Lt. General Jan Smuts attends unveiling and christening of a DH9 (or R.E.8) biplane "South Africa" during World War I.
Hendon London England Date:1917, May 5 Duration:2 min 29 sec Sound:NO SOUND
Visit of Lieutenant General Jan Christiaan Smuts and his entourage at the Hendon airfield on the outskirts of London England, during World War 1, where dignitaries and spectators are gathered to attend the unveiling and christening of a De Havilland DH9 aircraft, named "South Africa." (Note: The plane also resembles a Royal Aircraft Factory R.E.8. Position of pilot cockpit does not match a DH9 making identity uncertain). The aircraft was subscribed for by members of the London Chamber of Commerce, and presented as a gift to South Africa through the Imperial Air Fleet Committee. Lifelong South African Lt. General Smuts with other dignitaries viewing the aircraft, including Lord Desborough who was President of the London Chamber of Commerce and the Imperial Air Fleet Committee. Mrs William Schreiner, the Marchioness of Winchester, stands with flowers in her hand and christens the aircraft. General Smuts talks to the dignitaries as they present the aircraft to honor and thank South Africa for its contribution to the war effort. Pilot Captain B.C. Hucks, dressed in heavy flight suit climbs aboard the airplane, which displays the name "South Africa," on its nose. The aircraft takes off and flies overhead. Scene changes to the Christening ceremony, in which Mrs. Schreiner christens the "South Africa." She is seen tapping its propeller with a small mallet. Closeup of the DH9 "South Africa". Others present at the event included Sir David Henderson, Lord Aberconway, Lord Glenconner, Sir Owen Phillip, Sir T. Vezey Strong, Lionel Martin, Faithfull Begg, Stanley Machin, Albert Sytner, Alfred Docker, John Cockburn, Algernon Firth, Sir J. W. Teverner, Harry Wilson, Robert Hadfield, Generals Branckner and Caddell, Maj Van der Spuy, Major Lord Roberts Innes Kerr, Capt Hambro, Capt Wilkinson, Capt Hucks, Captains Turner, Lyons, and Hope; John Cates, C.J. Fairfax Scott, Charles Musgrave.
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