REACHING FOR THE SKY
By Diana Kennedy
This article was originally published in the April 2011 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society
While looking at www.ancestry.co.uk recently I came across the Royal Aero Club Aviation certificates. The Royal Aero Club is a national organisation for air sport including private and recreational flying in the UK. The certificates date from 1910 to 1950 and the list has 28,000 index cards and 34 photo albums, unfortunately not all cards include a photo. The records include the first military and naval personnel to become pilots. The certificates give an address, date and place of birth, occupation and when and where the certificate was obtained, as well as in the type of aircraft.
From the index I found eight Sewell names, including one lady, one Sole and two Saul. The following are some brief notes of the names together with any family information I could find from our records. Some unfortunately I have been unable to identify from our records, so if anyone can help please let me know.
Alfred Jack Sewell was born in 1917 at Chertsey, Surrey, and was living at Weybridge in 1937 when he took his certificate in a Tiger Moth at Brooklands Flying Club. The only other information I have is that his mother’s maiden name was Bennett.
Arthur Sewell was born in 1901 at Leicester. He was a Company Director living in Cranford, Mdx. He took his certificate in 1939 at the Airwork Flying Club in an Avro Club Cadet. Arthur was one of the three children of Arthur Sewell and Matilda nee Lander who married in Leicester in 1894. Our records show that this family can be traced back to Henry Sewell and Sarah nee Shakeshaft who married in 1808 in Coventry.
Edwin Francis Sewell, was born in 1923 in London. In 1950 when he obtained his certificate he was living in Surbiton in Surrey. He was an Aircraft Navigator and his certificate was taken in a Magister at Airways Aero Club. His parents were John H Sewell and Dorothy J nee Attwater who married in 1921 in St George Hanover Square. He had two brothers Albert J born in 1922 and Geoffrey W F in 1930. Edwin died in 2002 in Eastbourne.
Hubert Frederic Rimington Sewell was born in 1912 in Carlisle, Cumbria, but was living in Minister Lovell in Oxf in 1934 when he took his certificate in a Cirrus 11 at Witney and Oxford Aero Club. He gives his occupation as Aircraft Apprentice. His parents were Hubert Woodville Sewell and Ethel nee Rimington. Hubert senior, a solicitor, was born in Cockermouth in 1872 and attended Christ's College Cambridge. He and his brother William Woodville Robertson Sewell, also a solicitor, but later a fruit grower manager on the island of Jersey, were the sons of Col Frederick Robertson Sewell JP born in 1839 in Cockermouth who married Jane Ostle in 1867 in St George Hanover Square. There is a photo of Hubert.
Miss Irene Agnes Brooke Sewell, was born in 1900 in Dorking in Surrey. She obtained her certificate in April 1930 at the Henderson Flying School, Croydon, in a ‘Moth’. Irene was the daughter of Ernest Brooke Sewell and Margaret Eliza nee Cattley, who married in 1898 in St Peter’s Kensington. This family we can trace back to Thomas born about 1755 and Elizabeth Sewell. The family lived around the London area particularly Whitechapel and Limehouse. Irene had one brother Francis Brooke Sewell born in 1899 in Dorking, Francis a 2nd Lt in the Royal Garrison Artillery was killed in France 19th May 1918. Francis is commemorated on the memorial at Dorking and in the Church. Irene died in 1970 at Wandsworth. A photo of Irene is included with the certificate.
John Sewell was born in 1896 in London. At the time he obtained his certificate in 1918 he was living in Exmouth, Devon. He was a 2nd Lt in the Royal Flying Corp and passed in a Grahame-White Biplane, at Hendon. There is a photo of John. John was the son of John Herbert Sewell and Annie Beatrice nee Coker, who married in 1895. John Herbert was a stationer like his father, also John, and then branched out to china and glass ware. John had two sisters and his grandfather came from Great Yarmouth, Nfk, his grandmother from Greenwich, Ken.
John William Sole, was born in London in 1899 and was living in Leytonstone when he took his certificate in 1918 as 2nd Lt Royal Flying Corps in a Caudron Biplane at Ruffy-Baumann School in Acton. His parents were George W and Mary W Sole. George was a Civil Engineer and John was one of their four children. There is a picture of John.
John Percy Claude Sewell born in 1891 in Paris, his profession is given as Gentleman and he took his certificate in a Maurice Farman Biplane at the Military School, Brookland, Surrey in 1915. John Percy died in 1931 in Paris.
Richard Ernest Saul was born in 1891 in Dublin. He was still living in Dublin in 1917 when he took his certificate in a Curtis Biplane at the Military School in Beaulieu as he was a Captain in the Royal Flying Corps. There is a picture of Richard.
Roger Oswald Saul, was born in 1889 in Sizergh, near Kendal, Wes. He was living in Manchester in 1918 when he took his certificate in a Maurice Farman Biplane at the Military School, Ruislip. He was one of the five children of Robert and Mary Ann Saul. Robert was a coach maker. There is a picture of Roger who died in 1959 in Birmingham.
Roland John Sewell of High Wycombe, Bks was born in 1925 in Marlow, Bks. A draughtsman by profession he took his certificate in a Tiger Moth at Airwork Flying Club in 1947. His parents were John Henry T Sewell born in 1904 and Olive Naomi W Howard who married in 1924. Roland died in 1981 in Oxfordshire. Roland’s great great grandparents were David Sewell and Charlotte nee Robinson who came from Turville, Buckinghamshire.