Henry Ross Alderson was my grandfather, he flew seaplanes from Newhaven between 1914-1918, although the details of my knowledge of him are very limited.All I have from those days are a few newspaper cuttings and a very valuable (to me) photo album that belonged to him.
I am doing this page for him because like us, he enjoyed taking photos from the ground and from the air to record those days and as we all like to show ours off to the world, I,m sure he would have liked the fact that all these years later its just not me seeing them, but a multitude of people.


Before I carry on about him, worth a mention was his father,my Great Grand Father.
Christopher Henry Metcalfe Alderson,who it seems was a pioneer
of aeronautics himself.This text is taken from a newspaper cutting I have of him after his death.

It is not generally known to modern Farnbourgh (Kent) that in the late C.H.M. Alderson there was residing in the locality a pioneer of aeronautics. He had been experimenting as an aeronautic engineer of exceptional mental powers and vision long before the great war.He was a founder member of the Royal Aeronautic Society, and was associated for years with Mr Stringfellow,and came into possession of the Henson Stringfellow model, which he presented to the South Kensington museum.This model plane was remarkable in that it incorporated the princibles of todays construction.Mr Alderson was much sought after by the early exponents of aeronautics and since his death a letter of regret and appreciation of Mr Aldersons pioneer work has been recieved by his widow from the secretary of the Royal Aeronautic Society.

So it seems it all ran in the family at one point and I only wish I knew more about it all. If anyone could enlighten me on any of this I would be more that happy to include any further details on this page with your credits of course.

Back to my Grand father Henry Ross Alderson, as I have already said he flew sea planes from the south coast during the first world war,mainly I think on Aerial Reconnaissance missions.I have his log books which make some very interesting reading and it goes to show that even in those days the planes they flew were not very reliable!
Below is a gallery of the shots he took from the scans I did from his album, they are not the best quality in the world but concidering the age of them you will get the idea,I have cropped them so you can see his comments next to the shots he took....enjoy!








The photo gallery of Henry Ross Alderson








A few shots from a recent visit to the old seaplane station where my Grandfather was based.One of the ramps that head out to sea still exist as do the concrete foundations to the hangers where the runners to the hanger doors are clearly visible.


Overhead view courtesy of Google Earth.

Please click this link to learn more on the fascinating history of the Tidemills at Bishopstone (Newhaven),where the seaplane base used to be, Tidemills.webs.com





Proberly the most valuable memrobielia from this collection is this certificate given to my
Grandfather for his services,signed by Winston Churchill. (click picture for a larger size.)
________________________________________________________________________

The sad thing about my Grand Father is that I never got to meet him,
he died in a motor cycle accident when he was 30 years old,
it would have been great to hear of some of his storys,
but at least I have these memorys of him.

Paul Drabot.


More Information

If you would like to learn more about the seaplane station, and the surrounding area
please click on the link to see a superb video made by Chris Conil, and presented by
historians
Kevin Gordon and Peter Fellows.