Frank Whittle

On 12th April 2000 a memorial stone was unveiled in the Royal Air Force Chapel in Westminster Abbey to Air Commodore Sir Frank Whittle, O.M., K.B.E., C.B. This chapel, dedicated in 1947, is at the east end of the Lady Chapel and contains the graves of RAF leaders Lord Trenchard and Lord Dowding. The inscription on the stone reads:

Frank Whittle. Inventor & Pioneer of the Jet Engine. 1907-1996.

Frank was born on 1st June 1907 in Coventry, son of Moses Whittle, engineer, and his wife Sara Alice. He entered the RAF college at Cranwell and in 1930 married Dorothy (Lee) and had two sons. The first test run of his prototype jet engine took place in 1937. In 1941 the engine had its first flight and the Meteor I jet aircraft were in service with the RAF by spring 1944. Whittle retired from the RAF in 1948 and was knighted. He moved to the USA in 1976 and his second wife was Hazel (Hall). In 1986 he was awarded the Order of Merit and he died on 9th August 1996. His ashes are buried at RAF Cranwell.

Further Reading

See also the website of the Sir Frank Whittle Commemorative Trust


1st June 1907


9th August 1996


12th April 2000


Airman; engineer


Lady Chapel

Material Type


Frank Whittle
Frank Whittle memorial

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