Geoffrey Clarke Of First Airmail Flight in India 1911, Old Photo
An old 1930 photo of Sir Geoffrey Clarke who organized the world’s first airmail flight in India in 1911. He was British India’s director-general of Posts and Telegraphs. Other than India his jurisdiction also extended over Aden, Burma, and Ceylon which were under British Indian rule then. He is shown being felicitated in Bombay (Mumbai) at the time of his retirement in 1930.
What is significant is that he was instrumental in the world’s first official airmail flight that took place in 1911. The flight was from Allahabad to Naini around 8 km away. The aircraft was a Humber Biplane with Henri Pequet a Frenchman as the pilot. The mail bag contained 6000 letters for onward despatch in the country and abroad. Each letter was given a special cancellation- “First Aerial Post U.P Exhibition Allahabad 1911.” “UP” stood for United Province (now Uttar Pradesh).
An industrial exhibition was taking place on Allahabad’s polo grounds at that time, the flight was part of this exhibition. It was with the concurrence of Geoffrey Clarke who was then the postmaster of the United Provinces that this historical official despatch of mail by air took place. The news script on the back of this photo has some typing errors. George should read as Geoffrey., Posts and Telegraphs instead of Ports and Telegraphs. And Postal Officials instead of Portal officials. Click on the photo for better view.
Did you know- that Motilal Nehru’s letter addressed to his son Jawahar Lal Nehru was also inside the bag.
The images are of the actual items from my collection. And Not a photocopy, pirated, reproduced, stock photos, or taken from other sources.