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Harry Hawker's heroics relived by seaplane fly-over
12:40pm Wednesday 21st August 2013 in News
Did you see it?
A seaplane flew over Kingston and Chessington this morning to commemorate the 100th anniversary of a historic flight by Harry Hawker.
Neil Findlay caught this snap of the Catalina G-PBYA, piloted by Jeff Boyling, from his loft window in Hook.
The seaplane will fly back over Brooklands, Hook and Kingston on Sunday, August 25 (at 4.01pm, 4.04pm and 4.06pm respectively) before returning home to Duxford.
The flyby marked the anniversary of the Circuit of Britain Race circumnavigating the coast in 1913, the first major British competition for seaplanes.
Only Harry Hawker, chief engineer of Sopwith Aviation and now buried in the churchyard at St Paul's church, took part.
He flew a Sopwith Bat Boat, completing more than 1,000 miles, the longest distance ever flown over water at that time, before crashing just north of Dublin.
Hawker went on to become Britain’s finest aircraft engineer and pilot until his premature death in 1921, aged 32, crashing from 2,500ft in a Nieuport Goshawk biplane.
His death was mourned as a national tragedy, and thousands gathered to pay their respects as his two-hour funeral procession moved through Surbiton.
His coffin was borne by colleagues from the aircraft factory in Canbury Park Road, Kingston before burial in the churchyard of St Paul’s, Hook.
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