© Alex Watson 2017 All rights reserved.

Wilfred was born on the 30th July 1896 at 18 Belsize Grove, London, his birth certificate records his name as Wilfred Samuel Joynson Wreford, his parents were, Dr. Heyman Wreford, MRCS, LRCP and Catherine Hannah Guerrier,  the middle name Samuel was later replaced with Heyman. Wilfred had an elder brother, Bertran William Heyman Wreford and an elder sister, Christabel Emma Catherine Wreford.

Heyman Wreford originally worked in the Wreford family business, a Gents Drapers firm in Exeter, at the age of forty he was a medical student in London. In 1892 he married Catherine Hannah Guerrier, daughter of corn merchant, Henry John Guerrier, Catherine's mother, Emma was the daughter of William Joynson, owner of Joynson's papermill in St Mary Cray, Kent.



Wilfred Heyman Joynson Wreford

Tony and Leila.

Olive and Tony with Captain Fitzmaurice, Baldonnel, Ireland. 8th September 1927.

Transatlantic attempt film.wmv


Captain Hinchcliffe and Captain Joynson-Wreford were at Baldonnel aerodrome about a fortnight ago, and,. although no absolute definite  arrangements were made, it was  understood that he would make the aerodrome the headquarters for his Transatlantic attempt.

(The Irish Times Wednesday March 14, 1928)

Less than 2 months after the failed attempt of the “Princess Xenia” Tony accompanied Captain W G R Hinchcliffe DFC, on an inspection of the aerodrome at Baldonnel, reportedly planning to make it the headquarters for a transatlantic flight attempt, 2 weeks later at 8.35am on the 13th of March 1928, Captain Hinchcliffe took to the skies in “Endeavour” a Stinson SM-1 Detroiter monolpane, his co-pilot was believed to be “Gordon Sinclair”, it turned out to be the Hon. Elsie Mackay daughter of the 1st Earl of Inchcape, The aircraft was sighted several times but unfortunately it disappeared and 8 months later an identifiable part of the undercarriage was washed ashore on a beach on the west coast of Ireland.

In another strange twist to Xenia’s life story, she was to become a close friend and later bridesmaid to Lady Rosemary Mackay, Grand niece of Elsie.

 Wilfred married again in 1932 for the third and final time to Amelia (Leila) Isobel Eccles McClintock.

Olive gave birth to their only child a son, he was to be given his father’s assumed name of Anthony Patrick Joynson-Wreford, he was born on the 10th January 1928, in Paris, where the Wreford's had been living. Shortly after this they separated and later divorced.

The Wrefords moved to Brighton, before finally re-settling in Exeter where they lived at "The Firs, Denmark Rd, Exeter".

Wilfred was also known by the names, Anthony and Tony Joynson-Wreford, it is not known why he chose to be called Tony, his name was never changed legally, all his legal documents were signed as W.H.J Wreford.

Bertran was killed in action on April 17th 1917 in France, Christabel married Alan Maurice Gladwell on the 12th October 1921.

Tony married Mrs Frances Agnes Parker, widow of Captain. Alan Foggett Parker, they were married at the Chapel Royal at the Savoy on the 12th of December 1918. Frances had a daughter also called Frances, from her first marriage.

On 10th March 1926, Tony married Olive Vivian Fletcher nee Trainor, with whom he had been having an affair, which started in 1923.

Tony loved the thrill of adventure, he owned and raced cars and horses, he was a keen aviator, and co-financier of an attempt to cross the Atlantic in September 1927 his co-financier was William Bateman Leeds “The tin plate King”.

 The FOKKER F.VIIa monoplane was named “Princess Xenia” after William Leeds wife Princess Xenia Georgievna of Russia.

Watch the PATHE film footage by clicking the film reel icon: