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The Countess of Selkirk

THE COUNTESS of Selkirk, Audrey Douglas-Hamilton, has died at her Dorset home, within one month of her husband.

Lady Selkirk, who died on Wednesday, was one of the pioneer women aviators and a close friend of Amy Johnson.

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She broke some bones when her aircraft crashed on Mount Kilimanjaro, but managed to get out an SOS message written with lipstick.

Despite all her fractures both as a flier and the best female skier of her generation, she lived until the age of 91.

During the Second World War, when her future husband was chief intelligence officer to Lord Dowding during the Battle of Britain, she flew Spitfires to forward airfields as one of the unsung heroine pilots in the Air Transport Auxiliary.

Her nephew, Scottish Office Minister Lord James Douglas-Hamilton, said yesterday: ''She was a very courageous woman. He passed over inheriting the earl's title to remain as MP for Edinburgh West.

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