Eleanor Trehawke Davies

Eleanor Josephine Trehawke Davies (1880 – 1915) was an English aviator and the first woman to fly across the English Channel and to have "looped the loop" in an aircraft.

Eleanor Trehawke Davies
Eleanor Trehawke Davies.png
At Hendon in 1912
Eleanor Josephine Davies

London, England
London, England
NationalityUnited Kingdom
Known foraviator

Early lifeEdit

Davies was born in 1880 in St Pancras, London, the daughter of Frederick and Eleanor Davies.


Davies who was known as "Miss Trehawke Davies" was never a pilot but known at the time as an "air companion" to a number of early aviators. In August 1911 she chartered Horatio Barber to fly her from Hendon to Brighton and back. The flight, hampered by cloud and high winds, took two days.[1] In April 1912 she flew with Gustav Hamel on a flight from Hendon Aerodrome near London to Paris, gaining the distinction of being the first woman to fly the English Channel.[2] She also flew with Hamel at the 1912 Whitsun meeting at Hendon, winning the altitude competition,[3] and in June 1912 she was with Hamel when he won the 1912 Aerial Derby around London.[2] In September 1912 she flew with Henry Astley in a failed attempt to fly from Issy-les-Moulineaux to Berlin in one day: returning from Liege to London with Astley on 18 September in his Blériot monoplane they crashed from a height of 450 ft (135 m) near Lille, but Astley and Davies were unhurt.[2][4] In January 1914 she was a passenger in Hamel's Morane-Saulnier monoplane when it "looped the loop" seven time in one flight: this made Davies the first woman ever to do this aerobatic manoeuvre.[2]

In 1913 she was awarded a trophy by the Women's Aerial League for her services to aviation.[5] In August 1914 she presented her Blériot Monoplane Seaplane to the Royal Naval Air Service.[2] Davies died in London on 22 November 1915[6] although her death was not announced until January 1916.[2]


  1. ^ "London Brighton Return" by Aeroplane. Flight:12 August 1911, p.700.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Famous Airwoman Dead." Times London, England, 21 Jan. 1916: 35. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 20 Dec. 2013.
  3. ^ "Whitsun meeting at Hendon". Flight. Vol. IV no. 22. 1 June 1912. pp. 483–7.
  4. ^ "Airwomans Fall". Derby Daily Telegraph. 19 September 1912. p. 3.
  5. ^ "Court Circular." Times London, England 9 Apr. 1913: 11. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 20 Dec. 2013.
  6. ^ "England and Wales National Probate Calendar"