Catalogue description Mrs. Mildred Mary Bruce

This record is held by Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre

Details of 1700
Reference: 1700
Title: Mrs. Mildred Mary Bruce

Motoring, aviation and powerboat endurance, reliability and record-breaking events 1926-1932


General motoring and aviation publications and press cuttings 1927-1932


Southern Speed Boats 1929


Commercial aviation companies 1934-1951


Glove manufacturing 1945-1963


General business papers 1943-1951


Motor yacht "Fantasia" 1946-1949


Properties 1940-1951


Probate 1941-1953


Personal 1927-1951

Date: 1927 - 1963
Held by: Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Bruce, Mildred Mary, b 1895, of Bradford-on-Avon

Physical description: 67 files
Immediate source of acquisition:

Mrs. Mildred Mary Bruce

  • Air transport
  • Motor vehicles
Administrative / biographical background:



The papers described in this catalogue were found by chance in 1980 in the derelict former glove factory of Holman Byfield & Co. Ltd. in the Regency Arcade, Warminster. On examination, they proved to document, albeit unevenly, aspects of the public and business life of Mildred Mary Bruce, née Petre, between 1926 and the early 1950s - in particular her endurance, reliability and record-breaking motoring experiences of the late 1920s, her 19,000-mile flight round the world in 1930-1931, and her later business involvement in commercial aviation companies from 1934.


Known usually as the Hon. Mrs. Victor Bruce during this period, she was to settle in Bradford-on-Avon in 1950 where she continued her business interests in the glove trade with, among others, Holman Byfield & Co. Ltd.


It is clear from those papers which have survived that a far larger proportion has been either lost or destroyed. For example, the majority dealing with the operation of Mrs. Bruce's aviation companies between 1934 and the late 1940s have disappeared - many having been destroyed by enemy bombing at Croydon Airport in 1939. The main reason a proportion has survived at all was due to their retention by Mrs. Bruce for Inland Revenue tax purposes. Also, there are very few documents which deal with the wartime aircraft construction, repair and modification contract work carried out at Cardiff between 1941 and 1945 by her principal aviation company, Air Dispatch Ltd.


The papers as a whole, especially the large number of extant personal accounts for the purchase of mainly luxury goods and services and those papers dealing with Mrs. Bruce's various houses and London apartments, provide a good insight into her life style at this time.

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