M.881 First Officer Gilbert Christopher Gould 
 flag england  b. 13 Jun 1906, South Godstone

6 Aug 1941 to 8 Feb 1945

  ATA 1941

  ATA 1944    

Father: Gilbert, mother: Grace Mildred

Ed. Reigate Grammar School; Goldsmith College, University of London

m. Aug 1931 Esme Maud [Knight, "a well known teacher and vocalist"], 2 children Mary and John b. 1932 and 1937

 prev. a schoolmaster in Surrey. RAFO F/O, 1929-1939

prev. exp 80 hrs on DH Moth and 9J, Avro Cadet & 626. One of the founder members of the Surrey Gliding Club at Redhill.

Address in 1941: 'Tanglehedge', Limes Estate, Felbridge, East Grinstead, W. Sussex

Following Lord Londonderry's radio appeal for pilots in March 1941, he applied to the ATA and was given a 15-minute flight test on 7 June; "Good, except for approach and landing".

 Postings: 12FPP, 1FPP

Having started as a Pilot Cadet in August 1941, his flying contract was terminated on the 24 Feb 1942 because "an attempt to convert him to Class 2 has revealed that he is unlikely to become a service type pilot", and he was moved into ATA's Accidents Committe, as Joint Secretary (with Gerald Merton), and promoted to Third Officer.

In July 1942 he was 'called up' to the RAF and duly reported for attestation, but the RAF then granted him secondment, back to the ATA, initially until 1 Feb 1943. Further extension might be possible, they said, but only if he was to be employed as a ferry pilot.

He was duly reinstated as a ferry pilot in February 1943, (they described him as "not a very brilliant pilot", but all agreed that he was doing invaluable work for the Accidents Committee) and began negotiations with the RAF to keep him. Eventually, in August 1943, the RAF agreed to extend his secondment whilst he was employed on the Accidents Committee.

 He was off sick from 19 Oct to 11 Nov 1943 with "Anxiety State and Depression", and was taken off flying duties again and promoted to First Officer.

His C.O. by this time was the aforementioned Gerald Merton, who reported in Feb 1944 that "He is very keen on his investigational work and does it well. I have had difficulty with him in the past because of his unwillingness to accept and carry out orders from me, and his inclination to be evasive... Recently however, his attitude has been more helpful. A normal increase in salary seems justified."

 Towards the end of 1944 however, accidents by then being less frequent with the run-down of ATA, he agreed to return to flying duties, and performed as a "most useful taxi pilot" for 1FPP.


 fairchild argus

d. 8 Feb 1945, in Fairchild Argus HM188, which hit a survey pylon in bad weather and poor visibility, and crashed in Nor Wood, near Leatherhead, Surrey during a ferry flight from White Waltham to Gatwick (Southern Aircraft Co.).

He was held to blame for the accident, having persisted too far into bad weather.


Cremated at Golders Green Crematorium, Barnet, London


 "He took a keen interest in local affairs. He was Hon. Secretary to the Parochial Parish Council." - Crawley and District Observer


"He is not dead, he doth but sleep" .. this knowledge will help me to carry on to fit his children to take their place in the better world we hope to build. .. I am proud that I was privileged to be his wife.

Yours Sincerely, Esme Gould"

 Download ATA Pilot Personal Record (.zip file):download grey

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