AKA Lieut. Gibbs & Lieut. L. D. L. Gibbs
L. D. L. Gibbs
  [Daily Mirror  
from The Aeroplane Past, Present, and Future
By Claude Grahame-White, Harry Harper

via email from Pete Jones, 6-23-08
Hi there Ralph,
     I wanted to know if a page could be started on L. D. L. Gibbs. He flew the Dunne 'swept wing' aircraft at Blair Atholl Scotland in 1908. By 1910 he graduated to flying a special 'clipped' wing Henri Farman biplane at air meets & races either at Wolverhampton England, Leopardstown Ireland or Lanark Scotland.
     Gibbs is also referred to as Lieutenant Gibbs but I don't know which service he was affiliated with. Most likely the British Army or Navy. The only picture I know of him is a great big portrait in the Smithsonian's Air & Space museum in their Early Flight hall.
      Maybe others out there know of information on this pioneer Lieutenant L.D.L. Gibbs. Incidentally I think one of the 'Ls' in his name is for Lawrence.
Thanks Ralph.
Take care.
John William Dunne
The Dunne Biplane

via email from Dave Lam, 7-1-08
Ralph, good morning.

     I think Gibbs got UK license #10 on 6/7/10 . He was a lieutenant in the Royal Field Artillery, I think.
No info on birth or death-- sorry.


"Wings over Stonehenge"
Contributed by Ted Mustard, 8-20-10
Dear Ralph

I am a volunteer guide for the National Trust at the Stonehenge Landscape over which so much of the early military aviation in UK took place between 1909 and 1914.

This year a fellow guide and I decided to celebrate the centenaries of the stirring events that took place near Stonehenge in 1910 by developing aviation history related walks that folllow in the slipstream of our early aviators. We have entitled our walks "Wings over Stonehenge".

So far this year we have celebrated the centenary of the first flight of the Bristol Boxkite by a walk on 30 July.

The next planned walks are scheduled for 25 and 26 September and will commemorate the centenary of the 1910 "Autumn Manoeuvres" during which Captain Bertram Dickson, the actor Robbie Loraine and Lieutenant Lancelot Gibbs fly their own, or borrowed, aeroplanes to scout for the Red and Blue Forces. Robbie Loraine even had a wireless telegraphy set fitted in his Boxkite and "Morsed" his rec'ce reports to a receiver at the Bristol & Colonial Aeroplane Co. Ltd's hangars at Larkhill. (These hangars are still standing in their original location and form the keystone of our walks.)

Winston Churchill was an enthusiastic ground observer of these scouting trials and used his influence, among other's, to galvanise the British Army into buying its second and third aeroplanes (Boxkites delivered in 1911 to No 2 Company, Air Battlion, Royal Engineers at Larkhill).

Thank you for your stirling efforts to record information from this illustrious period in our aviation heritage. Your website is an invaluable research source. We hope to have relatives of the above three aviators join us for the September walks (we have two of Captain Dickson's great nephews so far). If we can glean any more information for your website we will forward it.

Please let any of your friends who are planning to visit Stonehenge know that there are not just stones to see. We would be delighted to guide any groups of aviation entusiasts who come this way.

Yours sincerely

Ted Mustard
(Sqn Leader, RAF Retired)

The Butts
Middle Woodford

via email from Ted Mustard, 8-25-10
Dear Ralph

Below is a link to "The War in the Air" by Walter Raleigh. In Chapter 3 (with the cursor about 36% down the right hand side of the window - there are no page numbers) there is an interesting entry about Lt Gibbs:

According to Raleigh, Gibbs was invited to demonstrate his Farman at Durango near Bilbao in Spain. His aeroplane was taken by train to the location and rebuilt in a shed. On the date of the demonstration a large crowd gathered. Sadly there was a delay in readying the Farman and the crowd turned nasty. They stoned the shed (while shouting "Aviation is impossible. Down with science. Long live religion"), tried to knife Lt Gibbs and, after he was taken to a place of safety, burnt the shed and the Farman to the ground!

Also, Flight magazine's website has an archive with a powerful search device. It too reports on this incident and mentions another aviator present who also escaped the crowd.

I will send you a link to the Flight archive shortly.


Ted Mustard

The Project Gutenberg EBook of The War in the Air; Vol. 1, by Walter Raleigh

via email from Ted Mustard, 8-25-10
Dear Ralph

Here is the link to Flight's archive.

It's very comprehensive and I find it only too easy to get diverted from one's search into reading page after page of the archive of the period!

Another advantage is that the images are available free.

Yours aye,

Ted Mustard


     If you search for "Lieut. Gibbs" +aviation, using the Google search engine, (6-27-08), you will find about 35 links. Among the most helpful are the following.

L. D. L. Gibbs
     This page displays the only photograph of Gibbs which I have found, the one you see at the top of this page. It comes from page 278 on the digitized copy of the book which is found in the Google "Book" section. You can access it by clicking on the title above.

Gibbs flies Dunne's aeroplane
     This is one of several reports in which Gibbs is identified as the first one to fly the Dunne Aeroplane. It is found on page 374 of the digitized copy of Aero and Hydro: America's Aviation Weekly in the Google "Book" section. Included is a wealth of information on Dunne. You can access the page by clicking on the title above.

I need the date of his death.

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