The airship R101 crashed near Beauvais on 5 October 1930 on the first stage of its flight to India. 48 of the 54 on board were killed or later died. This postcard of the airship (135 x 185 mm), signed on the front by the six survivors, was given to the proprietors of the Mbeya Hotel. On the rear is written 'To Mr. and Mrs. Menzies. With the compliments of the survivors of the R.101. Mbeya Hotel. Victor Savory.' Mr. Savory is also one of the signatories on the front.
With this photograph is a sheet of paper 'We the undersigned as the first passengers on the Cape to Cairo S.A. route wish to express our entire satisfaction at all the arrangements Mr. and Mrs. Menzies have made for our comfort and convenience - and only wish we could stay at Mbeya longer. Alfred Beit Victor Cazalet L. Castlemaine.' No information explaining the presence of the six survivors in Tanganyika [Tanzania] has yet been found.
Imperial Airways' England-South Africa route, formerly used for mail, was opened for passenger traffic in both directions on 27 April 1932. Mbeya was a night stop on the southbound route, John Stroud, 'Annals of British Commonwealth air transport 1919-1960', (London, 1962), pp. 94, 96.
Presented to the Royal Commonwealth Society Library by the Oxford Colonial Records Project, which had been given these items by Mrs. May V. Menzies