Many institutions and individuals hold items and photographs relating to the 1919 Air Race and the Vickers Vimy flight. Across the nation you can also find public memorials dedicated to the pioneering feat. We are sincerely grateful to those who have shared their treasures with us. For a comprehensive list of materials held in collections around the world, please check out our resources section.

Advertiser Library historic images

News Corporation was the official media partner of the 2019 Epic Flight Centenary, and supplied the following images and associated news clippings from The Advertiser Library to help us tell the story of the Vickers Vimy and the Smith crew. Sincere thanks to News Corporation for their support. Please note: these images are not to be republished without the permission of News Corporation.

Mural for Vickers Vimy memorial 1987

South Australia “Jubilee 150” event 1986

The Vickers Vimy Memorial at night 1983

Vickers Vimy restoration 1982

England to Australia Commemorative Air Race winners 1970

Lady Anita Smith celebrates 50th anniversary of epic flight 1969

Wally Shiers 1965

Lady Anita Smith and Wally Shiers 1965

Vickers Vimy memorial hangar officially opens 1958

John Dowie’s sculpture of the Vimy crew 1958

Damaged Vickers Vimy in its memorial hangar 1957

Sir Keith Smith visits Darwin landing site 1935

Vickers Vimy in Adelaide 1920

Artworks

John Dowie bust of Ross Smith

Marion Jones portrait of Lady Keith Smith

Janice Eames mural

Jesse Bell & David Collins mural

Stuart Reid oil painting

Frederick Brook Hitch sculpture

William McInnes oil painting

Norman Clifford oil painting

Stefan Twaine-Wood mural

John Dowie sculpture

Australian and International Memorials

Across Australia – from Darwin to Charleville, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide – you’ll find public memorials standing in silent tribute to the Vickers Vimy crew and their record-breaking feat. Sincere thanks to Helen Stein from North Road Cemetery for helping to research and compile this comprehensive collection for us. A small memorial can also be found in London.

Adelaide – Lightsview

Adelaide – South Australian Aviation Museum

Adelaide – Army Museum of South Australia

Adelaide Airport – Shiers & Bennett House

Adelaide Airport – Sir Ross and Sir Keith Smith War Memorial

Adelaide Airport – Smith Brothers Walking Trail

Adelaide – Aviemore

Adelaide – Queen’s College Honour Board

Adelaide – Sir Ross Smith Memorial, Creswell Gardens

Adelaide – landing site monument, Gilles Plains

Adelaide – Greenacres mural

Adelaide – North Terrace plaque

Adelaide – Hillcrest & Oakden Walking Trail

Adelaide – Ross Smith Secondary School

Adelaide – St Peter’s Cathedral

Adelaide – St Peter’s Church, Glenelg

Adelaide – Vickers Vimy Reserve

Adelaide – Walkerville Primary School

Melbourne – Lieutenant James Bennett monument

Sydney – plaque for Qantas airline “Ross Smith”

Charleville – memorial cairn

Darwin – Smith Park

Darwin – First Flight Memorial

Darwin – Aviators Park

Darwin Aviation Museum

London – Hounslow Heath

Commemoration

The Great Air Race of 1919 gripped Australia and the world – indeed, experts say that in its day the Vimy landing in Darwin was as awe-inspiring as man landing on the moon 50 years later. Many commemorative pieces have since been created to celebrate the epic achievement of Sir Ross Smith and his crew.

Alliance F-70

Britannia B767

AEROPEX postcard and Adelaide Airport postmark

50th commemoration stamps

Sir Ross Smith button – Andrew Bennett

Adelaide Mint medallions

1969 phone book – Wendy Robertson

Ross Smith stamp

Souvenir buttons – Steve Harrison

Official Souvenir Booklet – Les Parsons

Vickers Vimy flag

Ross Smith maquette – Pam Hausler

Our Flying Boys music

Tivoli Theatre ‘Welcome Home’ program

Sir Ross Smith Aeroplane Race Game

50th Anniversary Silver Dish

Image: silver dish featuring engraving around its lip. The engraving includes maker's marks and the logo of Vickers for both 1919 and 1969.

Commemorative Fan

Image: paper fan on a wooden stick

Gravesites

The Vickers Vimy crew members were laid to rest in Adelaide and Melbourne between 1922 and 1968. Sadly, none had children. Thanks to North Road Cemetery historian Helen Stein for compiling this gravesite collection for us.

James Bennett

Walter Shiers

Sir Keith Smith

Sir Ross Smith

Private Collections

Many treasures are held by individuals who have generously shared them with us for the Epic Flight centenary.

Ross Smith in Bandar Abbas

Vimy in Adelaide 1920 – Richard Koehne

John Dowie sculpture – Max Lawrie

The Wonder Book of Aircraft – Toby

Letter of introduction

Brass plaque – Peter Lane

Ross Smith statuette – Peter Docking

Vickers Vimy crew lead figures – Tom Young

Captain Frank Hurley attaching a camera to the top of the Vimy at Northfield – Ron Blum

Scrap book of the Vickers Vimy arriving at Northfield – Thomas W Farmer

A man and a young girl in a garden looking up at something – Daryl Austin

Vickers Vimy in Adelaide – Eric Van Kruyssen

Vickers Vimy arriving in Darwin – Judith Wirtz

Arrival of the Vickers Vimy at Northfield – Ron Dearing

Vickers Vimy at Northfield Aerodrome – Henley & Grange Historical Society

Robertson Collection

Arthur Robertson was born in 1919 and became fascinated by Australia’s aviation pioneers after seeing the first commercial flight from Adelaide to Perth pass just 20 metres overhead on 2 June 1929. In later life, he used skills developed at Adelaide’s School of Fine Arts to create an incredible array of historical records on the epic flight for use by schools, museums and community groups. His artworks, scrap books and talks were all aimed at rekindling interest in South Australia’s aviation heritage. And by coincidence, Arthur’s wife Eileen was a second cousin to Wally Shiers. Arthur, we salute you!

Arthur Robertson’s Vimy model

Decorative scrapbooks

Framed posters, photos and artworks

Painting on glass – Wendy Robertson

Vimy models

Placemat

Original Vimy fabric

Souvenirs

Etched goblet

Picture boards

The Smith Brothers

This collections relates to the lives of Ross and Keith Smith. After spending┬ápart of their childhood on Mutooroo Station, near Broken Hill, the boys were educated at Queen’s School in North Adelaide. In 1910, Ross joined the Australian Mounted Cadets and was selected to represent South Australia in an international tour. He enlisted in August 1914, joining the 3rd Light Horse Brigade, and fought in the Dardanelles and at Romani before transferring to the Australian Flying Corps. Keith joined the Royal Flying Corps in Britain in 1917.

 

Ross Smith’s medals

Message in a pickle jar

Ross Smith letter to his father Andrew

Ad-men’s Institute Life Membership

Brass lecturn, North Rd Cemetery

Queen’s College medallion

Sir Ross Smith watch

Adelaide Harriers Running Club

1909 autograph book drawings

Keith Smith’s medal miniatures

Image: 6 medals and ribbons aligned. Five of the six are circular and the sixth is a cross with a circular middle and a crown on top.

Cigarette Case

Image: external photo of metal cigarette case. Engraved are the initials KMS and the insignia of the Royal Flying Corps above and underneath

Pilot “wings”

Image: two sets of gold braid wings on navy fabric

Vimy models

Peter Hill’s remote-controlled Vimy

Lyall Jaensch’s Vimy model

Arthur Robertson’s Vimy model

Vimy models