Aerial League of the British Empire

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The Aerial League of the British Empire, occasionally called the Aerial League of Great Britain and Ireland came into being in mid-January 1909 as an association of "a national and non-political character, with a view of educating the people of this country as to the immediate necessity for the establishment and maintenance of a similar superioririty in the air to that which we now hold on the ocean," according to announcement by Col. H. S. Massy, C.B. Pursuant to an agreement with the Aeronautical Society of Great Britain and the Aero Club of the United Kingdom that followed within a few weeks of the League's formation, the Aerial League would be accepted as the paramount body for patriotic movements and for education in matters relating to flight and aeronautics. The organization became "The Air League of the British Empire" sometime in the period 1918-1920 and later became just the "Air League."

Upon founding, it was Col. H. S. Massy who signed the letter to the press; Stephen A. Marples (also variously referred to as Marple) was honorary secretary and temporary offices were established in London. Published the Aerial League (Air League) Bulletin, 1919-1920. Phone number given in Dir1920. (Address in the year 2010 was Broadway House, Tothill Street, London SW1H 9NS.)

(In 1913 tribute to S. F. Cody, Massy apparently wrote the letter on behalf of Chairman Major-General H. T. Arbuthnot.)[1]

1909 Jane's listed only as "Aerial League;" 1910-1911 Jane's listed as Aerial League of the United Kingdom.

"The Aerial League (104 High Holborn). General propaganda and, in particular, the organization of popular lectures."[2]

Note: Brett Holman, author of the Airminded blog, wrote that he suspects that a different organization with a similar name—"Britain's Aerial League"?—was created and disappeared at the beginning of 1909.[3]

  • Address: Carlton House, Regen Street, London, S.W. (at least 1910-1913); 104 High Holborn (1913);[2][1] Windsor House, Kingsway, London W.C. (at least 1916-); 46 Dover Street, London, W.I. (1920)
  • Cable address=Windora, Piccy, London (1920)
  • Phone=1


  • 1 Flight 52, 56, 192 (1909)
  • 1909 Jane's All the World's Aircraft 31
  • "Flight" Manual 13 (1910)
  • 1910-1911 Jane's All the World's Aircraft 41 (Nov. 1910)
  • 1911 Hazell's 488
  • [[Dir1920]]
  • 1913 Aviation Pocket-Book 161 (Jan. 1913)
  • 1917 Aviation Pocket-Book 246
  • and WorldCat-OCLC
  • Gollin. 1989. The Impact of Air Power on the British People and Their Government, 1909-1914, p. 8


  1. 1.0 1.1 Flight, 23 August 1913.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Berriman, 1913, Aviation, p. 252.
  3. Brett Holman, "The other other aerial league", Airminded, 31 January 2014.

Organization names Aerial League of the British Empire
Entity type
Country Great Britain
City London
Affiliated with
Scope National
Started aero 1909
Ended aero still exists under the name "Air League"
Key people
Wikidata id