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Bacon, John Mackenzie (1846–1904), astronomer and aviator, born at Lambourn Woodlands, Berkshire, on 19 June 1846, was the fourth son of John Bacon (1809–1871), vicar of Lambourn Woodlands, a friend and neighbour of Charles Kingsley and Tom Hughes, and his wife, Mary Lousada...

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Ball, Albert (1896–1917), airman, was born at 301 Lenton Boulevard, Nottingham, on 14 August 1896, the elder son and second of three surviving children of Sir Albert Ball (1863–1946), master plumber, land agent, and sometime mayor of Nottingham, and his first wife, Harriet Mary Page (...

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Albert Ball (1896–1917) by E. N. Birkett, c. 1915–16 The Imperial War Museum, London

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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 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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Bruce [née Petre], Mildred Mary (1895–1990), motorist and aviator, was born on 10 November 1895 at Margaretting, Ingatestone, Essex, the daughter of Lawrence Joseph Petre (1864–1944), landowner, of Coptfold Hall, Essex, and his wife, Jennie Maginness, née Williams (d. 1943), an actress. She was educated at the convent of ...

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Butler [née Reid], Lois (1897–1970), aviator and skier, was born on 3 November 1897 at 275 Drummond Street, Montreal, Canada, the only daughter and second of the five children of Sir William Duff Reid (1866–1924) and his wife, Minnie Cormack (d...

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Sir George Cayley, sixth baronet (1773–1857) by Henry Perronet Briggs, 1840 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Cayley, Sir George, sixth baronet (1773–1857), aeronautical designer, was born on 27 December 1773 in Scarborough, Yorkshire, the only son of Sir Thomas Cayley (1732–1792), and his wife, Isabella Seton (d. 1828); there were also four daughters. After brief schooling in York...

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Samuel Franklin Cody (1861–1913) by unknown photographer, 1912 [at the controls of his aeroplane Cathedral] Getty Images

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Cody [formerly Cowdery], Samuel Franklin (1861–1913), showman and aeronautical designer, was born on 6 March 1861 in Davenport, Iowa, USA, the fourth of five children of Samuel Franklin Cowdery (1833–1902), a former Union soldier and jobbing carpenter, and his wife, Phoebe Jane (1834–1900)...

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Collar, (Arthur) Roderick (1908–1986), mathematician and aeronautical engineer, was born on 22 February 1908 in West Ealing, London, the second of three children and elder son of Arthur Collar, of Whitstable, Kent, who had a successful ironmonger's and builder's business, and his wife, ...

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Coxwell, Henry Tracey [pseud. Henry Wells] (1819–1900), balloonist, was born at the parsonage at Wouldham, near Chatham, Kent, on 2 March 1819, the youngest son of Commander Joseph Coxwell of the Royal Navy (1774?–1832) and his wife Ann Godfry (probably née Reeves)...

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Critchley, Alfred Cecil (1890–1963), greyhound racing promoter and aviation administrator, was born at Stapleton ranch, near Calgary, Alberta, Canada, the first of the two sons of Oswald Assheton Critchley (d. 1935), ranch owner, and his first wife, Maria Cecil, née Newbolt (...

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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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D'Erlanger, Leo Frederic Alfred (1898–1978), merchant banker and air transport promoter, was born on 2 July 1898 at 6 Hamilton Place, London, the elder of the two children of Baron François Rodolphe D'Erlanger (1872–1932), writer on Arab music and painter, and his wife, ...

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Edwards, Sir George Robert (1908–2003), aircraft designer and industrialist, was born on 9 July 1908 at 12 The Parade, Highams Park, Walthamstow, Essex, the son of Edwin George Edwards (1872–1938), a tobacconist and confectioner, and his wife, Mary Elizabeth (1872–1908), daughter of Robert Freeman...