Geoffrey de Havilland - Early Life

Early Life

Born on 27 July 1882 at Magdala House, Terriers, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, de Havilland was the second son of the Revd Charles de Havilland and his first wife, Alice Jeannette (née Saunders). He was educated at Nuneaton Grammar School, St Edward's School, Oxford and the Crystal Palace School of Engineering (from 1900 to 1903).

After engineering school, de Havilland's first interest was in automotive engineering, building cars and motorcycles. He took an apprenticeship with engine manufacturers Willans & Robinson of Rugby, after which he worked as a draughtsman for The Wolseley Tool and Motor Car Company Limited in Birmingham, a job from which he resigned after a year. He subsequently spent two years working in the design office of Motor Omnibus Construction Company Limited in Walthamstow. While there he designed his first aero engine and had the first prototype made by Iris Motor Company of Willesden.

He married in 1909 and almost immediately embarked on the career of designing, building and flying aircraft to which he devoted the rest of his life.

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