Obituary - George Wingfield
“Aerodrome” in England
Founded by George Wingfield, Great Uncle of WFS Member
by Jocelyn Wingfield
In 1909-1910 George Wingfield founded England’s oldest (i.e. first) flying ground on the south coast. Lying between Shoreham town and Lancing College in Sussex, it consisted of ¾ mile by ½ mile or 150 acres of grazing land, criss-crossed by streams. It opened officially on October 1, 1910 and became a staging point in round-England and later round-Europe air races and was one end of the world’s first recorded freight service (Brooklands to Shoreham). Shoreham’s George Wingfield was surely George Arthur Wingfield, chartered accountant (1869-19xx), a great uncle of WFS Member Bill Wingfield of Toronto – rather than Bill’s great grandfather and GAW’s father, George Wingfield of Wimbledon, south London (1841-1930), also a chartered accountant – since George Wingfield, Jr, moved from living in Kennington, south London to Hove near Shoreham in 1910. (In the family he was known as “Arthur”).
George Arthur Wingfield’s friends, Cecil and Eric Pashley (not claimed by Pat Pashley, WFS, as relations – yet!) put Shoreham “Aerodrome” on the aviation map. Cecil was later killed in action over France – where Lawrence Arthur Wingfield, George Arthur Wingfield’s second son (1898-1989), did so brilliantly in 1916, bombing St.Quentin in France, but having to land in a barracks in France where a swastika was flying, as his plane was holed. He was listed as a spy and listed for a decoration. The King dismissed the spy report and awarded him a decoration for bravey. [Obituary, Newsletter, IV, 1. p.2].
Today Shoreham Airport is one of England’s busiest “general aviation” airports. Wingfield House, its restaurant in Terminal 2, is named for George Wingfield and the video about the airport contains a good picture of him.
Bill Wingfield only last year finished deciphering his great grandfather;s fascinating diary of nearly 50 pages. On June 24, 1914 George Wingfield with his sister Jessie, visited Arthur Wingfield’s house at Hove and Shoreham aerodrome.
[Website: www.shorehamairport.co.uk ].