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 George Lee Temple

Photo added by Iain MacFarlaine

George Lee Temple

  • Birth 11 Aug 1892
  • Death 25 Jan 1914
  • Burial Acton, London Borough of Ealing, Greater London, England
  • Memorial ID 11424360

Aviation Pioneer. Due to his youthful appearance, he was known as "The Baby Airman." Before taking up flying, he had been a motorcyclist. He qualified as a pilot on February 13, 1913, in a Henry Farman biplane, at the Ewan School in Hendon, North London. Later, he purchased a fifty horsepower Bleriot monoplane, which was thought to be unsuitable for "looping the loop." Indeed, whilst upside down and a mile high, his machine began to plummet towards Earth; but, when it was about 1,200 feet from the ground, it righted itself, and Temple made a safe landing. Later, he explained that he had been unable to make the machine respond to the controls and that, for a time, he had been falling at 100 m.p.h. He had calculated that, after flying upside-down, it would require a dive of 500 feet to get the right way up. In fact, it took him nearly 1,500 feet. Fortunately, he had begun the dive at a very high altitude. In order to prepare for flying upside-down, he had spent several days in his pilot's seat suspended from the beams of his hangar, like a bat. It is thought that his fatal accident was caused because he had not recovered from influenza, and that he fainted and fell on the control lever whilst descending near one of the pylons. The machine "turned turtle" and he broke his neck. The inscription on his grave reads: 'In loving memory of George Lee Temple, C. Inst. Mech. Inst. Av. Born 11 August 1892, he was the first British airman to fly upside down in this country, 24 Nov. 1913, and the youngest to fly from Paris to London, Oct. 1913. Loss of consciousness in mid air owing to recent illness during an ordinary flight at Hendon caused his untimely death on 25 January 1914 in his 22nd. year. "Now, gallant boy, pursue thy flight with swifter motion; haste to purer light."'.

Bio by: Iain MacFarlaine





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Iain MacFarlaine
  • Added: 25 Jul 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 11424360
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for George Lee Temple (11 Aug 1892–25 Jan 1914), Find A Grave Memorial no. 11424360, citing Acton Cemetery, Acton, London Borough of Ealing, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .