Historical information

This coat was owned and worn by Lieutenant T L(known as Leigh) Simpson D.F.C. who joined the Royal Flying Corps during Workd War 1. He was born in Hamilton Victoria and had an interest through his family in flying, before the war. In 1916 he transferred from the Light Horse Field Ambulance to the 68th Australian Sqd. Royal Flying Corps. He was promoted to lieutenant of the 3rd Squadron. During the war he was a pilot and photographer and took hundreds of reconnaissance photos over occupied territory. He was involved in photographing enemy positions and supplying information to the artillery batteries which then shelled those positions. He was involved in a number of missions involving direct contact with the enemy including Baron von Richtofen and was involved in the "dog fight" which led to von Richtofen's death. In May 1918 he had been promoted to Flight Commander and temporary Captain when his cousin Captain Duigan was wounded. He represented Australia at von Richtofen's funeral and presented the Australian wreath. Following his discharge after being seriously wounded, he returned home and became a grazier in the Dunkeld area. He maintained his interest in aviation throughout his life with a strong connection with Reg Ansett and was a director of Ansett Airways Pty Ltd for many years. He died in Dunkeld in 1960


This flying coat is significant because it was owned by Lieutenant Thomas Leigh Simpson DFC while he was in the Australian Flying Corps during World War 1.

Physical description

World War 1 Flying coat. Tan leather, nap finish. Lining wool fabric. Map pocket on front of chest. Internal pocket on left front behind map pocket and external pocket below the waist on the left hand front towards the side.

Inscriptions & markings

L Simpson on the inside left front.