A LOSS TO BRITAIN
IT was with a feeling of irretrievable loss that we heard the news
of Winifred Spooner’s death last month, from a heart attack while suffering from influenza. At the early age of 32 she held a unique position in aviation circles, both in England and on the Continent. An indefatigable entrant in races and competitions, Winifred Spooner never carried off the honour of first prize, but, nevertheless, her skill was second to none—indeed, it is doubtful whether any man was her superior. Publicity was the last thing she ever craved, and it is therefore not surprising that many of the public have never heard of some of her most amazing feats. One is worth
recalling. In returning from having witnessed the 1927 Schneider Trophy Race at Venice, her engine stopped near Genoa, and she brought the machine safely to land, entirely undamaged, in a suburban street.
Winifred Spooner was an extremely brave woman. In 1931, while flying a Desoutter monoplane to South Africa in company with Mr. E. C. T. Edwards, they fell in the sea, and Miss Spooner swam a mile to the shore for help. She was one of the few women to possess a ” B ” licence, and before being appointed to the sole charge of Mr. Lindsay Everard’s private aerodrome at Ratcliffe, she was a muchsought-after taxi pilot. The poss
essor of a cheerful disposit;on and considerable charm, Winifred Spooner turned casual acquaintances into firm friendships wherever she went, which makes her deeply regretted death more keenly felt all over Europe.
No woman ever gave more valuable service to her country in Aviation, and in appreciation of this service we cannot do better than to quote the ” Times ” memoir notice : “She was, in fact, the best example of the enthusiast who is determined to make flying of practical use. She had no sense of mission in this, but her success as a professional pilot is probably one of the soundest pieces of aviation propaganda which any woman has done.”