Aerial view from the north west of the Graf Zeppelin above St Paul’s and the River Thames, 1930.
Airship history is filled with colorful figures. One that fascinated me from documentaries was the lone woman. Her name is Lady Grace Marguerite Hay Drummond-Hay, the widow of a British diplomat. As a journalist, she worked for the William Randolph Hearst newspapers. When the LZ-127 Graf Zeppelin circumnavigated the world in 1929, Lady Hay Drummond-Hay was the only woman amongst the male journalists and crew.
A new film directed by Ditteke Mensink uses her letters and diaries from the Graf Zeppelin voyage, along with footage taken from newsreels and other sources. The film has been entitled “Farewell”, but it also aired on BBC4 as “Around the World by Zeppelin”. Poppy Elliott provides the narration as Lady Hay Drummond-Hay. This blog post includes a review along with a more detailed accounting of the historical events and inaccuracies found there.
LZ 129 Graf Zeppelin in flight over Philadelphia, 1928