- Hubert Latham
Hubert Latham
Hubert Latham
A photo published in 1912 mentioning his death
due to a hunting accident in Africa
Collection of Jean-Pierre Lauwers
via email from Stephen King - 9-29-03
     Latham died in present-day Tchad (French Equitorial Africa), near the town of Fort Archambault. How he died is a matter of conjecture, although history pretty much credits his death at the hands (horns) of a wounded buffalo.
     However, the commandant at the French fort (French Colonial Army) outside Fort Archambault, who went to get Latham's body after his bearers reported his death, found no trace whatsoever of injuries compatible with being gored, tossed, and trampled (this is what the bearers said) by a buffalo. He saw a single wound to the head - the remainder of his body was unmarked, nor were there any tracks or torn up earth around his body. The commandant was convinced Latham had been killed by one or both of his porters, probably so they could steal and sell his four expensive rifles he had with him, but he couldn't get a straight story and since there were no other witnesses, he let the story stand.
     This information is contained in an article in the Le Havre Journal, daily newspaper, which was published on the day Latham was re-buried in Le Havre (January, 1914).
     I have studied him for several years, read countless books, articles, letters, journals, etc., and interviewed many members of his family, including the oldest living member who is living in the chateau that Latham himself lived in - Maillebois, near the historic French city of Dreux. His name is Lionel Armand-Delille and he is the son of Hubert Latham's older sister, Edmée. Since Lionel was born in 1913, he obviously never knew his uncle - no one alive now ever knew Hubert Latham.
     Even in France he is relatively unknown, yet in 1909, 10 and 11, he was probably the most famous Frenchman alive - certainly the most popular, even more so than Bleriot or any of the other early aviators. They loved him because of his amazing style, but they also loved his airplane, the Antoinette monoplane.

Hubert Latham
Hubert Latham's Monument -1940
     The French did respect their fallen hero H Latham and erected a statue in his memory. This is located somewhere near Dunkirk and I have a photo of it taken at around 1940 showing German troops near it.
     H Latham's statue appears to be at Escalles, just outside Calais. The location may be found via the following link:

     Once at web page follow to links sightseeing and leisure, then Calais monuments and via Michelin.
Photo & legend from Ian Simpson, 11-
Closeup View
You can see an enlarged view of this photograph by clicking on the title.

Hubert Latham
Hubert Latham's Monument -2008
     I just came across your web page, regarding Hubert Latham, in a round-about way. I take part in a nerdy hobby called Geocaching where a GPS receiver is used to find a location and either sign a log book or obtain some information. The statue to Hubert, shown on your web page, is close to the village of Sangatte, to the west of Calais and the task was to find the statue, who it was for and what year he died
Photo & legend from Charles Watson, 2-18-08-
Closeup Views
You can see two closeup views of the monument by clicking on the title.

Editor's Note:
If you have any information on this pioneer aviator
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper

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