Library of Congress Collection, 11-12-07
Courtesy of sjaak boone,
voorburg, the netherlands, 8-18-02
Henri Wijnmalen had been born 3 september 1889 in Ovezande (in the province of Zeeland). After studying medicine for a while he went in 1910 to Pau and tried to take flying lessons by Bleriot. He was embarrassed by the slow speed of the lessons and decided to take the initiative and took off for a solo flight. His action was mentioned in the local newspaper. After that episode he took flying lessons with Henri Farman at Etampes. On 29 august 1910 he got his licence (nr 208 from the Aeroclub de France). In Mourmelon with his 4th flight he reached the altitude of 1.100 m. On 1 october 1910 he took the world record of height of 2.780 m. On 16 october he won the prize for the first flight with passenger from Paris to Brussels and back within 36 hours.
Wijnmalens uncle was J.F. Verwey, a retired officer of the Dutch East Indies Army, who started the firm Verwey and Lugard. That firm was the importer of the Peugeot cars. The activities of this firm for the promotion of aviation were very important. This firm started with aviation demonstrations for a large public . That was the original start of the Dutch army air base Soesterberg. Wijnmalen was offed a job by his uncle with his aviation firm, the Maatschappij voor Luchtvaart. On 9 november 1910 Wijnmalen gave some demonstrations. In april 1911 Wijnmalen tested a new aerioplane, designed by Henri Farman. On 18 june 1911 Wijnmalen was one of the member of the European flight and was at the start in Vincennes. He had big trouble with his engine and decided to break with Farman. He did some test flights with the Deperdussin monoplane and then subscribed to the English flight that started on Brooklands on 22 july 1911. Wijnmalen was on Brooklands, but decided not to take off. He found the collaboration of his uncles firm so worthless, that he did not want to take part in the race. The relations between Wijnmalen and his uncle grew worse and he decided to quit.
Wijnmalen went to France and returned with a Deperdussin monoplane, that he demonstrated above Leiden and Amsterdam. In Amsterdam he distributed flyers for the illustrated monthly magazine "De Prins". One of those flyers came for his carburator, the result was engine trouble and he had to make an emergency landing. In the end of 1911 he went to Hamburg and worked in the service of Max Oertz. Then he decided to do some commercial work for aviation. After a stay in Belgium he returned to the Netherlands in 1913. He started on Soesterberg the NV. Nederlandse Vliegtuigenfabriek. In october 1914 he had to leave Soesterberg. He then found a job at the NV Industrieele Maatschappij Trompenburg in Amsterdam, where he became a director. This firm was the maker of the Dutch car Spyker. These Dutch quality cars were produced until 1927 when the factory had to close down.
Editor's Note: I want to thank Mr. Boone for his contribution to the story of Henri Wijnmalen. Obviously, without his help, the story would have been even more incomplete and much less interesting.
Jan den Das, 11-12-07
I found your page concerning Henri Wijnmalen.
You wrote that he had to leave Soesterberg in 1914 and found a new job in Amsterdam with Trompenburg. He was asked by the Ministry of War to move his aeroplane factory (the only at that time in Holland) behind the defense line, more to the west. (the WWI was just started and Holland was not involved, but they were afraid it would started). So he started to look for space and found this at the Trompenburg factory in Amsterdam, so that became a car and aeroplane factory.
Now I have a question do you have any material concerning these aero planes or do you people who can help me? I hope there are some private papers which gives more construction information?
Thanks for your help.
Jan den Das
Editor's Note: I thank Jan for his clarification of this event in the life of Henry. I plan to forward his request to each of the other contributors to this story. In addition, if you can help him with his search, please contact me and I will forward your message to him. Thank you.
via email from Jean-Pierre Lauwers, 12-31-03
Spijker V.1. : only one prototype!
Spijker V.2 : probably at least 80 were constructed, perhaps even more. Some 60 were used by Military Aviation and 20 by Navy Aviation.
Spijker V.3 ; 78 constructed, increased eventually to about 164?
Spijker V.4 : 118 were ordered by the Dutch Military Aviation, but with the end of WWI, they weren't completed!
via email from Anke Hillebrand, 12-30-03
I found your site and have a question for you.. Because I'm busy with a documentary of the "brothers Spyker", I know about Trompenburg and the making of 'Spyker planes and engines!'
I also know that Wijnmalen was president of Trompenburg.... Do you have perhaps pictures of him in a Spyker plane?
Editor's Note: If any of you can help Mr. Hillebrand with his quest, please contact me. I will forward your message to him. He tells me that he can use any information until March, 2004.
Via email from Charles Lindenberg, 1-16-08
It's always so interesting to learn little tidbits of your ancestry, things the public would never get from the media.
My uncle Henry was a very formal man who treasured his privacy and order. He did not care for children but for some reason he tolerated me, even to the extent of allowing me into his office now and then.
He had a big black car named "The Invicta," whatever that meant. Don't know if it was the model, make or just a name. Aunt Julia had a Woolsley which was known as "The Little Green Car." She drove like a madman and you know those very narrow and winding roads around Wargrave. I was far too young to think it was anything but exciting but the word was out on Aunt Julia's driving. Uncle Henry's passion, at least when I knew him, was his horses. He dearly loved them and Bascar and one or two others are buried at Kingswood House with plaques over their graves. I still remember the gathering of hunters on their horses, all decked out in the proper attire for the fox hunt. Very stirring.
Aunt Julia started a pony club many years ago, and when Nancy and I were there vising a few years ago, she took us up to a horse gathering there. The folks around there treated her like the Queen Mum! She was very popular and loved.
Now you need to get back on the air and we can chat. My favorite mode is still CW (I was a radioman in the Coast Guard in the fifties), and the love of the dits and dahs stuck. But I will do SSB if necessary!
Thanks again for a very interesting website.
Contributed by Richard van de Velde, 9-18-10
On 9/16/2010 5:23 AM, Richard wrote:
Ralph did you know that the Dutch Goverment in London ask Henry Wijnmalen from Twyford in September to lead to build a Camp of the Princess Irene Brigade in Wrottesley Park near Wolverhampton?
See the bottom of my page ”Congleton” on the website I made for this Brigade
Richard van de Velde
Contributed by Mary Baylis, 1-6-11
I wonder if you remember me, my mother was a maid to Henry Wynmalen along with my aunt Helen when they were young girls of around twenty and twenty two, My aunt is now ninety two and has a few memories, I took along a book written by Henry to try and jog here memory, there were a few things that I would not put on the internet, but by all accounts they didnt like his wife, she also said that when the Wynmalens were away , the grooms would take them for a ride on the horses, typical of youngsters dont you think?, anyway, just a little more information for you, if I find out any more I will be more than pleased to contact you.