Jean Gardneer Batten
During the 1930s, Jean Batten became a very famous woman from New Zealand. She also broke lots of world flying records and faced many sad moments.
Jean was born on 15th September 1902 in Rotorua, New Zealand. She had three older brothers but one died at birth. Her mother worked as an actress and her father worked as a dental surgeon.
In 1924 she was enrolled at a girls boarding college in Remuera, Auckland where she learned ballet and piano. Though she was a gifted pianist, at the age of 18 she wanted to be a pilot, inspired by the Australian Charles Kingsford Smith, who took her for a flight in his Southern Cross. In 1929 she moved to England with her mother to join the London Aeroplane Club.
Jean Batten Broke many records. In November 1935 Jean Batten became the first woman to fly from England to South America. In 1936 she made her first direct flight from England to New Zealand, leaving England in October and arriving at Mangere aerodrome in Auckland taking 11 days and 45 minutes where she was also welcomed by a crowd of 6,000 people.
Jean had some very sad momments in her life. She received bad news that the man she was planning to marry was missing. Jean went to Austrailia to help search for her fiance. Jean was very sad when she found out that her fiance was killed.
In 1982 she was bitten by a dog on the island of Majorca. She refused treatment and the wound became infected. She died alone in a hotel in Majorca and is buried there.
Jean became very well known after she had died. Her family and friends found out 5 years later that she died. Jean Batten’s world records will still be remembered around the world and especially in New Zealand and she will still be one of New Zealand’s famous person.