage, but no trace was ever found and the story faded with his memory.
65 Quinto Poggioli
    Gained Certificate on 28 February 1911. Italian aviator used a Bleriot Monoplane at the New Forest Aviation School, Beaulieu.
66 Lewis William Francis Turner
    Gained Certificate on 4 April 1911. Used a Farman Biplane at Hendon. Served with the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War.
67 Waldo Ridley Prentice
    Maurice Ridley Prentice (although always going by Waldo Ridley Prentice) was born on 14 August 1883 in Kensington, the son of Thomas Ridley Prentice and Esther Ridley (née Grove).
Following an early career in the merchant marine, he learned to fly at the Grahame-White School on a Farman biplane and gained his Aviators Certificate on 25 April 1911. He then joined Horatio Barber's Aeronautical Syndicate, Ltd., and flew a great deal on their Valkyrie monoplanes. In July, Barber began to devote his time to more aeronautical research and Ridley Prentice took over the entire management of ASL.  When Barber closed the Syndicate in 1912, Prentice joined General Aviation Contractors. During 1913, management of GAC and all its subsidiaries moved into the hands of Ridley Prentice.
He never flew very much after the ASL closed down, in 1912, because of early heart trouble, and for that reason he did not join the RFC or RNAS. in the first war. Instead, he went into the diplomatic service, in which he served for thirty years, most of it in Lisbon.
In May 1951 he had a bad heart attack, but recovered after three weeks in hospital. However, while staying at the British Club in Lisbon, he died of heart failure on 18 January 1952.
68 Eric C. Gordon England
    See Eric C. Gordon England biography
69 Henry R. Fleming
    Gained Certificate on 25 April 1911. 
70 Charles Cyril Turner
    Gained Certificate on 25 April 1911. Author of "The Old Flying Days".
71 Lt. Charles Rumney Samson RN
    Gained Certificate on 25 April 1911. Samson was the first pilot to take off from a moving ship, and was instrumental in the development of aerial wireless communications, bomb- and torpedo-dropping, navigational techniques and night flying.
72 Lt. Arthur M. Longmore RN
    Gained Certificate on 25 April 1911. Later Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Longmore RAF.
73 Lt. Wilfred Parke RN
    Gained Certificate on 25 April 1911. Gained his certificate at Brooklands in a Bristol Boxkite on his fourth flight. Known for the 'Parke Dive' spin-recovery on 25 August 1912. Crashed and died near Wembley 15 December 1912 with Mr Arkell Hardwick of Handley Page.
74 Francis Conway Jenkins CBE
    Gained Certificate on 2 May 1911. b. 1888, d. 1933; raced cars at Brooklands; took part in the Circuit of Britain Air Race; rose from 2nd. Lt. to Brigadier-General (RAF), Director of Parks and Depots, Air Ministry, he resigned his commission and became a director of The British Motor Trading Corporation (founded 1919).,
75 Lt. Reginald Gregory RN
    Gained Certificate on 2 May 1911. Named on Eastchurch memorial to Pioneer Aviators.
76 Lt. Eugene Louis Gerrard RMLI
    Gained Certificate on 2 May 1911. Named on Eastchurch memorial to Pioneer Aviators.
77 Edward Victor Beauchamp Fisher
    Gained Certificate on 2 May 1911. On 13 May 1912 Fisher was piloting a Green powered Flanders monoplane with an American passenger Mr. Mason when it crashed at Brooklands killing them both.
78 Hubert Oxley
    Gained Certificate on 9 May 1911. Chief Flying Instructor at Filey, Yorkshire; died 6 December 1911, together with his passenger, Mr. Weiss: during a steep dive in a Blackburn Mercury, fabric tore off the wings and the plane crashed, killing both Oxley and Weiss.
79 Harold Blackburn
    Gained Certificate on 9 May 1911. Demonstration pilot for Robert Blackburn. Won the Wars of the Roses air race on 2 October 1913 and piloted the first scheduled airline flights in Great Britain on 22 July 1914. Served with the RFC in France and Palestine. Retired from the RAF in 1929.
80 Ronald C. Kemp
    Gained Certificate on 9 May 1911. Test pilot for Short Brothers; was injured (and his passenger Mr. Ewart Temple Haynes killed) in a crash at Brooklands on 23 February 1914.
81 R. W. Philpott
    Gained Certificate on 9 May 1911. 
82 Wilfred Herbert Dolphin
    Gained Certificate on 9 May 1911. Used a Hanriot Monoplane at Brooklands, an Automobile Engineer born in Birmingham on 8 May 1882, later served with the Royal Flying Corps.
83 C. H. Marks
    Gained Certificate on 9 May 1911. 
84 Capt. Seaton Dunham Massy
    Gained Certificate on 9 May 1911. 
85 F. P. Raynham
    Gained Certificate on 9 May 1911. 1893-1960
86 James L. Travers, Jr.
    Gained Certificate on 16 May 1911. Named on Eastchurch memorial to Pioneer Aviators; named on Eastchurch memorial to Pioneer Aviators. 'Jack' Travers was a draughtsman at Short Brothers and later also a flying instructor at Eastchurch.
87 Edward Hotchkiss
    Gained Certificate on 16 May 1911. Killed on 10 September 1912, together with his passenger, Lt. C. A. Bettington (granted his Aviator’s certificate, No. 256, on 24 July 1912) when his Bristol Monoplane crashed due to the failure of a quick release cable fitment, which caused the fabric of the starboard wing to fail.
88 T. C. R. Higgins
    Gained Certificate on 16 May 1911. Commanded the RFC's Home Defence Brigade during World War I, retired as an Air Commodore in 1929.
89 Lt. W. D. Beatty RE
    Gained Certificate on 30 May 1911.
90 Lt. R. B. Davies RN
    Gained Certificate on 30 May 1911. Awarded Victoria Cross for actions during Dardanelles Campaign. Retired as Vice-admiral in 1941
91 Bentfield Charles Hucks
    Gained Certificate on 30 May 1911. Test flights at Filey, Yorkshire using a Blackburn monoplane. Died from pneumonia 6 November 1918. Was a Captain in the Royal Air Force when he died, the first Englishman to loop and fly upside down.The Hucks starter, an essential vehicle on Great War aerodromes, was named after him.
92 Captain Herbert Ramsay Playford Reynolds RE
    Gained Certificate on 6 June 1911. Royal Flying Corps, test flights at Salisbury Plain using a Bristol Biplane.
93 Thomas Henry Sebag-Montefiore
    Gained Certificate on 13 June 1911.
94 H. R. Busteed
    Gained Certificate on 13 June 1911. The first Australian to hold a pilot's licence. Later an RAF air commodore.
95 Frederick Sykes
    Gained Certificate on 20 June 1911. Senior RFC commander and second Chief of the Air Staff.
96 G. Higginbotham
    Gained Certificate on 27 June 1911.
97 Herbert Stanley-Adams
    Gained Certificate on 27 June 1911.
98 Lt. J. W. Pepper RA
    Gained Certificate on 27 June 1911.
99 Henry Salmet
    Gained Certificate on 27 June 1911.
100 Charles Gordon Bell
    Charles Gordon Bell (sometimes erroneously given as Gordon-Bell) was born on 31 May 1889 in Paddington, London, the son of George Symes and Ada Mary (née Iggulden). Educated at Tonbridge School, he started in motor business, serving an apprenticeship at Napier motor works.
He awarded his Aviators Certificate on 4 July, possibly gained on June 27 1911, and immediately joined British Deperdussin. He quickly moved on to France, where he worked for Robert Esnault-Pelterie's aircraft firm R.E.P., at the time was the only English representative to be employed by a French firm. He flew an R.E.P. monoplane at the Coronation of Sultan Mehmed Reshad V on 27 April 27 1910 and reputedly landed it within the walls of the Topkapi palace. Later in 1912 during the Italo-Turkish war in Libya, he was involved in training pilots for the fledgling Turkish Airforce as a representative of R.E.P.
Bell returned to England some time in 1912 and on 3 August, joined the Military Wing of the RFC, Special Reserve of Officers, as 2nd Lieutenant (on probation). In 1913 he became the first staff test pilot for Short Brothers, albeit on a freelance basis, until the outbreak of the First World War. He was one of two pilots to fly souvenir copies of the Paris newspaper, Le Matin, Wednesday 28 May, 1913, the first to be flown across the channel, from Paris to England, to deliver to His Majesty the King, George V, at Windsor Castle. Unfortunately Bell's monoplane developed engine trouble and he never reached Windsor.
At the outbreak of the First World War, he was called up as a Special Reserve officer by the RFC, initially becoming an official AID pilot. At the beginning of 1915 he was posted to No. 10 Squadron at Farnborough, initially flying B.e.2’s.  In July the squadron moved to France, transferring to Bristol Scouts and Bell became the highest scoring Bristol Scout pilot of the war, claiming 5 victories in 1915 before ill health forced his return to England at the end of the year, briefly taking command of No.41 Squadron during 1916. He was appointed to command a squadron at the Central Flying School, Upavon, rising to the temporary rank of Major. In late 1917 he was invalided out of the Army, and joined Vickers as a test pilot. He was killed on 29 July 1918 while flying an experimental Vickers F.B.16E at Villacoublay Airfield, and buried at Cimetière des Gonards in Versailles.

V1.4.4 Created by Roger Moss. Last updated August 2020