Thomas Knowles Breakell, RAF

1894 Jun 27. Born Brassington, Derbyshire

1901 census at The Hall, Brassington

1910 Jan 12. The Wirksworth web site has a lot on him. A postcard from Batumi in Russia, addressed to a pupil "Master T.K.Breakell" at Wirksworth Grammar School, posted 12 Jan 1904 (in Julian calendar, which converts to 25 Jan 1904 in Gregorian). "I hope you have no cold or chilblains". It is not signed, but both his mother and father were in Georgia at the time.

The pupil was Thomas K Breakell, aged 9 at the time of posting. His father, Thomas aged 42, was a mining engineer from Lancashire, living in Brassington. His wife Mary Elizabeth nee Knowles comes from a Brassington farming family. In 1901 the Breakell family were living in "The Hall" at Brassington, with his brother William, a miner's accountant.

Another postcard, sent by young Thomas from Wirksworth, reveals that the mining engineer from Brassington was working on the Dzansoul Copper mines in Georgia. In 1903, Georgia was still ruled by the Tsars. He may have got there from Paris to Constantinople via Vienna on the Orient Express, then across the Black Sea to Batumi, where the card was posted. That's 2,000 miles by steam-hauled rail and 700 miles by steam ferry.

Thomas K Breakell lived at Brassington Hall up to joining the Flying Corp..I have it on good authority from persons who remember him, that he was a "dare devil" who owned a small bi plane which he often landed on a field belonging to the Hardy family Farmers of Brassington. Jan tells me that his father Thomas was a friend of Douglas Bader who often visited Brassington..Thomas K Breakell I have to tell you, only landed the once at Hardy's field when Thomas's father Thomas Breakell was about to breath his last breathe.. Thomas K had permission to fly from his base to Brassington and landed at Hardy's farm.. Thomas Breakell also is recorded as having flown under Tower Bridge as I believe Bader did Apparently Thomas K Breakell built a small plane in a field at the frontage of Brassington Hall, but it was never to fly..."

1911 census at 92 Warwick Gd, Earl Court, London

1914 May 27. 4th Battalion, The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry; Private Thomas Knowles Breakell, from the 28th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Artists Rifles), to be Second Lieutenant.

1915 Jun 5. Duke of Cornwall L.I. 2nd Lt. T. K. Breakell to be Lt

1916 May 14. Duke of Cornwall L.I. Lt. T. K. Breakell relinquishes his comm.

1916 Nov 22. He was a 2nd Class Air Mechanic when he got his pilot's licence.

1917 Mar 19. The undermentioned Wt. N.C.Os. and men to be temp. 2nd Lts. For duty with the R.F.C.:— Serjt. Thomas Knowles Breakell, from R.F.C.

A camera was donated to Gatwick Aviation Museum that had been owned by T K Breakell, and has to date from 1917 to 1919.

1920 Sep 3. Joined ADRIC with service no. 475. Post E Coy as Section Leader from 8 Sep.

1921 Jan 21 to 3 Feb on Leave

1921 Mar 18. Resignation accepted from ADRIC

1921 Mar 24. RAF. The undermentioned are granted short service commissions in the ranks stated, with effect from, the dates indicated, retaining their seniority in the substantive rank last held prior to the grant of this commission, except where otherwise stated. Flying Officers. Thomas Knowles BREAKELL.

1922 Aug 1. RAF. Flying Officer Thomas Knowles BREAKELL resigns his short service commission.

1923 Jan 10 Leaves UK for Newfoundland He is an aviator and intends living in Newfoundland.

1923. Several Six-seat Limousines were built, but the original competition machine, G-EARV, had the most interesting career. It was sold to Sidney Cotton, of "Sidcot" suit fame in Jan 1921, and used by him as a spotter with the Newfoundland sealing fleets. Piloted by Mr. T. K. Breakell, G-EARV was used in a gold-rush to a reported "strike" at Stag Bay, Labrador, where, landing on thin ice on the shore of the bay, the pilot had to keep taxiing to prevent the machine sinking. G-EARV pioneered air transport in Newfoundland when it was operated by the Aerial Survey Company (Newfoundland) Ltd. It was used for seal and fishery spotting including being used on skis. The company operated in Newfoundland until the end of 1923 carrying mail and passengers to remote outposts.

G-EARV on skis and sliding on packed snow

He married Kathleen Ruth Henry and they had children (David and Anthony). I think he married in Canada.

1926 Jun 3 Leaves UK for Argentina. He is a Civil Air Pilot, and travels with wife Kathleen.

1927 Son Anthony Knowles Breaknell born in Argentina

1935 Jan 3. Flight Magazine. HATFIELD At the London Aeroplane Club the flying time for the week ended December 21 was 37 hr. 25 min. New members were Mr. T. K. Breakell and Dr. and Mrs. MacLean.

1935 Dec 12 Flight Magazine. Bristol Mr T K Breakell, of Crilly Airways, completed a blind-flying course and tests with the club last week

1936 Dec 30. His father's will

1938 Jan 14 Fined for assault

1939 Sep 8. Witness at flying accident

1963 Nov 3. Died Derbyshire. I do not know who Hilda Lilian Breakell was.

ADRIC