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The Times Luncheon
THE "TIMES" HONOURS THE EVEREST FLYERS
At a luncheon given by The Times at Grosvenor House on
Thursday, June 1, and honoured by the presence of the Duke of York, silver
medals, designed by Mr .Percy Metcalfe, were presented to Air Cdre Fellowes,
Lord Clydesdale, and other members of the Houston Everest Expedition. Maj.
Astor, who presided, proposed the toast of "The King Emperor," and read the
following telegram from His Majesty:"
The King sincerely thanks you for the loyal message you have
sent on behalf of the board of Tile Times Publishing Company on the occasion of
the luncheon to the members of the Houston .Mount Everest Flight Expedition .
His Maj esty is very 'glad that his son is able to join in celebrating the
remarkable achievements of your guests, who have so greatly distinguished
themselves in the world of adventure." Maj. Astor also proposed the toast of "
The Members of the Houston Mount Everest Flight Expedition."
He welcomed the presence of the Duke of York at the
celebration of an achievement in which his brother officers of the Royal Air
Force had played so outstanding a part, and thanked members of the Government,
officers of the RAF and others who had helped to make the assembly
representative and worthy of the occasion. He expressed regret that Lady Houston
was prevented by ill-health from being with them; it was her public spirit and
generosity that made the flight more than a The Duke of York presents flight of
fancy. They missed Air Commodore P. F. M. those members of the Houston-Everest
Expedition who were responsible for the taking of the photographs, The Times had
always been susceptible to the fascination of Mount Everest, and they were
naturally eager to offer congratulations on an inspiring achievement, not only
of the spirit of man, but also of mechanical and constructional skill. No
eloquence could do justice to that achievement, to the defiance of nature in her
harshest and most relentless form, and to the overcoming of difficulties of
organisation and construction
Turning to the medals, Maj. Aster said they had been struck
in silver, not because The Times had gone off the gold standard, but because
silver was the better medium. The Secretary of State for Air was to have
supported the toast, but duty took him to Geneva. Sir Samuel Hoare had taken
over his task. Sir Samuel Hoare said it was the only occasion on which he had
made a speech concerning an "Indian event when there had been agreement of
opinion in England and India. The expedition proved the possibilities of ail'
travel in the future at greater altitudes. He said that never had so great an
achievement been carried out with such complete success and punctuality, which
was largely due la the preliminary organisation. He had known Air Cdre. Fellowes
for years they had once been engaged together on a great experiment of airship
development which failed, not through any want of care or ability on the part of
Air Corn. Fellowes. He regarded the achievement as a great human victory over
the forces of nature. A few years ago people would have thou ght it impossible
for the human frame to stand the strain of such a flight. He had been told that
the pilots felt no depressing or sleepy effects through flying at such
altitudes, rather the opposite. Those who took part in the flight courage and
adventure. The Duke of York then presented the medals to Air Cdre. Fellowes,
Lord Clydesdale, Lt. Col. Stewart Blacker, Col. T, P. Etherton, Fit, Lt. D. F.
McIntyre and F/O. R. C. W. Ellison, and to Mrs. Bonnett, Mrs. Fisher and Mrs.
Barkas, whose husbands had not returned from India.
Air Cdre. Fellowes, responding to the toast, said that they had flown over
Everest partly out of a spirit of adventure and partly because it behoved eve rv
nation in these days of competition and advertisement to demonstrate the fruits
of its enterprise before the eves of the world, and it was a source of great
satisfaction that The Times had been provided with material which enabled iha t
journal to demonstrated once again the efficiency of British aircraft and
engines and the other equipment used . Speaking of the second flight to Everest
Air Cdre. Fellowes said that they knew the brake was being put on them because
of the kind-hearted fears for the safety of the expedition which were in the
mind of Lady Houston. He himself did not know the flight was going to take
place. His orders were that the machines could be flown to the mountain provided
they remained within gliding distance of a flat space ; the pilots obeyed his
orders literally by regarding the clouds around as the necessary flat spots. He
Houston, Col. Etherton, and
the hospitality of their Indian hosts. He submitted that British aircraft
manufacturers should devote their attention to serving India, In Conlusion, he
spoke of the great power of The Times, and mentioned how the Aeronautical
Correspondent had shared to the full in what proved to be a scientific success
and a wonderful spree.
Sqd Ldr Lord Clydesdale said that they had a duly to do and did it. They
demonstrated that a British machine with a British engine could fly over the
highest mountain in the world. The sensations during the flight were nothing out
of the ordinary . They did not maintain that a comprehensive survey had been
made, but they have shown that surveys over high mountains could be carried out.
He associated himself with what had been said about Lady Houston, whose
generosity had made the flight possible.
Lady Violet Aster, Lady Doris Blacker. Mr. and Mrs. Olaf,
Bloch.Air Vice-Marshal A. E.and Mrs.Borton, Air Marshal Sir Robert and Lady
Brooke-Popham, Mr and Mrs. R. A. Bruce, Mr. and Mrs: Alan S. Butler, Air Marshal
H. C.T. Dowding, Mr. John W.Dulanty, Mr. and Mrs. Norman Edgar, Mr. Ernest
Edmonds, Sir George and Lady Etherton, Mr A. H.R. Fedden ,Mrs. P.F.M Fellowes.
Mr,and Mrs. George H. Ferguson. Air Commodore and Mrs.MacNeece Foster,Mr.Cecil
Fry, Lady Gilmour, Admiral Sir William Goodenough, Lord Gorell, the Duchess of
Hamilton, Lady Maud Hoare. Air Vice-Marshal Sir Edger and Lady Ludlow-Hewitt,
the Dowager Lady Minto , Mr, K. S. Murray, Wing Comdr. A.H. and Mrs.Orlebar, Sir
Ernest and Ladv Petter, Lord and Lady Riddell, Colonel the Master of Sempill and
Mrs. Forbes Sempill, Lady Simon, Mr and Mrs. E. C. Shepherd, Marshal of the
R.A.F. Lord Trenchard and Lady Trcnchard, Lord and Lady Wakefield, Mr and
Mrs.John Walter, Air Vice-Marshal Sir Tom and Lady Webb-Bowen. Sir Thomas and
Ladv Wilford, Mr & Mrs Colin M Williamson, Sir Kingsley Wood.