Honor Isabel Salmon

Memorial: Dyrham - St Peter's Church

Regiment: The Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA)

Medals: 1939–45 Star, War Medal 1939–1945

Rank and number: First Officer

Parents: Ernest and Frances Isabel Pitman (nee Butler)

Marital status: Married

Home address: Parents: The Cottage, Dyrham Isobel and Henry: 59 St Mary Abbotts Court London W14

Pre-war occupation: Nurse

Date of birth: 30/10/1912

Date of death: 19/04/1943

Buried/Commemorated at: Buried in Dyrham Cemetery and commemorated along with her brothers on the War Memorial in the churchyard of St. Peter’s Church, Dyrham

Age: 30

Further information:

Honor died in a plane crash near Calne, Wiltshire and is buried in St Peter's churchyard, Dyrham
Honor was the wife of Maj. H M Pomeroy Salmon of Westminster, London.

Honor was grand-daughter of Sir Isaac Pitman inventor of the Pitman shorthand system and founder of Pitman Press (Bath). Her father was a publisher in the family business. Honor had a sister and 4 brothers, 2 of her brothers, John Pitman and Peter Pitman-Butler, also died on war service. She had a keen interest in horses and was described as a charming and gallant person.

Honor was educated at Abbott’s Hill and Westonbirt Schools, after which she learned to fly and in 1926 gained her pilot’s license. In 1936 she joined the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry and after visiting Australia in 1939 she returned home to join the Auxiliary Territorial Service and was assigned to the 7th Wilts. ATS Motor Company, based in Southampton. She then became Mechanics Section Leader of the 12th Oxford Motor Transport Unit. In March 1941 she joined the Air Transport Auxiliary and that same Spring married Henry Salmon of Tockington Manor.

Honor was stationed at Southampton, No. 15 Ferry Pool, and over the next 2 years flew 25 different types of aircraft, ferrying them to maintenance units and RAF stations all over the UK. During this work she managed to clock up over 370 hours of flying time. Honor had a number of accidents, which necessitated her doing some retraining and even though her ATA instructors continued to comment that she was unstable, forgetful and over-confident, she was still allowed to fly. On the day of her death, she was ferrying an Airspeed Oxford aircraft from Hamble in Hampshire to Colerne in Wiltshire, in company with another aircraft, a Spitfire. The visibility deteriorated and the other plane turned back but Honor flew on, choosing to fly by instruments alone. Unfortunately, her plane crashed into high ground at Roundway Hill, just north of Devizes, Wiltshire and she was killed.

By kind permission, this information is based on the following source(s):

With kind permission of Edward Walsh
This information has been provided by Sarah Hands, Volunteer Researcher for the South Gloucestershire War Memorials Web Site.
By kind permission, this information is based on the following source(s):
The War Memorial Book for the Parishes of Olveston & Aust South Gloucestershire compiled by William Morgan