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Gosport Photographs: Keith le Geyt Lansdowne 1897 – 1984

Keith le Gent Lansdowne aged 17 in 1914 from album 3

Historic Croydon Airport Trust is extraordinarily fortunate to have 3 albums of original photographs taken (mainly) at Gosport 1916-18. They are among the Trust’s archival ‘crown jewels’. We  knew very little about them before now but can add some information about Keith Lansdowne, who donated them. They have been digitised due to funding given to  this Fighting for Air project from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The photographs appear to have been (mostly) taken by Keith le Geyt Lansdowne, who was born 1897 and served in the Royal Flying Corp then Royal Air Force as an electrician and mechanic. It is likely that he was transferred within the army from his original regiment, where he’d seen action in Belgium, due to the need for electricians in the enlarging RFC.

Lansdowne’s service record and transcribed below
Service Number 13634
Civilian occupation: Electrician apprentice for Southwark Borough (3 months)
Enlisted 13th Battalion London Regiment 3.9.14 – 10.11.15.
Entry into RFC 10 November 1915
Home address Shrewsbury Rd, Sydenham (after marriage too)
Transferred into Royal Air Force on it’s formation in 1 April 1918
In the Reserve at Eastchurch until granted indefinite leave 29.11.21.

In other records I have found that Landowne:
Married Winifred Mary Grunton on 14 June 1919 at Alverstone, Hampshire
Had a child Beatrice Mary 27 May 1921

His father was Alfred E. Lansdowne born 1866, commercial traveller, Shrewsbury Rd Sydenham and mother was Emma born 1861, Milliner.

An entry records that he died at Croydon in 1984 but where he lived is unknown as yet.

Image from album 3

His interest in motor engines as a mechanic is apparent in his index to volume 3 (also scanned in) listing the types of engine in each plane as well as images of the work station and engines.

The albums of photographs are available to view through the links below. We will be adding more information as we come across it and cross connecting his index to some of the photographs in Album 3. More information on the ‘Gosport method’ will be blogged using some of these images. All of this is useful for understanding how Croydon Aerodrome functioned as a training base.

The order / numbering is purely dependent on how catalogued in HCAT archive:

First Album

Second Album

Third Album

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