Father: John Osborne Williams, President of the Labrador Development Company, Mother: Ethel Kate [Cobb] of Ogmore-by-Sea, Glamorgan
In 1916 at age 6, Katie and her 3-year old brother Arthur Eric sailed with their parents to St Johns, Newfoundland, the first of many transatlantic trips that she and her father made between the wars, due to their father's involvement with the Labrador Development Company (LDC).
[John Osborne Williams set up the Labrador Development Company in 1934 with a capital of $1 Million to provide pit props for Welsh coal mines; the directors included John and his son Arthur. It started badly when police had to be sent to deal with a strike of 350 lumbermen in July 1934, who complained about poor accommodation and little food; by 1936, however, 100,000 tons were being exported each year to the UK, as well as fur (fox, mink, lynx, ermine and musquash).
In 1938, the timber leases of the LDC covered over 6,000 sq miles, ("roughly the size of Wales"), and were estimated to contain at least 4 million tons of wood. They had 70 miles of coastline with 6 shipping ports, the biggest being Port Hope Simpson.
The operations were brought to a standstill in 1941 due to the "interference" of the Newfoundland Commission, who insisted upon the company being invested in St. John's. Mr. Williams demanded a public inquiry, which resulted in the property being handed back to his control. The Government director resigned and the LDC was granted a new agreement which awarded them a 10-year royalty-free, tax-free export contract at "25 cents per cord, which equals about 6d per ton"
In 1945 they supplied 70,000 cords of pitprops.]
With her friend Bunty James at Port Hope Simpson, Newfoundland in 1935 - Wikimedia
"In a shooting competition after the dog-team race Miss Doreen Williams beat all the ' crack shots." Western Mail - 24 Mar 1936
Her brother Arthur d. Feb 1940 trying to save his baby daughter in a fire at his home at Hope Simpson: "Mr. Williams saved his wife by handing her through a window to the maid. She had slight superficial injuries, was practically unconscious, and was suffering from severe shock. He then returned to the bedroom, and was trapped and burnt to death in an effort to rescue the little girl, who also perished."
Address in 1938: 36 Southcourt Rd, Cardiff
prev. Secretary (for J O Williams & Co)
Off sick from 13 Oct to 10 Nov 1942 with "bronchial catarrh"
- 17 Aug 1942, when trying to land near the edge of Wroughton airfield in Albacore BF731, "to avoid haymakers in the middle of the aerodrome (!)", she approached too slowly and stalled
- 30 Dec 1942, the undercarriage of her Fairchild Argus I FK344 collapsed on landing, as a result of a failed oleo strut
- 30 Sep 1944, a forced landing in Argus II HB604 after partial engine failure
- 16 Nov 1944, she landed Spitfire XIV RM841 in bad visibility and found herself heading towards some aircraft; she braked, but skidded into a ditch
- 14 May 1945, her Spitfire XIX PS929 nosed over after she braked to avoid an obstruction marker flag
m. Aug 1944 in Bridgend, Glamorganshire, P/O Geoffrey Rimmington Illsley RAF, BEM(M) stationed at Boscombe Down
Geoffrey and Katie lived at "The Cottage", Ogmore-by-Sea, Glamorgan, and were co-directors of Pencoed Trading Co. Ltd.
d. 20 May 1996 - Haywards Heath, Sussex