Taunton’s Jackie 1920 to 2004
1935 Youngest woman pilot in S. Africa
1938 1st woman to do a parachute jump in S. Africa
1938 Started training for Commercial Pilots Licence, Oxford, England
1940 Joins WAAF as Radar Operator transferred to ATA Hatfield
1941 Flies her first Spitfire
1946 Awarded King’s Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air
1949 Commissioned Pilot in the WRAF Volunteer Reserves
1953 One of only five women who have been awarded full RAF Wings
Receives the Queen’s Coronation Medal
1954 - 57 Spitfires to Burma
One of the first women to break the sound barrier in a Sabre Jet
1957 Author of her memoirs “Woman Pilot” pub. Michael Joseph
1957 1st woman airline captain to ferry passengers on scheduled flights
1959 1st woman to be awarded the Jean Lennox-Bird Trophy
1969 1st Press plane to spot the missing Robin Knox-Johnston
1994 Still flying Spitfire ML40 at age 74 thanks to Carolyn Grace
2004 Jackie Memorial in the Times. She died on 7th January and her ashes were kindly sprinkled from the Spitfire ML40 by Carolyn Grace over Dunkeswell Aerodrome.
2014 Book republished as “Spitfire Girl – My Llfe in the Sky” pub. Head of Zeus
The Story Continues as her memory lives on.........
Taunton Gazette JackieMoggridge Way
Taunton Deane Borough Council is honouring Taunton’s celebrated female pilot by naming the new road into Firepool ‘Jackie Moggridge Way’.
Jackie, who lived in Taunton with her family, flew as a pilot during the Second World War with the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), and later with the RAF Voluntary Reserves.
She was given her RAF wings in 1953, and then became the first female airline Captain, flying passengers all over the world.
Jackie was given The King’s Commendation for Services in the Air, and The Queen’s Coronation Medal for her work during the war. She was also awarded The Jean Lennox Bird Trophy by the British Women Pilots’ Association in 1959, and created the Jackie Moggridge Cup, which is awarded to a British woman pilot for achieving excellent qualifications.
Jackie Moggridge Way will be the new access into Firepool from Trenchard Way – the town’s Northern Inner Distributor Road named after the Taunton-born founder of the Royal Air Force as part of the national RAF100 celebrations in 2018.
Jackie’s daughter Candida Adkins said:
“My sister Veronica Robinson and myself are thrilled to think that Taunton Deane Borough Council has thought to honour our mother by naming a road after her.
She lived in Taunton from the age of 22 when my father brought her here as a newly married couple in 1946.
She always felt it was her true home. She would have been amazed to find a road named after her especially off Trenchard Way.
She loved flying for the ATA and was so proud when she went on to join the WRAF and was one of only five women to gain her RAF wings.
Thank you Taunton for remembering these women who furthered the course for women in aviation at a time when women were not thought of as equal.”
Cllr John Williams, Leader of the Council, said:
“It is a fitting tribute to this remarkable pilot that we can name a new road after her forming a link into Firepool from Trenchard Way.
Jackie Moggridge Way signals another step in the realisation of our ambitions for Firepool and we are proud of the association it will hold with this true pioneer.”
Jackie was married to Lt Col Reginald Moggridge and had two daughters and two grandchildren.
She was also an accomplished performer and member of the Taunton Wayfarers Pantomime Society and the Taunton Operatic Society. She died in 2004 and her ashes were scattered from a Spitfire.
Her book, Spitfire Girl: My Life in the Sky, which she wrote in 1957, has recently been republished and is for sale in Brendon Books, Bath Place.
New road into Firepool ‘Jackie Moggridge Way’ named after Taunton pilot
Witney Aerodrome Buildings named Moggridge Walk after Flying Officer Jackie Moggridge
3 blocks of flats named after Jackie on the old airfield at Witney, Oxfordshire where she trained to become a Commerical Pilot. The three buildings are named Moggridge Walk. The whole development is a tribute to the men and women who flew there during the War.
Interview with Hannah for Sarah Millican's Podcast "Standard Issue for women by women" at the Imperial War Museum with author Jo Wheeler and Candy Adkins discussing the book Hurricane Girls and Jackie's exploits during the ATA. Candy said "It was great to read the back stories of the girls my mother talked about and flew with. Click here for Podcast link to the fun filled interview.
Sky News interview about Jackie in the book Hurricane Girls. Jo Wheeler (author) and Candy Adkins in the ultra modern Sky Studios, London.
BBC Spotlight news interview August 2018
BBC Points West TV interview Aug 2018
Radio interview with Debbie McCrory 19.9.18
Radio interview with Suzie Grogan 10 Radio
Jackie's memory flies on.
2021 the Royal British Legion brought out The Jackie Moggridge Tribute Collection Jewellery to support the RBL Charity. Jackie would have been thrilled as she often did concerts and collected for the RBL
Amy Johnson Statue unveiling Hern Bay
Jane Priston with HRH Duke of Kent unveiling Amy at Hern Bay seafront.
We enjoyed the celebration with the wonderful members of The Women Pilot's Asssociation Committee. Jackie would have cried to see such a beautiful memorial of her heroine.
Antiques Road Show at Stonor Park wanted to see Jackie Moggridge memorabilia. Expet Siobhan Tyrrell said she was a big fan of Jackie's book, she collects WW2 memorabilia especially women's.
BWPA Jackie Moggridge Trophy awarded each year to an outstanding woman pilot.
Candy Adkins awarding her mother's trophy in 2019 at the British Women Pilot's Association AGM Luncheon.
Front cover and double page spread article re the ATA in
The Big Issue 2019
Jackie's daughter Candy takes her story into museums and flying clubs and also into schools because she says "We need to inspire girls to fly and they need role models, so I am doing a series of childrens books with Pilot Jackie adventures."
Easyjet are doing great work in promoting women pilots in a world where only 5% of airline pilots are women - Easyjet have 20%, The Guides have introduced flying badges to be
attained by the girls.
The Royal British Legion have commissioned the Jackie Moggridge Sweetheart Collection of tribute jewellery with a crystal wings theme inspiring girls to fly, (see News page).
Also the Antiques Road Show has filmed Candy with Jackie's memorabilia at Stonor Park Nr Witney, Oxforshire, where Jackie went to Aeronautical College before war broke out.
The RAF Cadets in schools now have more and more girls joining. Here is my daughter as an RAF Cadet, the only girl in her year to get a Commendation wouldn’t granny have been proud.
And here she is again on Horse Guards Parade when we were honoured to be invited to see the planes my mother had flown. How my mother would have approved!
CEO Miles Pooley, host Air Cdr Barbara Cooper CBE (top left), member Candida Adkins (top rt), RAF Club Chairman, Air Marshal Sue Gray (centre) at Celebration of Women in the RAF dinner.
Candy as guest speaker at the Celebration of Women in the RAF dinner in front of the Celebration Window at the RAF Club Picadilly.
The Daily Telegraph ran a Who is your Spitfire Hero? Competition.
Jackie the only woman candidate, came 2nd out of 8 Heros. Here is the exhibition which can be seen in the RAF Museum, Hendon, alongside a Spitfire you can sit in. Visit Hendon and have a go.
Jackie featured in RAF Cosford Brochure
Spitfire Girl talk at RAF Museum Cosford in the Midlands. Above right photo, Candy with Angela Riddle helping give the talk and also left photo Candy pictured with Jess Boydon who compiled the RAF Stories, a series of short clips with families remembering loved ones war memories.
Go to RAF Stories search Candy Adkins for 2 minute memories of Jackie's adventures. tap this link https://www.rafstories.org/story/raf-wp-5045
Hamble RAF Yacht Club and Jackie's billet with the Greenhill family. Now being knocked down and replaced by two houses. In 2019 I just got to see Creek Cottage as mentioned in her book Spitfire Girl, Jackie loved the house and the Greenhills who looked after her "like a daughter."
Candy was honoured to talk at the Hamble RAF Yacht Club AGM Black Tie dinner where she stayed overnight. It was so lovely to walk around Hamble seeing the views Jackie saw as she cycled to the Aerodrome everyday.
Jackie Moggridge presented a Trophy to the Women Pilots Association who had honoured her with the Jean Lennox Bird Trophy all those years ago. The Jackie Moggridge Trophy is now presented by Candy at the WPA AGM every year to the member who has made the greatest achievement in her flying that year.
The Women Pilots Association Jublilee Weekend featured talks on, Spitfire Girl by Candy Adkins, The ATA by Richard Poad of the ATA Museum and Tracey Curtis-Taylor's talk about her re-enactment Amy Johnson flight in historic aircraft Spirit of Artemis.
A secret factory was building Spitfires, from which the ATA girls and boys took to the waiting fighterpilots of the RAF. What they didn't know was that these factory workers and engineers were all women. They were not allowed to tell their husbands what they were doing. A new charity was launched last year in memory of the women engineers who built the Spitfires in the factories but had to keep it hush hush.
Air Marshal Sue Gray read out Jackie's "In Honour of the Engineer" (see poems) on the BBC Points West News, at the Opening of the Secret Spitfires film launch in Salisbury Cathedral. 2020
In Honour of the Engineer
A glorious life is the Pilots’ one,
They enjoy it too when all’s said and done,
They swoop through the sky both far and near,
Yet the real Hero’s the Engineer.
Without his knowledge the crafts won’t fly,
With his negligence the Pilot’s die.
By Captain Jackie Moggridge
The Louisiana Gallery in Copenhagen had a wall of Women Pilot portraits including a painting of Jackie and a description of the ATA.
Strictly Come Dancing Rememberance Sunday Special
In 2019 Strictly opened by paying tribute to all the women in the RAF. It represented Jean Lennox as a child and growing into the first woman to be awarded RAF Wings. History records that Jackie followed after Bennedetta Willis and was the third woman to gain her wings in 1953. Joan Hughes and Freydis Leaf followed on before they closed the WRAF(VR). Women had to wait until 1992 when Flight Lieutenant Gibson was awarded her wings when at last the RAF accepted women to fly in the RAF equally with the men.
The Aviation Engineers
Enchanted by the glamour of a Pilot’s Wings,
The public seldom realise it will take them by surprise
To find that there are many things towards the Pilot’s rise.
It is the man who builds or mends the plane,
Who studied hard, spent years to train,
And if that man had not been there
That gallant , striving Engineer.
“Perfection’s my motto.” He’d insist.
A Pilot’s life would not exist.
18th August 1995
By Jackie Moggridge Flying Officer/Pilot 1940 to 1986.
How thrilled Jackie would have been to think those amazing engineers had had at last had some well earned recognition and her thanks to them broadcast on TV.
She was always so grateful to the clever engineers and was always writing them poems of thanks
RAF Spitfire Award
On 23/9/21 The Jackie Moggridge Spitfire Award was awarded to a newly graduated RAF female Aircrew or Engineer who has shown outstanding potential.
Senior Aircraftwoman Megan Gammon was the first to be awarded this Trophy and my sister and I were honoured that it was presented by HRH Princess Anne. Our mother would have been thrilled to think that even after her death Jackie Moggridge can still inspire girls to fly and that she at last has the chance to truly thank the engineers that kept her in the air - as she always said "The Engineers were the really clever ones!" We hope this will inspire more girls into aviation.