The Honourable Company of Air Pilots incorporating Air Navigators

Pioneer Airline Pilot

Pioneer Airline Pilotbeing the life and times of Capt EH Lawford AFC

by Hayden K Lawford - paperback 160 pp - ISBN 0-9545118-1-6
published by the Author at 40 London Road Hurst Green Etchingham East Sussex TN19 7QP

Bill Lawford obtained Royal Aero Club Certificate No 142 in 1913, the tribulations of flying before WW1 are well described. Accepted by the RFC as a aircraft fitter he was back flying by 1915 and spent the next 15 years as a pilot before getting involved with flying administration. A founder member of the Guild he features in the photograph of the founding dinner. An early pilot of Aircraft Transport and Travel (AT&T) the book is more about the times of Bill Lawford than his specific own life story. 160 pages contain copious illustrations and details of the actual aircraft involved together with the names of many of the pilots and crew involved. The early days of Croydon are well described. Sadly there is no index but the book fills in a lot of the detail that students of that interesting period of the 1920's will find the book invaluable as a reference. Those with recent aircraft licencing requirement will smile wistfully at the ease with which roundels were replaced with registration letters. On the other hand £22 one way to Paris seems a bit steep in todays cheap travel.

Ron Bridge
Nov 2008