The early aeronautical papers of Brigadier Philip William Lilian Broke-Smith

Scope and Content

Contains photographs and other material, including those relating to:

  • Aerial photographs, taken from captive balloons, of Lafan's Plain, Cove Common and Long Valley, near Farnborough (June 1904) and St Paul's Cathedral
  • Airships
  • Kites
  • Aerial views of Gibraltar (1913-14)
  • Aerial views of Mesopotamia, 1915-16
  • Aerial views, perhaps of Iraq and India
  • Photographs and some notes relating to aircraft by Dunne, Wright, Farman, Royal Aircraft Factory, Nieport, Bleriot, Deperdussin and Bristol
  • Balloons, including at Aldershot and the Boer War (mainly copies)
  • Miscellaneous photographs.
  • Samuel Cody

Administrative / Biographical History

Brig. Broke-Smith was commissioned into the Royal Engineers in 1900. He became a balloon pilot in 1902, a man-lifting kite pilot in 1904, an airship pilot in 1910 and an aeroplane pilot in 1912. His early career took him across the British Empire, with both the Royal Engineers and the Royal Flying Corps, with postings including India (1907–08), Mesopotamia, 1915–16, England 1910–12; NW Frontier of India, 1906–10, 1913–15 and 1916–19, including Mohmand Blockade and Afghan War, 1919.

During his later military career Broke-Smith concentrated on engineering in India. The he retired in 1936, he became Director Passive Air Defence at the Ministry of Supply from 1939 to 1945.

Access Information

Open for consultation.