During the WW2 Battle of Britain, a spitfire pilot’s average age was 20 yrs & life expectancy was a mere 4 weeks. 544 of them died. British RAF pilots earnt a wage of approximately £264 per annum (equates to £30k now).
Born 1902, 90335 Ian Robertson Parker, was Eton educated. An 18ct gold Semi-Hunter wristwatch engraved for his 21st birthday was in preparation for his commission into the RAF as a Pilot Officer in 1931. In 1940 as Wing Commander taking Station Command at Raf Digby saw the 21st August operation sortie with 611 squadron earn him the Battle of Britain clasp. A Norwegian Cross & OBE in 1946 & Honorary Air Commondore in 1947.
Our 7th December auction includes his 18ct rose gold semi-hunter (half-hunter) wristwatch hallmarked Glasgow import to UK 1923 by Charles Nicholet, (Stauffer Son & Co) with original strap & 15ct buckle. The case has black enamel Art Deco Roman numerals with minute chapters, the dial has one register, case hinges are in good order, with matching serial numbers. The watch is in remarkable condition and working order, (when the front is released the dial crystal releases too, hence catch requires a light service/clean) being sold with his 1929 Aviator’s certificate & copies of ephemera/research documentation. (if it was just anyone's watch it would be £500-700 with the provenance of who it belonged to it should be estimate £700-1200)
The second lot is his Bae Filton House issue 1941 personal diary, with daily completions from 1941 through to 1945, his 1933 Air Ministry Pilot’s License, his signed copy of ‘Behind the Spitfires’, Framed Hon.AC uniformed photograph, and research documentation.
‘Researching his career & reading his fabulous diary has been fascinating,’ said Hilary Mackay ‘it includes red penned entries of shot down pilots such as
‘March 14th 1941 – W/C Widdows shot down JU 88 near Horncastle at about 03.00hrs’
‘January 3rd 1941 – Placed F/O Broomhall under arrest, broke arrest, re-arrested and placed in Guard Room’
to entries of extreme historical importance such as
‘August 19th 1942 –..Big raid in Dieppe at dawn, continued all day till withdrawal in evening. 94 aircraft & 79 pilots missing’
Also in the sale is a WW2 Spitfire Flying Officer 117465 Charles Laurence Brown’s C-type flying helmet, goggles & boxed MKVIII goggles again with ephemera/research documentation. (His pistol holster is to be sold here at a later date) A Berlin stamped Luftwaffe parachute/harness buckle & other militaria. Viewing Wednesday 6th 10am-7pm