Graham Gilmour - 1911
Graham Gilmour - 1911
Douglas Graham Gilmour - 1911
Collection of Catherine Evans, 7-21-06
"Dear Mr Cooper
     I have just noticed you are also looking for a photograph of Graham Gilmour. This is the one I have of him.
     I do not know much about Graham Gilmour except the 1911 Boat Race incident (held on 1st April coincidentally) and which others were also involved in - namely, Claude Grahame-White, C. C. Paterson, P. Prier, Clement Greswell, Gustav Hamel and Mr. Hubert (who all thought it would be great fun to watch the Boat Race from the air) though none of these were so severely reprimanded as Mr. Gilmour who decided to entertain the crowds by flying low of the Oxford-Cambridge crews, annoying officials no end in the process.
     Graham Gilmour was killed on 17th February 1912.
Best wishes,

Graham Gilmour - 1911
Graham Gilmour - 1911
Mr Graham Gilmour and his Bristol biplane
     I have found amongst a collection of old postcards that belonged to my grandfather, a postcard of Douglas Gilmour and one of his aircraft.

     It is entitled "Mr Graham Gilmour and his Bristol biplane". It hasn't been posted, but someone has written on the back "August Bank Holiday 1911. Splendid flights in the Old Castle Grounds. Killed at Richmond Feb 17th 1912"

Contributed by Peggy Semler, 2-23-11

via email from John Graham Gilmour,
Grandson of Stanley Graham Gilmour
Sydney, Australia, 1-19-05
     Not sure why you are so interested in this man but I might be able to help you with some limited information on him.
     I have been for years meaning to see what if any information there was on the web and only today finally decided to try my hand and see if Douglas's name would come up in the Internet and was very surprised when at first go it popped up after my first search.
     Douglas Graham Gilmour is the son of David Graham Gilmour a man who at the turn of the 20th century embarked on legal action to claim the title of Duke of Montrose back from the then current holder. Apparently a Miss Gilmour (and here I am not sure of the veracity of the statement since this has been handed down to me by my grandfather and his sons my father and uncle) "married" the then Duke of Montrose in Scotland some 300 (probably 400 now) years back and Douglas is after many generations one of the issue of that line.
Stanley Gilmour
     Douglas had one brother (and this is where I come in) named Stanley Graham Gilmour who it just so happens was my grandfather, hence Douglas (who dies long before I was born) was my Great Uncle. Stanley joined the British army and came out to South Africa shortly after the conclusion of the 2nd Boer war (he used to amuse me as he referred to himself as a member of the army of occupation). He lived in Southern Rhodesia until the start of the 1st World War whereupon he enlisted in the Argyle and Southerland Highlanders back in Britain. However given his relationship to Douglas Air Marshall Trenchard, the first Air Marshall of the Royal Flying Corps asked him to enlist in the RFC as an aviator. The argument being that they needed good men who had some understanding of aviation (again the link to Douglas). He flew for years on all sorts of sorties over France and was eventually shot down over the war zone and imprisoned in a concentration camp by the Germans until the end of the war in 1918. He used to tell many funny stories about being fed 'black bread" and potato skin soup by the Germans! I guess he was a pioneering aviator in the RFC. My mother has a photo album of all sorts of planes which he flew (I have a couple myself) most of which seem in one way or another to have ended up crashed into barns, hangers, fields or upside down into other buildings. He was never hurt (I guess because the planes flew so slowly but the pictures have always amused me! What a pity a man like him has never been recognised for his services to his country so early in the history of planes and their use to defend Britain!
Douglas Crosses the Channel in His Bleriot
     Back to Douglas - he appears to have been a bit of a wild child and took many risks during his life, ultimately paying for them with his life somewhere in Southern England. My grandfather often used to tell the story of Douglas's great claim to fame being that he went to France to purchase a Bleriot bi-plane which he then flew back across the channel in 1910. He was also the first man to fly over the Oxford and Cambridge boat race, and here I am not certain if it was 1910 or 1911 (I think the latter) for which he was reprimanded by the authorities and told he could not fly any more. His retort I am told was that he told them where to go as he didn't need a license to fly and he ignored them (fairly typical response from him I believe!). Obviously since he dies in early 1912 a promising young life was cut short. I know my grandfather Stanley was born in 1887 and I believe that Douglas was older than he so he must have been about 27 when he died.
     Not sure how much other information I can dredge up from the depths of my memory but I do have somewhere in the house a photocopy of very old article from a paper in Britain written about Douglas at the time he died. If I can find it and if you are interested in it I can scan it in and email it to you.
Hope this helps.
Best wishes,
John Graham Gilmour

via email from David Barnes, 1-20-05
Webmaster of Royal Flying Corps, Royal Naval Air Service,
Royal Air Force Register 1914 - 1919 Web Site

Lieutenant S G Gilmour, RFC
Granted Royal Aero Club Aviators Certificate No.997 15 December 1914 Flew with 5 Squadron

Captain S G Gilmour, 97 Sqn, Independant Force, RAF
Temp C.O. of Squadron January 1918 - 31 March 1918
Taken Prisoner 22 August 1918 with 2nd Lieut. G E Rochester & Sergt J W
Chalmers when Handley Page 0/400 D8304 on a Night Bombing Operation on
Volpersweiler Aerodrome and Railway at Herzing, was forced to land East of
Lines at Pechelbronn, Alsace

He was repatriated to England December 13, 1918

Douglas Graham Gilmour
Granted French Aero Club Aviators Certificate No.Fr.75 19 April 1910

I would certainly be interested in any further information.

David J Barnes
148 Parkinson Street
BB11 3LL

Douglas Graham Crash
  While testing a new monoplane in a flight from Brooklands to Richmond, Mr. Graham Gilmour, the well-known aviator, was killed on Saturday, owing to the machine suddenly collapsing. We give above two views of the wrecked aeroplane and on inset the ill-fated aviator.
Nottingham Guardian Feb 1912
Courtesy of Anthony Young, 10-22-07

Courtesy of Anthony Young, 10-23-07
     Douglas Graham Gilmour was about the tenth pilot to die, from the UK.

Hon. C.S Rolls (ref: Rolls Royce), killed at Bournemouth, July 12, 1910
Mr Cecil Grace, lost in the British Channel, December 23, 1910
Mr B.G. Benson, killed at Hendon, May 25, 1911
Mr V. Smith, killed at St. Petersburg, May 27, 1911
Mrs. Denise Moore, killed at Etaples, France, July 22, 1911
Mr George Napier, killed at Brooklands, August 1, 1911
Lieutenant T. Ridge, killed at Aldershot, August 18, 1911
Lieutenant Cammell, killed at Hendon, September 13, 1911
Mr Hubert Oxley and a passenger, Mr Robert Weiss, killed at Filey, December 6, 1911
Mr Douglas Graham Gilmour, killed at Richmond, February 17, 1912

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