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Louis Blériot

The first person to fly the English Channel in an aeroplane was a  Frenchman called Louis Blériot. The flight took place on 25 July  1909 and won Blériot a prize of £1,000 from the Daily Mail. An  earlier attempt five days earlier, by Englishman Herbert Latham,  had ended when he had ditched in the sea. Blériot, a motorcar headlamp manufacturer, had injured his foot  and walked to his plane with the aid of crutches. He took off at  4.37am and, guided by smoke from a French destroyer, he  spotted St Margaret’s Bay. Turning towards Dover he was caught by the wind and made a crash landing in Northfall Meadow,  behind the Castle, breaking the undercarriage and propeller. The  whole journey had taken 20 minutes.   A memorial in the form of a stone silhouette of Blériot’s plane is  set into the ground at the place where he landed.
Blériot at Dover, 1909. He is standing next to his plane after after the crash landing. Blériot Memorial. The memorial shortly after its construction from an old postcard. Blériot Memorial. The plaque in the centre of the memorial. Louis Blériot.