Bentfield’s Bleriot stuns Chesterfield a century ago

war hero derbyshire

A pioneer aviator amazed thousands of Chesterfield folk in the spring of 1914 – many of whom had never seen an aeroplane before. Barry M Marsden reports.

BENTFIELD Charles Hucks was one of England’s premier aviation pioneers in the years before World War One. Born in Essex in 1884 (his first name was that of his native village), he gained his Royal Aero Club certificate (no.91) in May 1911 and the following year was commissioned by the Daily Mail to give flying exhibitions across Great Britain on their behalf. He had earlier become a pupil of the noted flyer Claude Graham-White and accompanied him on his exhibitions and competition flights in Britain and America…