Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Captain Franklyn Barnard Catalogued (almost)

Photograph of Barnard after he had won the Kings Cup in 1922
Further to our last post on Franklyn Barnard, our intrepid volunteers Graham and Malcolm have almost finished recording all the material in the Barnard File. The excel spreadsheet now reads like a strange biography of the pilot's life from World War One to his death in an accident in 1927. Items such as cufflinks, his pilots logbooks from 1916 to 1927, a vast array of photographs, newspaper clippings, letters and poignant letters of condolence to his widow have now been recorded.

Newspaper cuttings include: Front page of Daily Sketch with headline "Airman's Devoted Dog." Account of motor accident at Waddon. Picture of Brownie and Mrs Barnard (1921); pilots of Imperial Airways at Croydon  singing "Auld Lang Syne"
after a stike had been settled (date unknown; and a Daily Mail article on Sir Samuel Hoare, British Air Minister, flying to India to inaugurate the air service between Cairo and Karachi (1 January 1927) - see image left.

One letter from Barnard records his frustration with getting newspaper headlines and public acclaim for winning the Kings Cup, but hardly any attention at all for systematically carrying passengers safely from further afield place to place. Barnard embraced civil aviation and, unlike many pilots, was an advocate for the safety features of radio plotting and signals that would become standard but were first trialled by traffic Control at Croydon Airport. The material in the file gives an insight into this World War One pilot who became a record breaker and a pioneer in safe civil aviation.

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