Father: Sir John David Rees Bt, KCIE, SCVO, MP for East Nottingham d. 1922; Mother Mary Catherine [Dormer]
with her mother, the Hon. Lady Rees, in 1935 - Bystander
One brother, Richard (Ed. Eton and Cambridge, Lieut (SP) RNVR in WWII, author and artist)
[Both her Royal Aero Club Certificate, and her ATA record, have her date of birth as 23 Sep 1906, knocking five years off her age]
Ed. 'private' - she said "I had no proper schooling, except what I read in books and by listening to my parents" - followed by ballet school in Chelsea
prev. a dancer (member of a dancing troupe which toured Ceylon, China and America - she later said "they were all very vulgar"); then decided to learn to fly, persuaded by Gordon Selfridge and instructed by Valentine Baker, and toured all round Europe:
with Delia Crossley (r) in 1935 - Bystander
1936 - "Miss Rosemary Rees lands at Salzburg" - The Tatler
During 1939, she worked for Army Co-operation, target towing
prev. exp. 630 hrs, in 'most light types', throughout Europe; she owned G-ADBT, a 1935 Miles M.2H Hawk Major, which she sold to SJ Hawley and replaced it with a Miles Whitney Straight.
She volunteered to fly Christmas presents to Prague in December 1938, for Czech refugees.
Address in 1940: Hillside Cottage, Witheridge Hill, Henley-on-Thames
Postings: 15FPP (as second-in-command), 1FPP
4-engine (Class 5) pilot
She hated Tiger Moths ("beastly little trainers"), after her experience in pre-war monoplanes, but loved the 'darling' Anson
Flew 91 types of aircraft with ATA
One accident, her fault:
- 20 Apr 1941, she 'employed the wrong landing technique' in a Lysander and damaged an undercarriage leg
"[operational ability] Excellent. A capable pilot who carries out her flying duties well". "an extremely intelligent and able officer", however:
"... possesses all the potential qualities of leadership - courage, direct thinking and intelligence, but does not command the respect those qualities entitle her to ... she allows her personal wishes to play too large a part in the affairs of the Pool."
Post-war, joined RAFVR
m. 3 Nov 1950 in Westminster, Sir Philip Harvey Du Cros, (second baronet, Cavalry Officer in WWI, d. 1975)
She continued flying; buying a war-surplus Percival Proctor, she gained her commercial licence and operated an air-taxi charter firm, Sky Taxi, for five years.
Wrote her memoir 'ATA Girls' in 1983
d. 8 Mar 1994 - Little Bocombe, Parkham, N Devon
1986 IWM interview here: https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80009148