Aviation Pioneers

Lady Mary Heath – A Record-breaking Aviator

Grievous Early Life

When she was just one year old, her father, John Peirce-Evans, murdered her mother, Kate Theresa Dooling. Her father, who was found guilty of murder, was sent to the prison. The little girl was taken to her grandfather’s House in Newcastle West. There, she was raised by her two aunts, who encouraged her passion for Sport and Athleticism.

After school days at Corkelle School; Lady Mary Heath played hockey and tennis at Mespil Road, in Dublin. She enrolled at the Royal Irish College of Science. The college was built to train the educated farmers acording to country needs. As one of the few women at the university, she duly earned a success degree in the agricultural sciences.

source: wikipedia

Rising from the Odds

Lady Heath had already left her mark before she became a pilot. In the course of First World War, she had been a dispatch rider for two years. During this period, she stayed in England and then in France. She was Britain’s first female javelin champion. She set a controversial world record in high jump. She also served as a delegate to the International Olympic Committee in 1925, the year in which he took his first flying lessons. In 1923, she represented Great Britain at the 1923 women Olympics in Monte Carlo. She participated in her first WAAA Championship later that year. In 1924, she competed at the 1924 women Olympic Games, winning a silver medal in the long jump.

In aviation, however; Lady Heath couldn’t help herself to shine. Because the aviation world was going berserk because of the heroics of Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart. Lady Mary Heath showed off as a record-breaker on front-page in news, soon. She was the first person to fly alone from South Africa to London. It was a dangerous 10,000-mile journey where she fought a heat stroke in the 100-degree heat. Mary Heath had a crash accident near Zimbabwe. At a certain moment, she was thought to be dead.  After this accident, she never quitted up. She hoped to be hired to Batavia route. However, unfortunately the world was not ready for women pilots. Her hope was not fulfilled.

Being an extraordinary Irish aviator was her destiny. She has risen above chance to rank as one of the world’s most famous aviator. At the height of her fame, with a lifetime of lesson, racing, and long-haul flight rush, Lady Heath was seriously injured in an accident. She returned to Ireland in 1930 and became involved in private aviation, briefly running his own company in Kildonan.

The Tragic Death

She lost her life at St Leonard’s Hospital, Shoreditch, London, on 9 May 1939. After falling on a double-decker tram, she unfortunately died at 42. On 15 May 1939, according to newspaper reports, her ashes were scattered from a plane to Surrey.

Now, she is commemorated as a brave woman aviator all across the world.


Biography Info: https://www.rte.ie/culture/herstory/2019/0902/1073350-herstory-lady-mary-heath/

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