Civilian Flying Boats in Durban - Page 2
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Added 20 July 2004

Recently I went to visit Keith and Faith Knowler to do some work on their computer and I got talking to them about Facts About Durban. It emerged that Keith's sister Blanche had married Durbanite Eric Turk in 1943 and that Eric had been a purser on Imperial Airways and BOAC flying boats. Eric had apparently been educated at Glenwood High School and had worked for Union Flour Mills before getting a job with Imperial Airways.

He worked as a Purser on the flying boat routes from Alexandria in Egypt to Durban and from Alexandria to Karachi and from Karachi to Sydney. For a time, during WWII, he was seconded from his duties with the airline to serve as Brtish Vice Consul in Beira. After the war, he joined the Automobile Association and became its South African Director General. Keith was kind enough to phone Eric's daughter, Barbara le Grange, who immediately lent me a packet of pictures and papers which had belonged to her father. And what a teasure trove it turned out to be...


Picture courtesy Keith Knowler

The wedding of of Eric Turk and Blanche Doreen Knowler took place in St Paul's Church, Durban, on 5 June 1943. Flanking them are Shirley Constance Knowler and M. Wheatley, also of BOAC. The picture shows off the BOAC uniforms worn by Eric and his bestman.

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<==/\ Click pics to view enlargements.

Pictures courtesy Barbara le Grange

In the packet of papers belonging to Eric Turk were three Imperial Airways souvenir route map booklets which would have been given to the passengers. The maps were for the the Alexandria-Durban, Alexandria-Karachi and Karachi-Sydney routes. I have put up the cover of the Alexandria-Durban booklet, left, the page which shows the termination of the route in Durban, centre, and a wallpaper-sized (1024x768px) image of the double-page advert for Short Brothers, makers of the Empire Class flying boats.


Picture courtesy Barbara le Grange

This picture shows the flying boat Canopus ashore on the slipway at Durban. In it, Canopus seems to be receing attention to her nose.

<== Click pic to view A wallpaper-sized (1024x768) enlargement.

 

Picture courtesy Barbara le Grange

Here is Canopus again but there is some doubt whether the picture was taken in Durban or not. I showed it to a meeting of the World Ship Society and a majority seemed to think that it isn't Durban.

<== Click pic to view A wallpaper-sized (1024x768) enlargement.

Added 16 January 2011

Fred Wilkinson sent in this picture of the flying boat Capella. I don't know that the picture was taken in Durban, but the aircraft is certain to visited here.


Picture courtesy Fred Wilkinson

 

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Picture courtesy Nicole White

 

I have added a page of excellent pictures and a few newspaper articles which belonged to Captain Roger Mollard.

 

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