W.30  2nd Officer

Edna Violet 'Sammy' Clayton

 flag england b. 26 Jul 1900, Hampstead, London  1 Mar 1941 to Feb 1942 

 sammy clayton 1936  RAeC 1936

   The Sketch, 1942    


née Samuel

Father: Barnett Samuel (a financial broker, d.1925), mother Annie Leah [Barnett] (d. 1933)

Ed. St Paul's Girls School; Slade School of Art

2 sisters (Amelia b. 1891, Olga Esther b. 1893, later Mrs Roys), 1 brother (Ivor Dudley b. 1894)

m. 5 Mar 1927 in Hampstead, Harold Clayton (later Sqn-Ldr with No 40 Group, Andover)

Address in 1936: 128 Dorset House, Gloucester Place, London NW1

prev. 1939- Dec 1940 Section Cadet Officer, Mechanised Transport Corps

prev. exp. 87 hrs on Tigers [sic], Hornet Moth, Puss Moth, Potez, Tanpin, Swallow in France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Austria, Hungary, America, Czechoslovakia, UK

Address in 1941: 36 Viceroy Court, Prince Albert Rd, London NW8


Harold and Edna contested the will of Edna's father, Barnett Samuel, in 1941.

Briefly, Barnett had left Edna a large legacy, but specified that she would forfeit it if she married someone "who is not of Jewish parentage and of the Jewish faith"

"This is a case in which the testator has sought, in the words of the Master of the Rolls, to direct the lives of his children from the grave ... to control his daughter Edna's choice of a husband."

Now, Harold Clayton was an English Wesleyan, "not in any possible sense of the words a person of Jewish parentage, nor has he been at any time in any possible sense of the words a person of the Jewish faith"

... which sounds like an open and shut case, but No!

In a rather Dickensian twist, their appeal was (thankfully, IMHO) upheld as (I can only quote the judgement): "It is true that, on any possible construction of the clause Mr. Clayton was disqualified. But any possible construction is not the question: the actual construction must be certain: and as it is not the Appeal succeeds."

So there you have it. Hope that's clear.

[On her application form for ATA, Edna gave her religion as 'Protestant']

 Postings: 5FPP

 Described herself as an 'Artist' when emigrating to Kenya in Nov 1957 (and was either widowed or divorced at the time)

d. 13 Aug 1970 - Nairobi, Kenya


Download ATA Pilot Personal Record (.zip file):download grey

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