Monthly Archives: April 2021


Harold “Carrots” Ayliff with his friend Frikkie Brink; Harold with his sister Margaret “Meg” in the cockpit and her friend “Beery” de Beer; Charlotte “Charlie” Ayliff

My great uncle, Harold “Carrots” Ayliff, wrote a short, and incomplete note with his reminiscences of his time in the Royal Air Force at the very end of World War I, and also his involvement in World War II. I was given a copy by his great-granddaughter, Georgia. Some time later, when visiting my cousin, Janet, in New Zealand, she showed me the photograph album that her grandmother, Charlotte “Charlie” Ayliff, Harold’s sister, had kept of this same period during World War I. I was struck by the overlap between the written record and the photographic record. The photographs brought life to the story and the writings put the photographs in context.

I was particularly struck by the photograph, in the banner above, of my grandmother in the cockpit of one of Harold’s training planes. She was obviously thrilled.

I was reminded of the reminiscences and photographs recently when I read this article on powered flight at Hermanus. Harold’s story is not that different from that of Henry Luyt of Hermanus.

I had already created an album combining Harold’s story with Charlotte’s photographs and felt that it would be good to publish it on our web site for everyone to see. Here it is with links to many of the places and events that Harold mentions. Please click HERE.

©Megan Stevens 2021