William Hugh Ewen

Pioneer Scots Aviator Certificate No 63

Early years

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Born in Shanghai, China of Scottish Missionary parents, William Stevenson Ewen and Selina Blakeway, he travelled to Edinburgh in1882 where his father became the Master Printer at Messrs. Peddle, Ewen and Co, Edinburgh.†† He attended George Heriotís College, Edinburgh and then entered Edinburgh University as a medical student.†† With other views in his mind he worked in business for five years before returning to the University to study music and obtained his Bachelor of Music, a subject he had been interested in since boyhood.†† He passed out with honours in every subject and gained his Degree in record time.


He was well known as a brilliant pianist at the age of twelve, and had been appointed organist at the Haddington United Free Church before he was out of his teens.†† After acting as organist in Dalkeith and Edinburgh, he was appointed organist at Haddington Parish Church.†† About this time he became interested in aviation and built several models of gliders and experimented in making them fly.


In July 1910, he was appointed organist at Queens Park Parish Church following the late Dr Arnott, and gave recitals all over Scotland culminating in an appearance at the Scottish Exhibition in August 1911.


By now heavily involved in the W H Ewen Aviation Co Ltd he moved to Hendon to set up his second Flying School, the first having been in Lanark.


Further information will be added to this site as it is discovered.†† If you can add anything to his history, please do not hesitate to contact us.