Amy Johnson was born in Hull on 1 July 1903, the daughter of a fish merchant. After studying at Sheffield University Amy moved to London, working first as a shop assistant and then as a typist with a legal firm. In 1928 she began learning to fly with the London Aeroplane Club at Stag Lane, not far from the Royal Air Force Museum.

Her desire to fly grew stronger and she gave up her job to work in the club’s hangars. In 1929 Amy became the first woman to hold a ground engineer’s licence and early the following year she started planning her flight to Australia.