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British Industrial History

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Pauline Mary de Peauly Gower

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Pauline Mary de Peauly Gower (married name Fahie), (1910–1947), aviator.

1910 Born in Tunbridge Wells, daughter of a solicitor

c.1928 Débutante; presented at court

1930 Learnt to fly at the Phillips and Powis School of Aviation, the first woman to gain a flying certificate there.

1931 In order to fulfil her ambition of earning a living from flying she enrolled at the London Aeroplane Club, Stag Lane, where she became friends with Amy Johnson and Dorothy Spicer. Became the third woman in the world to gain a "B" Licence.

Entered into partnership with Miss Dorothy Spicer for joyriding and taxi work.

1932 She and Dorotht joined the Crimson Fleet air circus of Modern Airways Ltd and, later, British Hospitals Air Pageant.

After the rigours of air-circus life the partners decided to establish Air Trips Ltd, an aerial-taxi and joyriding business operating from Hunstanton, Norfolk. It was the first aviation company to be wholly-owned and staffed by women.

By 1936 they were touring again, this time with Tom Campbell Black's British Empire Air Display. Pauline was appointed the chief pilot and Dorothy the senior engineer.

After they gave up touring, the partners established an aerial garage at Hayling Island but this did not continue long.

1938 Pauline was elected as a fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society. She became a sought after speaker and was asked to serve on various committees.

WWII On 1 December 1939 Pauline was appointed as an Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) second officer and given the job of forming a women's section, which eventually involved more than 150 women.

1942 Appointed MBE.

1943 Appointed a director of British Overseas Airways Corporation.

1945 Married Wing Commander William Cusack Fahie (1918–1972).

1947 Died at home in Chelsea, having just given birth to twin boys.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  • Biography of Pauline Mary de Peauly Gower, ODNB