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timhog

Horatio Barber, Capt R.F.C.

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Hi to one and all.

After many hours spent on the London Gazette site I am back to asking you all for your help please .

Horatio Barber, the man who flew the first cargo flight on 4 July 1911.

In his book "The Aeroplane Speaks" he is Capt RFC but I can`t find him in the Gazette .

He is not in The Sky or Communiques. He was a leading figure in the early history of Shoreham Airport, and he went on to work in Aviation Insurance.

Has anyone out there got anything on him please?

Thanks Tim.

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Is this him?

Horatio Claude Barber, Birth registered, 1875 Oct-Nov-Dec qtr, Croydon, Greater London

The London Gazette is down at the moment, but from the Times:

LG 3-10-1914

Royal Flying Corps

Military Wing

The following Second Lieutenants (on probation) are confirmed in their rank:

H. C. Barber.

W. Rhodes-Moorehouse

That's the only thing I can find until the Gazette pops back up.

Steve.

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Barber was one of Britain's true aviation pioneers. Inspired by the Wright brothers, he took a railway arch in Battersea (! my inference being that this was to produce aircraft there) and in 1909 moved to Lark Hill on Salisbury Plain, forming the Aeronautical Syndicate Ltd and beginning to build aircraft there. He was convinced that aircraft would have a key role in a future war. By March 1910 his designs were making successful flights. In September 1910 the Syndicate became the first occupant of the sheds newly erected at Hendon flying field. The following month a three-seat "Valkyrie" was undergoing trials.

In May 1911 the Parliamentary Aerial Defence Committee organised at |Hendon an elaborate demonstration (dominated by French aircraft) to impress upon Members of Parliament and senior officers the military potential of aircraft. For some reason unknown, the organisers told the company that it must not fly during the demonstrations without invitation, and that it was not possible to extend any such invitation.

The company donated four "Valkyries" to the Government. On September 17, 1911, Lieutenant Cammell of the Royal Engineers was flying one of these and made a steep turn without maintaining adequate speed, crashing; the pilot died on his way to hospital.

Barber continued his research and experimental work for a few months but in April 1912 withdrew from active aviation due to increasing costs. The company's aircraft and spares were auctioned on April 24. During the Great War, Barber served in the RCF and RAF as an instructor, inventing several ingenious training aids.

Taken from "The Aeroplanes of the Royal Flying Corps (Military Wing)" by J M Bruce, who notes "[barber's] country, to which he gave so much, did not recognise or acknowledge in even the most modest way anything that he had done".

Moonraker

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Two or three "In Memoriam" notices in The Times suggest that Barber died on July 6, 1964; the paper did not print an obituary. But on December 22, 1952, this concluded an article on aviation milestones:

post-6017-1181154947.jpg

Moonraker

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Thank you both for your help, Barber was among the first RFC instructors at Shoreham, he was reputed to have had such a loud voice he could be heard from the ground shouting instructions in the air to his pupils!

Tim.

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