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Beamont, Roland Prosper (1920–2001), air force officer and aviator, was born on 10 August 1920 at 8 Private Road, Enfield, Middlesex, the son of Lieutenant-Colonel Ernest Clement Beamont, a trade officer with the Foreign Office, and his wife, Dorothy Mary, née Haynes. Educated at ...

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Roland Prosper Beamont (1920–2001) by William Vanderson, 1958 [with the English Electric P1B Lightning at Farnborough] Getty Images

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Sir James Bird (1883–1946) by Walter Stoneman, 1946 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Bird, Sir James (1883–1946), naval architect and aircraft manufacturer, was born on 19 March 1883 in London, the second son of Samuel Bird, merchant, of East Cowes, Isle of Wight, and his wife, Freda. He was educated at Marlborough School, where he was a prefect, played in the hockey eleven, and captained the football fifteen. He next served an apprenticeship with ...

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Sir John Nelson Boothman (1901–1957) by Walter Stoneman, 1946 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Boothman, Sir John Nelson (1901–1957), air force officer and aviator, was born at Napier Road, Wembley, Middlesex, on 19 February 1901, the son of Thomas John Boothman, a railway clerk, and his wife, Mary, née Burgess. Educated at Harrow county school he was, in January 1918, too young to enlist in the British forces, so he joined the French ...

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Brackley, Herbert George (1894–1948), air force officer and airline executive, was born in Islington, London, on 4 October 1894, the second of the seven children of George Herbert Brackley, a master tailor, and his wife, Lilian Sarah Partridge. The family later moved to ...

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Bulloch, Terence Malcolm [Terry] (1916–2014), air force officer, was born at Montreagh, 1 Belsize Road, Lisburn, co. Antrim, on 19 February 1916, the second son, twinned with a sister, of Samuel Arthur Bulloch, linen merchant, and his wife, Elizabeth (Elsie), née...

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Cunningham, John [Cats-Eyes Cunningham] (1917–2002), aviator and businessman, was born on 27 July 1917 at Canley, 17 Castlemaine Avenue, Croydon, Surrey, the elder son and third of the four children of Arthur Gillespie Cunningham (d. 1930), company secretary of the Dunlop Rubber Company...

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Davies, Richard Bell (1886–1966), pilot and naval officer, was born at 3 Fopstone Road, Brompton, London, on 19 May 1886, the son of William Bell Davies (1845–1891), civil engineer, of Croxley Grove, Rickmansworth, and his wife, Mary Emma, née Beale (1848–1892). Orphaned at the age of five, he was brought up by his uncle, ...

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Duke, Neville Frederick (1922–2007), air force officer and aviator, was born on 11 January 1922 at 82 Hadlow Road, Tonbridge, Kent, the son of Frederick Herbert Duke (1881–1957), managing clerk for a corn merchant, and his wife, Jane, née Tarbit (1888–1971). Educated at ...

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Neville Frederick Duke (1922–2007) by Charles E. Brown Royal Air Force Museum, PC 98/173/6537/5

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Fozard, John William (1928–1996), aeronautical engineer, was born at 21 Holme Street, Millbridge, Liversedge, Yorkshire, on 16 January 1928, the son of John (Jack) Fozard (1880–1955) and his wife, Eleanor, née Paulkitt (1895–1948). His father had been an underground face worker in coal mines, and a branch secretary of the miners' union, before working as a carter and haulier; on leaving school his mother had worked in woollen mills, where she had been a union organizer and ...

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Keary [married name Smith-Keary], Eily Marguerite Leifchild (1892–1975), naval architect and aeronautical design engineer, was born at Blenkarn, Elmbourne Road, Upper Tooting, London, on 12 October 1892, the second of the five daughters of Peter Keary (1865–1915) and his wife, ...

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Lygo, Sir Raymond Derek (1924–2012), naval officer and industrialist, was born on 15 March 1924 at 41 Richmond Road, Ilford, Essex, the second son of Edwin Thomas Lygo (1884–1962), newspaper compositor, and his wife, Ada Emily, née Cushing (1889–1973). Educated at Ilford county high school...

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Maitland, Edward Maitland (1880–1921), air force officer and developer of airships and parachutes, was born at 156 Westbourne Terrace, London, on 21 February 1880, the elder son of Arthur Gee (d. 1903), a farmer and later barrister and JP, of Shudy Camps Park, Cambridgeshire...

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Leonard Darwin

revised by David Gates

Money, John (1739/40–1817), military theorist and balloonist, of whose parents nothing is known, began his military career in the Norfolk militia in 1760. He served in Germany as a volunteer with the 15th light dragoons in 1761 and was at the battle of ...

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Pateman, Jack Edward (1921–2004), aviation engineer and businessman, was born on 29 November 1921 in West Somerton, Norfolk, the son of William Edward Pateman, head gamekeeper, and his wife, Lucy Varley, née Jetten. After attending Great Yarmouth grammar school he served in the ...

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H. A. Jones

revised by M. C. Curthoys

Scott, George Herbert (1888–1930), airship commander, was born in Lewisham, London, on 25 May 1888, the eldest son of George Hall Scott, civil engineer, and his wife, Margaret Wilkinson. He was educated at Alton School, Plymouth, at Richmond School, Yorkshire, and at the ...

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Twiss, (Lionel) Peter (1921–2011), naval officer and test pilot, was born at Fardels, Lindfield, Sussex, on 23 July 1921, the son of Captain (later Colonel) Dudley Cyril Twiss (1890–1962), of the first battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment, and his wife, Laura Georgina, née Chapman...