19th June 2009

Aurigny founder Derrick Bailey died

Derrick Bailey had been born in London on 15 August 1918. He died at his home in Alderney in June 2009. His greatest contribution to the Channel Islands was establishing regional airline, Aurigny in February 1968.

Bailey had been a pilot with the South African Air Force during the Second World War and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for gallantry and devotion to duty.

After the war, he returned to his beloved cricket, which he had played for Oxfordshire in 1937. He made his first-class debut for Gloucestershire in 1949.

He founded Aurigny Air Services when British United Airways dropped its Alderney to Guernsey route in 1968. The enterprise was an immediate success, carrying 45,000 passengers in its first year on a series of Britten Norman Islander aircraft. In the early 1970s, following requests from Bailey, who also had a hand in its design, Britten Norman introduced the larger Trislander model. It had three engines and increased passenger capacity.

The Bailey family

Derrick Bailey’s father had been a millionaire, who made his fortune mining diamonds and gold in South Africa. He was involved in politics, too. He sat in the Cape legislature, was a founder of the Union of South Africa, and a friend of Winston Churchill.

Flying was clearly in Derrick’s blood. Not only had he been a pilot himself during the second world war, often leading squadrons on bombing runs, but his mother had been a renowned aviator. According to Bailey’s obituary in The Telegraph, she “would become famous in her own right as Dame Mary Bailey, a famous British aviatrix of her time who in 1928 – 1929 was the first woman to fly, in her de Havilland Moth, from London to Cape Town and back”.

Upon his death, Bailey’s baronetcy passed to his oldest son, Sir John Bailey.


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Other events that occured in June

Cricketer Charles Grieve died in Shropshire 1st
St Johns undertook its first Guernsey rescue 2nd
Bailiff John Guille died in Plymouth 3rd
GUNS writer Joseph John Gillingham was deported 4th
First arrests were made at Guernsey Airport 5th
Jethou was put on the market 6th
The king and queen celebrated Guernsey’s liberation 7th
Occupying forces confiscated Guernsey’s radios 8th
Guernsey Railway company ceased operations 9th
Guernsey welcomed its first steam ship 10th
Laura Kennington kicks off Channel Islands triathlon 11th
Dame Sibyl became a dame again 12th
Guernsey voted to legalise local abortions 13th
Victor Hugo’s house is opened to the public 14th
The Channel Islands were demilitarised 15th
Guernsey was invaded by Colorado beetles 16th
States Telephone Department was established 17th
Pollet guest house fire claimed its third victim 18th
Aurigny founder Derrick Bailey died 19th
Guernsey joined the Football Association 20th
Guernsey’s school children were evacuated 21st
Guernsey celebrated Queen Victoria’s jubilee 22nd
Princess Elizabeth opened Guernsey’s hospital 23rd
Guernsey chose England over France 24th
First meeting of Guernsey’s Controlling Committee 25th
Guernsey bought Fort Grey from the War Office 26th
Guernsey coffee trader William Le Lacheur died 27th
G-JOEY completes his last flight 28th
Guernsey suffered its first and only air raid
The Star was published for the first time 29th
Two deserters were shot after landing on Guernsey 30th