About Arthur Charles Hubert Latham
Arthur Louis Hubert Latham attempted to beat Bleriot and be the first man to fly across the English Channel from Calais to Dover in his Antoinette VII on 25/07/1909. His statue is situated in a wonderfully windswept location overlooking the English Channel on the coast road between Calais and Boulogne. He was a medical officer in the Colonial Service, stationed in Uganda.
Hubert, as he was known, was born in Paris on 10th June 1883. His first air experience was crossing the Channel in a hot air ballon, with his cousin Jacques Faure on the 11th and 12 february 1905. In 1906 and 1907, he raced in Antoinette's racing boats. In 1908 he was a spectator during one of Wilbur Wright's flights and decided to learn to fly on an Antoinette monoplane. He became an instructor and taught Marie Marvingt. In 1909 he was employed as a test pilot for the firm Antoinette and obtained many trophies: endurance, distance, speed, height, winning 50 000 francs at the Reims -Betheny meeting. In 1909, he twice attempted to cross the Channel; those attempts made him very popular. On both crossing he failed, the second attempt on the 19th of July 1909 ended only 500 meters from the English Coast . Six days later on the 25th July, Louis Blériot succeeded and received the Daily Mail Prize for his crossing from Sangatte to Dover. The monument showing Hubert Latham's failure and Blériot success can be seen in the Parc Clément Ader , in Muret ( Haute-Garonne). But he flew over Berlin, ( Hyperlink"http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannisthal" )leaving Johannisthal reaching another suburb of Berlin, flying over the Prussian Capital.
He was the winner, during the famous meeting in Reims on the 30th of August 1909, of the Grand Prize given by Le Petit Journal the sum of 10 000 F, given to aviators having accomplished the most remarkable performances. Hubert Latham created sensation in Blackpool, in England, when he flew in a terrible storm. Also on the 7th of January 1910, at Mourmelon-le-Grand, he continued his series of high altitude flights and reached 1 100 meters.
Finally, on the 13th of August, parisians witnessed a new display when he followed the River Seine and flew by the Eiffel Tower, flying over the Grand Palais. On another occasion, when he travelled the longest distance across country, brought him 25 000 Francs from the Daily Mail. Latham could fly and maneuver in the most audacious way. He was very humble about it and would say flippantly but with a certain sadness " My temerity is only indifference. I know my doctors have given up on me: I shall die young. Dying for Dying, I might as well end up in a plane crash" He died young, our brave sportsman, but not as he thought he would. He died in June 1912 during a hunt in Equatorial French Africa, and was buried in the Havre in 1914.
He died near Fort Archambault (now Sarh, Tchad) in the Belgian Congo on 25th June 1912 whilst on a hunting expedition. He was said to have been gored by the buffalo he had wounded.
He had dual nationality, British and French.
Arthur Louis Hubert Latham is buried alonside his parents in Le Havre, France http://ookaboo.com/o/pictures/picture/12039848/Latham_is_buried_with_his_parents_in_Le_