AKA Jimmy Valentine
James Valentine - 1911-12
Collection of Catherine Evans, 6-29-06

via eamil from Pete Jones, 8-12-08
Ralph it doesn't look like James survived past 1912. The following newspaper clipping is from the defunct New York Herald dated June 27 1912. I tried searching for anything concerning 'pre war aviator James Valentine' past 1913. All of the info on the net is confined to the 1910-1912 period. Valentine was in the 1911 race-around-Britain, I believe he came in #27 or #28 after Colonel Cody. Ok here's the article I got by searching Altavista, sorry I don't have his dob yet(why wasn't this bigger news in 1912?)

via eamil from Pete Jones, 8-12-08
     You'll be happy to know that I've found a definite date of death for James Valentine. I was wrong and misinterpreted the info about the cable dispatch to the New York Herald in 1912. True he disappeared but only from those reporters view, not permanently, and reappeared on the other side of the English Channel. This explains why he was present in September 1912 at Mr Astley's crash. This was really confusing to me so I pressed on to find out Mr Valentines survival post June 1912 but pre-September 1912 . Im glad it's now straightened out.
     James Valentine survived past 1912 most certainly. He seems to have retired from flying in August 1914 (the beginning of WW1) as one of the following websites I'll list will state. In 1917 Valentine was in uniform as a Major for the Royal Flying Corps. He was involved in a mission to Russia and seems to have gotten ill with dysentary in July 1917. He died on August 7 1917 from something called INFARCTION(forgive me Im not a doctor). The following sites were of great use in concluding what James Valentine's fate was. It's also great info on some of the other pioneers before the war and during wartime.

     A book written in 1927 but reprinted in 1972 and offered in online text form by Google. The author Charle Cyril Turner writing in 1927 recalls a chance meeting with James Valentine shortly before the latter's death. Turner's writings verify Valentine's 1917 death beginning on page 42:

     The following website has online exchanges about Mr Valentine verifying his death and his name on a war memorial at Archangel presumably in Russia(be sure to scroll down to marked info on James, The text on this page is all run together, but if you use the "FIND" function on "Valentine", each incidence will be highlighted and you can easily read the messages:

     This website supposedly has access to a photo with his signature and photos of other pilots with their signatures. In italics there's mention of his retirement from aviation in August 1914. You can use the "FIND" function on "Valentine" to locate the entry on the page:

James Valentine
Collection of Catherine Evans, 6-29-06

via eamil from Catherine Evans, 9-16-08
     James Valentine married Louisa Eileen Knox in 1913, and she served as a nurse in Paris during WW1. I am pretty certain there were no children. In 1919, Louisa Eileen Valentine married Ronald Charteris, a grandson of the Earl of Albemarle, two years after Jimmy Valentine's death.

James Valentine, British Aviator, Flying Toward France, Is Suddenly Lost to View.

London, Thursday.]
James Valentine left Dover last evening in a Bristol monoplane for Dieppe, by way of Calais. News of his arrival at the latter place has not been received up to an early hour this morning at Dover. A friend, who had been watching the flight, says he saw the machine dip suddenly and it was lost to sight.

Had Engaged in Many Races in England and on the Continent.
James Valentine has been a prominent figure in many racing contests in England during the last year. He is a pilot of the Aero Club of the United Kingdom, having received a license January 17, 1911.

He was then using a Macfie biplane, but learned the use of the monoplane in time to fly a Deperdussian in the European circuit, in which he represented England with credit, last July. He was described in that contest as a cool and courageous. He entered also for the English circuit race last summer in the Deperdussin.

In the aerial Derby of eighty-one miles around London on June 3 last, Valentine was third in a fifty-horse-power Bristol monoplane.

At the Whitalm meeting, Hendon, May 14, Valentine won a handicap cross-country event and a speed handicap.
Clipping contributed to net by Nick Forder


Daily Journal and Tribune,
Knoxville, Tennessee: September 22, 1912 ,
Transcribed by Bob Davis - 6-10-03
The Intreprid English Aviator,
Killed in the Presence of Thirty Thousand Spectators"
"Belfast, Sept. 21
      H. J. D. Astley, one of the most intrepid and skillful of English aviators, was killed this afternoon by the fall of his aeroplane. Astley and James Valentine, each driving a machine, were making exhibition flights in the presence of thirty thousand spectators. Astley, after a splendid flight, was descending. He attempted to bank too sharply when making a sudden turn and caught by a fluky wind the monoplane fell from a height of one hundred feet. Women screamed and fainted. Astley was flung against one of the wings and his skull fractured. He died soon afterward.
      Astley when flying from France to England with Miss Trehawke Davis as a passenger had a marvelous escape near Lille on September 17. On that occasion the machine fell 150 feet and Miss Davis is said to have made an entry in her diary of her sensations as they dropped.

     If you search for "James Valentine +aviation", using the Google search engine,
(8-16-04), you will find about 132 links. Among the most helpful are the following.

The Round Britain Race
The Daily Mail £10,000 Prize
22 July - 7 August 1911

      On this page you find a fascinating story of the race, illustrated with many photographs and including some important links. It presents list of the 30 entrants into the race, along with their aeroplanes and country of origin. Two of them are also found on my website
  Jules Védrines (9)
André Beaumont (1)
Gustav Hamel (24)
James Valentine (14)
H.J.D.Astley (2)
E.Audemars (13)
S.F.Cody (20)
G.Blanchet (11)
C.Howard Pixton (19)
C.Compton-Paterson (7)
Olivier de Montalent (23)
C.P.Pizey (17)
C.T.Weymann (28)
Lt.Reynolds, R.E. (25)
Lt.H.Bier + passenger (30)
B.C.Hucks (27)
Lt.R.A.Cammell, R.E. (12)
        If you read the whole interesting story of this historic event, you will find many references to James Valentine. If you scroll down the page toward the bottom, you will find a thumbnail of Valentine taking off from Bristol. You can click on the thumbnail to see an enlarged version. You can access the site by clicking on the title above.
Caricature from Flight Magazine
Collecton of Catherine Evans, 6-29-06

The 'Great' 1911 Air Race visits Whipton
"The Race Reaches Whipton"
     "The landing field at Arena Park, Whipton attracted a crowd of several thousand on the evening of the 25th July, as the first competitors were expected before nightfall. However, no aircraft appeared in the sky, and the crowd dispersed, or camped out, ready for the expected arrival at 4am the next day."

     There are eleven beautiful photographs, capable of being enlarged, three of which feature Valentine. We can thank Pete Jones for alerting us to this valuable resource. You can access the page by clicking on the title above.

Society of Air Racing Historians
A Concise History of Air Racing
By Don Berliner
     You will find several mentions of James (Jimmy) Valentine on this page. If time permits, I think you will enjoy reading the whole article. You can access it by clicking on the title above.

serious about aviation

The Flightglobal Archive invites you to explore 100 years of aviation history as it appeared in the original pages of Flight Magazine from 1909-2005.

* Every issue of Flight Magazine published between 1909-2005, digitally scanned and fully searchable
* Thumbnail browser interface allowing for rapid issue viewing
* Save and print your favourite articles
* Topic pages, plus unique archive photo and cutaway galleries
* 100% FREE ACCESS – forever. In fact we’re positively encouraging you to link to, copy and paste from, and contribute to the development of this unique record of aerospace and aviation history
* Read our FAQs

The Flightglobal Archive is a collaborative and ongoing project. We welcome your input in growing our topic categories and discovering hidden gems within the depths of time. If you find something of interest that you want to share with us and other Archive visitors then let us know

     You will find a wealth of material in this incredible resource. The page below is one example. You can access it by clicking on the title.

  August 3, 1912  
THE MILITARY COMPETITION MACHINES.--The Bristol monoplane. Two machines of this type have been
entered. One will be flown by Mr. James Valentine, and the other by Mr. H. Busteed.

French aviators are left loveless on Valentine's day
     This article from the Harrogate Advertiser, was suggested to me by Kim on 7-24-11. It recounts James’ exploits during the Round Britain race. A portion is excerpted below:

     Four minutes and 26 seconds later, a second plane landed, piloted by Andre Beaumont, and to the intense annoyance of the assembled dignatories, this second flyer was also found to be French, so he, too, was immediately disqualified.
     By now, the crowd was getting edgy, but when a third plane landed 24 minutes and fifty-eight seconds later, piloted by Englishman James Valentine, the cheering could be heard on West Park.

     You can read the entire story by clicking on the title above.

James Valentine died at Kiev Russia on August 7 1917.
Lieutenant Colonel James Valentine, R.F.C., D.S.O., died soon afterwards in Kiev of heart failure, brought on by the hardships he had endured during the retreat. He was only twenty-nine years old. He had been one of the foremost competitors in aviation contests in England, and had served during the war in France. For the best part of a year he had been in Russia, in charge of instruction in British aeroplanes. For his signal gallantry during the retreat he was recommended by General Kornilov for the Order of St. George."
from "RUSSIA'S AGONY" by Robert Wilton, 1919, page 283
Courtesy of Pete Jones, 8-15-08

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

BackBack Home