Aviation History

National fame in 1919 when a small plane landed on the course

Lieut.Cdr, Kenneth Mackenzie-Grieve, of Fir Hill, Droxford, and Harry Hawker, a pioneer aviator, took off from Newfoundland on May 19 that year in a Sopwith biplane in the first attempt to fly the Atlantic.

A week went by without news and the aviators were considered lost. Then, on May 25, a small plane, chartered by the Daily Mirror, landed on the golf course to take the news to Lieut.Cdr. Mackenzie-Grieve’s parents that their son was safe. It was the first time such a message had been taken by air.

The aviators had ditched in the sea near a small tramp steamer which had no radio and took some time to reach England with the glad tidings.

The two airmen were received by  King George V at Buckingham Palace and awarded the Air Force Cross.

When he arrived back at Droxford Railway Station the local hero was met by a parade. His carriage, unhorsed, was drawn by ex-Servicemen to the village green, headed by a band.  All the village turned out to hear the speeches and a school holiday was proclaimed.

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