6 Nov 1935 - Charles Kingsford Smith flight
By the early 1930s, Charles Kingsford Smith had achieved international fame for his exploits in long-distance flight, and had been knighted for his contribution to the development of the Australian aviation industry.
In 1935 (at age 38) he was not in the best of health but keen to go on demonstrating that the future of world transport was in aviation. He arranged for the plane Lady Southern Cross to be shipped to England. From there, with co-pilot J. T. Pethybridge, he took off on 6 November 1935, aiming to make one more record-breaking flight to Australia. It was not to be – the plane and both airmen were lost; believed to have crashed into the sea somewhere off the coast of Burma while flying at night towards Singapore.
If you can give any information…which will help to find them you will receive a large reward of money
The report from the Air Commodore of the Royal Air Force, Far East shows that every effort was made to locate the famous missing aviator and his plane, including offering a reward to whoever could provide useful information. The inclusion of these papers in the probate records is likely to be due to the need to have a sound basis for the assumption that a missing person was actually dead (thus facilitating the granting of probate).
Kingsford Smith was survived by his wife and son and left an estate valued for probate at £12,875.
Every now and then rare we find rare examples of collection items which may be described as 'treasures'. One example is the intestate estate file for a Mr Patrick Birmingham who died in 1907
Probate packets hold the last will and testament, codicils, an inventory of assets of the estate, affidavits of death and other papers
The 1930s were widely considered aviation’s ‘golden’ age, a time when modernity and luxury combined to define an era in world travel that will almost certainly never be repeated
Nancy Bird Walton AO was the youngest female pilot in Australia and continued to challenge aviation obstacles throughout her life