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British Industrial History

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John Theodore Cuthbert Moore-Brabazon

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1909. JMB with his Voisin flyer.
1908. At Issy on 3rd December 1908.
1909. 'Bird of Passage'.
1909. Voisin biplane.
1909. Short biplane.
1909. John Moore-Brabazon's 'Bird of Passage.
1909. John Moore-Brabazon's 'Bird of Passage.
1909. John Moore-Brabazon's 'Bird of Passage.
1909. John Moore-Brabazon's 'Bird of Passage.
1909. John Moore-Brabazon's Short plane.
1909. John Moore-Brabazon's Short plane.
1909. John Moore-Brabazon's Short plane.
1909. John Moore-Brabazon's Short plane.
1909. The Short Brothers, the Wright Brothers, J Moore-Brabazon and others at Shellbeach
1910. No. 5.

John Theodore Cuthbert Moore-Brabazon, 1st Baron Brabazon of Tara, GBE, MC (8 February 1884–17 May 1964) was a London born English aviation pioneer and Conservative politician.

He learned to fly in 1908 in France in a Voisin biplane. He became the first resident Englishman to make an officially recognized aeroplane flight in England on 2 May 1909 on the Isle of Sheppey at Leysdown, Kent with flights of 450ft, 600ft, and 1500ft.

1909 Biographical information and image at Automotor Journal 1909/11/06

On 4 May 1909 Moore-Brabazon had his picture taken outside of the aero club Mussel Manor, now known as Muswell Manor, alongside the Wright Brothers, Short Brothers, Charles Stewart Rolls, and many early aviation pioneers.

On 30 October 1909, flying a Short Brothers aircraft, he flew a circular mile and won a 1,000 pound prize offered by the Daily Mail newspaper.

On November 4, 1909, as a joke to prove that pigs could fly, he put a small pig in a waste-paper basket tied to a wing-strut of his aeroplane. This may have been the first live cargo flight by aeroplane. With Charles Rolls he would later make the first ascent in a spherical gas balloon made in England by the Short brothers.

On 8 March 8 1910 Moore-Brabazon became the first person to qualify as a pilot in the United Kingdom and was awarded Royal Aero Club certificate number 1, his car also bore the number-plate FLY 1. However only 4 months late, his friend Charles Rolls was killed in a flying accident and Moore-Brabazon's wife pursuaded him to give up flying.

With the outbreak of War, Moore-Brabazon return to flying, joining the Royal Flying Corps. He served on the Western Front where he played a key role in the development of aerial photography and reconnaissance.

In March 1915 he was promoted to captain and appointed as an equipment officer. On the 1 April 1918, when the Royal Flying Corps merged with the Royal Naval Air Service, to form the Royal Air Force, Moore-Brabazon was appointed as a staff officer (first class) and made a temporary lieutenant-colonel.

Moore-Brabazon finished the war with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and had been awarded the Military Cross.

Moore-Brabazon later became a Conservative Member of Parliament for Chatham (1918-1929) and Wallasey (1931-1942) and served as a junior minister in the 1920s, then Minister of Transport and Minister of Aircraft Production in Winston Churchill's wartime government. He was forced to resign in 1942 for expressing the hope that Germany and the Soviet Union, then engaged in the Battle of Stalingrad, would destroy each other. Since the Soviet Union was fighting the war on the same side as Britain, the hope that it should be destroyed, though common in the Conservative Party, was unacceptable to the war effort.

Moore-Brabazon was elevated to the House of Lords as Baron Brabazon of Tara in 1942.

In 1943 he chaired the Brabazon Committee which planned to develop the post-war British aircraft industry. He was involved in the production of the Bristol Brabazon, a giant airliner that first flew on September 4, 1949.

A keen golfer, Moore-Brabazon was captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, the governing body of golf, from 1952-1953. At the age of 70 he was still riding the Cresta Run.

Moore-Brabazon was President of the Middlesex County Automobile Club from 1946 until his death in 1964.

In 1906, he married Hilda Mary Krabbé, with whom he had two sons.

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