More from the diary of Graham Head

Here are five more entries from Graham Head’s diary. More entries next weekend.

Captain Anthony Graham Head

14.9.39 TODAY – HALF MY LIFE GONE.  Letter from BRITAIRWAY enclosing duplicate agreement.

16.9.39  Petrol rationing postponed till 23rd inst. Uniform measurement from BRITISH AIRWAYS.

17.9.39 Measured by my wife for ATA uniform.

18.9.39  Russians invaded Poland. HMS Courageous sunk.

19.8.39   Requested release from Civil Air Guard for ATA duties.

80 YEARS AGO TODAY

11 September 1939 was a landmark day in ATA’s history. On this day, contracts were signed with the first 29 recruits, all male. One of these by Graham Head, who had been an instructor in the Civil Air Guard and would become ATA’s unofficial photographer. His diary is in the ATA museum collection and reveals that he was first contacted by British Airways on 30 August asking if he would be willing to be a ‘transport pilot’ in case of war. On 6 September he had a flying test at Whitchurch near Bristol with Mr A R O Macmillan, on loan from British Airways. On 11 September he had a letter saying he was accepted and got married at 11 am! On the 12th he wrote “Damn Hitler. FLABBERGASTED by honeymoon!” The very next day he wrote “Hotel charge of 2 guineas per night. Left hurriedly. Here endeth honeymoon.” More entries will follow as his diary records the evolution of the young ATA.