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Arthur Frederick Daubney Olaf de Moleyns 1898 - 1987

(7th Baron Ventry)

 

Arthur Frederick  Daubney Olaf de Moleyns was born in 1898.  He was known as 'Bunny'.  He was educated at a private school at Langton, Matravers, Dorset and at Wellington  where he first became interested in balloons and airships.

 

He served with the Irish Guards from 1917 to 1918 and was wounded before being  transferred to the Royal Air Force as Commodore of No. 902 County of London Balloon squadron in the Auxiliary Air Force.  He served in 2nd World War 1939 - 1945  as a flight lieutenant in Balloon Command and Intelligence.  He was a certified Aeronaut, balloonist and champion of the airship.

 

In 1949 he began work on the Bournemouth, the first airship to be built in Britain  since the ill-fated R101 crashed in 1930.  The Bournemouth was due to make its maiden voyage in July 1951 but failed to rise.  It  was designed to hold up to five people and Lord Ventry, who weighed 17 stone, had to get out and allow a lighter man to take his place.  The trials proceeded satisfactorily.  Lord Ventry later made many successful flights in the Bournemouth until it was accidentally damaged in the hangar at Cardington in 1953 and was eventually scrapped.  Lord Ventry continued to travel in airships until he was  eighty.  He was joint editor of  'The Airship and Aero History' and chairman of the Airship Club.

 

He converted to Catholicism in 1941.

 

Hanna Moriarty of Rahanane, Ventry, told the following story

'I remember  three Devane  sisters Ballintrasna going to work in London.  As they were coming out of a  church one Sunday, the Parish Priest ws at the door talking to a tall distinguished looking man.  The priest said "these are three little Irish girls in my congregation".  The man was interested "What part of Ireland?" he asked them.  "Kerry"; "What part of Kerry?" "Dingle".  He  said "I was born there.  When you go back tell the people back there that you met Lord Ventry  and he is now a Catholic". (1)

 

He never married and on his death in 1987 was succeeded in the peerage by his nephew Andrew Harold Wesley Daubeny de Moleyns.

 

(1) The Lord Ventrys - Hanna Moriarty, Rahanane, Ventry, December 1984  Full Acount available in Dingle Library.

Next in line - Andrew Harold Wesley Daubney de Moleyns - 8th Baron Ventry.

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