90th Anniversary England to Australia Air Race

10th December 2009

Sir Ross & Sir Keith Smith, Jimmy Bennett and W.H. Shiers arrive in Darwin, 1919

vimy_memorial_ypadThe 90th Anniversary of the arrival of Sir Keith, Sir Ross Smith, Jimmy Bennett and W.H. Shiers into Darwin on 10th of December 1919, in a Vickers Vimy WWI bomber (G-EAOU) is being commemorated with a special service to be held at the Creswell Gardens. The statue is situated on the corner of King William Road and Memorial Drive near the Torrens Lake, Adelaide. This statue commemorates the death of Sir Ross Smith in April 1922 in England.

This Anniversary is organised by The Return and Service League and the Queens Old College Boys Association. The two Smith brothers attended this college way back in 1902. During WWI the Smith brothers went to Gallipoli and Egypt where the joined the Royal Air Force and also were in active service till wars end in 1918.

 

Photo: Sir Keith & Sir Ross Smith War Memorial, Adelaide Airport.

vimy2This Anniversary is also the 90th of the famous England to Australia Air Race that commenced on the 12th of November 1919 in which seven competitors participated. The winners were the Smith brothers and the two engineers and collected a prize of 10,000 pounds from the Australian Government for their achievement. The race ended up on the Flemington Race Course, Melbourne, Victoria on the 24th of February 1919.

The commemorations this year at Creswell Gardens are on Sunday 13th of December is the closest day to Thursday 10th of December (a Weekend). Approximately 300 people will be in attendance. Commencing 11.00am.

The Vickers Vimy was presented to the Australian Government on completion of this Air Race and is now in a specially built hangar in the Adelaide Airport grounds.

Photo: War Memorial display at Adelaide Airport

martyn2Commemorative Air Mail Flight

Chris Lloyd prepared 40 souvenir Air Mail envelopes to be carried on a Tiger Moth over the Willunga Hills and along the coast near Willunga Beach and Aldinga Beach on Thursday 10th of December 2009. This being the correct day of the arrival of the Vickers Vimy in Darwin, Northern Territory in 1919.

Thanks go to Martyn Smith from Adelaide Biplanes for providing the Air-Mail service for this event.

www.adelaidebiplanes.com.au

 

Photo: Martyn & VH-UEQ (Tiger Moth) at Aldinga

 

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FOR THE RECORD: EVENT TIMES & LOCTAION

Creswell Gardens, King William St & Memorial Dr, Adelaide, SA

Commencing: 11.00am, 13th December 2009

PUBLIC WELCOME

 

Photo: VH-UEQ at Aldinga

 

Thursday 10th December Commemorative Air Mail Flight, Aldinga.

England to Australia Air Race 1919.

1919wbagabp

Hand-over of the Commemorative Air Mail (10-Dec-2009)
Left to Right: Chris Lloyd, John Bodner (Air Mail Soc) & Martyn Smith (Adelaide Biplanes)

1919airmail

Pilot, Martyn Smith signing the Air Mail
Chris Lloyd & Martyn Smith (Adelaide Biplanes)

Credits for those who made the 90th Anniversary airmail flight possible:

  • Chris Lloyd
  • Martyn Smith, Adelaide Biplanes
  • Airmail Society
  • 5DME.NET

1919 Great Air Race – Engalnd to Australia

Commemorative Ceremony, Creswell Gardens, Adelaide. 13th December 2009

smithmemorial-1The 90th Anniversary of the arrival of Sir Keith, Sir Ross Smith, Jimmy Bennett and W.H. Shiers into Darwin on 10th of December 1919, in a Vickers Vimy WWI bomber (G-EAOU) is being commemorated with a special service to be held at the Creswell Gardens. The statue is situated on the corner of King William Road and Memorial Drive near the Torrens Lake, Adelaide. This statue commemorates the death of Sir Ross Smith in April 1922 in England.

 

This Anniversary is organised by The Return and Service League and the Queens Old College Boys Association. The two Smith brothers attended this college way back in 1902. During WWI the Smith brothers went to Gallipoli and Egypt where the joined the Royal Air Force and also were in active service till wars end in 1918.

Sir Ros Smith Memorial, Creswell Gardens

Memorial Reads:


Sir Ross Smith
K.B.E.

Born at Semaphore Australia, December 4th 1892

Died at Weybridge England, April 13th 1922

Erected by the people of South Australia to commemorate the first successful flight by aeroplane from England to Australia Nov 12th – Dec 10th 1919.

Credits

Story by David Hales

Photos by David Hales & David Wilkie