Bill Lancaster: The Final Verdict

Bill Lancaster: The Final Verdict

The Life and Death of an Aviation Pioneer

Ralph Barker

Publication date:
November 2015
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
No associated books available.


Captain William Lancaster was the subject of public attention and controversy during his life as a record-breaking flyer, because of his love affair with Jessie ‘Chubbie’ Miller (dubbed “the Australian Aviatrix”) and as the defendant in one of the most sensational murder trials of the twentieth century. His disappearance, which occurred during an attempt to break the London to Cape Town record in 1933, less than a year after his acquittal, led to speculation that his ill-prepared last flight had been driven by desperation, perhaps even guilt.

Twenty nine years later, a French military patrol in the Sahara stumbled across the wreck of Bill’s plane and his body, along with his perfectly preserved log book. For eight days he had calmly recorded his thoughts, looking back over his life as he stoically faced death.

In Bill Lancaster: the Final Verdict, we are presented with the original story in full (first published in 1969 as Verdict on a Lost Flyer), complete with an additional postscript written by the late author's daughter. Meticulously researched by Ralph Barker and written with the full cooperation of Chubbie Miller and the Lancaster family, it includes a complete transcript and photographs of the moving account contained within Lancaster's final diary – a precious record that has since gone missing.