Looking into my local history I found Sir John William Alcock, the first man to pilot a non-stop transatlantic flight from St.Johns, New Foundland to Clifden, Ireland.
Born 5th November 1892 in Old Trafford, Manchester. He attended St Thomas’s primary school in Heaton Chapel, Stockport, Which happens to be the same school I attended as a child. He became interested in flying at an early age, his first job was at Empress Motor Works in Manchester and in 1910 he became an assistant of Charles Fletcher who was a Manchester based aviator. He received his pilot’s licence in 1912 from Ducrocq’s flying school.
After serving with Royal Aiforce in World War I, John decided he wanted to fly across the Atlantic. He was partnered with Arthur Whitten Brown an engineer who helped navigate the flight.
On June 14 1919, Alcock and Brown took off in a modified Vickers Vimy aircraft from St, John’s Newfoundland and landed in Clifden, Ireland, 16 hours and 12 minutes later, on June 15 1919. On completing the flight they won a prize of £10,000 from the Daily Mail newspaper and were given the prize by Winston Churchill.
A few days after their flight Alcock and Brown were knighted by King George V at Windsor Castle
On the 18 December 1919, in Paris, John Alcock crashed a Vickers Viking aircraft and died, he was aged 27. His Grave can be found in Southern Cemetery, Manchester.
This blog post was written for Archives+ by one of our volunteers as part of our Heritage Lottery Funded project.