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British Industrial History

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Philip William Lilian Broke-Smith

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Philip William Lilian Broke-Smith (1882-1963)

Born in 1882 the son of Surgeon Major-General P. Broke-Smith.

He was educated at Cheltenham and then at the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich.

1900. He was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers.

1908. He married Dorothy Margaret Twiss (daughter of Vice-Admiral Twiss) and they had one son and two daughters.

1912 'Gamma, the airship which set down on Lindfield Common on April 20, 1912 from Farnborough airfield. On board were six members of the Royal Flying Corps under the command of Captain P. Broke-Smith, adjutant and chief instructor with the Corps. The trip was a family affair in the end – Captain Broke-Smith took the crew to visit his father-in-law Admiral Guy Twiss at Lindfield House for breakfast'

1931-36 He served in India

1939-45 Director of Passive Air Defence at the Ministry of Supply

1952. Published 'The History of Early British Aeronautics'

1954 'Brig. P. W. L. Broke-Smith, holder of No. 2 airship pilot's licence' [1]

1957. 'Reminiscence was the keynote of the Lighter-than-air Reunion, held in London last Friday. In the chair was Brig. P. W. L. Broke-Smith, who served under the celebrated Col. J. E. Capper in the operation of Army balloons and kites early in the century and, subsequently, the development of airships at Farnborough from 1906 onwards;' [2]

1962. 'Brigadier P. W. L. Broke-Smith writes to say that in a report of his recent talk to the Royal Aeronautical Society ("Welcome Souffle," Flight International, November 1, page 704) it was stated that he had invited Queen Mary "to try a flight in an aeroplane." "Aeroplane" should have read "airship," referring to the airship Beta which the Queen inspected at Farnborough in July 1910.' [3]

He died on 8th November 1963. [4]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Flight magazine of 3rd December 1954
  2. Flight magazine 1957 [1]
  3. Flight magazine of 15th November 1962 [2]
  4. The Times Newspaper of 12th November 1963