The Diaries of Admiral Arthur Hildebrand Alington – Part 2

If you read my earlier post, you will know that I have an interest in the diaries of Admiral Arthur Hildebrand Alington.  Coming from a distinguished family line, Admiral Alington also had a number of notable descendants and relatives.

One of these was his grandson, the aviator Geoffrey Alington.  In his book “A Sound in the Sky: Reminiscences of Geoffrey Alington”, Alington wrote this about his late grandfather:


Referring to ‘the Old Admiral’ again, he was, of course, buried in the lovely little Swinhope church yard where so many of the family rest.  Unfortunately it had been raining for days before the funeral and when the coffin was lowered into the grave, to most people’s consternation, the coffin floated happily and would not disappear.  One old wag was heard to whisper “The Old Admiral won’t mind; e’s floated at sea all ‘is life.

GeoffreyAlingtonThe book, published by R K Hudson in 1994, is an autobiographical account of Alington’s remarkable flying career, during which his flying logs showed 5,910 hours 55 minutes of flying time, involving no fewer than 176 different types of aircraft and without a single accident (however, read this).

Notably in the early 1940′s, as Chief Test Pilot at the Austin Motors Aircraft Factory at Longbridge, he test-flew Battles, Hurricanes, Stirlings and Lancasters.

In addition to family anecdotes, the book contains many technical facts relating to aviation history and is illustrated with many of the author’s own private photographs.

Unfortunately, the manuscript from which it was taken ends abruptly and prematurely in 1943, 44 years before his death in 1987.

I first encountered the book in Reading Library in the UK.  I subsequently bought a copy of my own, but it is not particularly rare and many copies are currently advertised for sale on the Internet.

I would certainly recommend it to anyone with an interest in aviation history.

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