Search results for Royal Flying Corps.

20 August 1897 : Cpl / Flt. Cdt John Arthur Wilson MM

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As a boy, after Sunday lunch, I recall sitting on my grandfather's knee and he would start off with the line ‘have I told you about the time ...' and he'd then add, ‘.... we were gassed' or '.... we took a German prisoner' or '..... I was transferred to the Royal Flying Corps'. Perhaps this started my interest in history. In his 96th year Jack r…


12 August 1914 Lt Robin Reginald Skene, Royal Flying Corps

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Robert Skene, the son of Felix Skene, the Chief Clerk of the Judicial Office of the House of Lords,  was born in Surrey on 6 August 1891. Known as 'Robin', at the time of the April 1911 Census, the 19 year old was a clerk at the Royal Exchange Insurance Office and living with his parents and 3 siblings and their housemaid, at 47 Addison Gardens, K…


025: Spring 1989

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030: Winter 1990

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Above the Trenches - Supplement

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Book review by Gary Sheffield. Above the Trenches - A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces 1915-20 first appeared in 1990 and was a mine of useful information. This Supplement consists of more of the same: brief biographies of pilots omitted from the original book, plus other information that the indefati…


066: January 2003

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100: June 2014 Centenary Edition

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When the Navy Took to the Air: The Experimental Seaplane Stations of the Royal Naval Air Service

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Reviewed by Niall Ferguson. Those hoping to read of the exploits of the RNAS on the Western Front will be disappointed since the secondary title of this volume provides a better description of the contents than the primary. While there is some description of aerial action, it reflects only on the culmination of research and experimentation at plac…


Stand To! 1 to 118 Full Contents Listing

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Stand To! 1-118 Content Stand To  1 Spring 1981 Editorial Notes (Peter T. Scott) Serving members of the Western Front Association Early Days, New Paths and Acknowledgements Inaugural Meeting: John Terraine's Address. Historian John Terraine berates those who indulge in ‘purely tragic pilgrimages to the Western Front’. The Loving Care of the…


Winged Sabres: One of the RFC’s Most Decorated Squadrons

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By Robert A Sellwood Pen & Sword Aviation, £25.00, hb, 344pp, 35 b/w ills, six appendices. ISBN: 978–152–672–957–6 Robert Sellwood’s maternal grandfather, George Tester, was killed in action in September 1917 serving as an air gunner in 20 Squadron RFC. Wanting to know more about his grandfather and the squadron in which he served led to 15 …


Over and Above

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By Captain John E Gurdon DFC Grub Street, £16.00, hb. 224pp, 12 ills. ISBN: 978–1–911621–08–9 John Everard Gurdon, commissioned into the Suffolk Regiment, transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in May 1917. After pilot training and a period of instructing, he was posted to 22 Squadron in France in February 1918. He flew two–seat Bristol F.2B figh…


An Eye in the Sky: The Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force Career of Air Commodore Henry George Crowe MC, CBE, CBD (SC)

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By Bob Cossey Pen & Sword Aviation, £25.00, 392pp, 200 ills, appendix, index. ISBN: 978–152–672–596–7 Henry George Crowe, ‘Hal’ to his family, was born in Dublin on 11 June 1897. The son of a successful stockbroker, he was studying engineering at Trinity College, Dublin when war was declared. Too young to enlist, he joined the army via Sandh…


8 June 1919: Lt William ‘Billy’ Nichol Wilson

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Father Twentyman Wilson and mother Sarah were both from Cumberland. The family lived however 55 miles away in a cottage in Shotley Bridge, County Durham. To his parents William was known as ‘Willie’ to his five brothers  ‘Billy’. The third of six boys, Billy grew up in Shotley Bridge. His father Twentyman had started out in domestic service as th…


24 June 1917: Capt. William Parkinson Holt

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Parents Richard (a surgeon) and Maggie (née Parkinson). One of three boys, at the 1901 Census the family  lived in a 14 roomed house with three domestic servants on Albert Road, Southport.  William attended Burnley Grammar School and received a scholarship to Aldenham. After moving to Didsbury with his parents he spent the years leading up to th…


14 January 1917: 2nd Lieut. George Allan Exley

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Only son of John Exley of Farr Road a pharmaceutical chemist and his wife Mary Elizabeth. George was living on Cemetery Road, Holbeck (1901 Census) and then at the 1911 Census, on Farr Royd, Burley-in-Wharfedale. George went to Ilkley Grammar School, and was a student at the London College of Pharmacy, Clapham at the outbreak of the war. He had…


'The experience of the Royal Flying Corps on the Western Front' with Graham Kemp

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Graham Kemp will be giving a talk on the experience of the Royal Flying Corps on the Western Front during the First World War.    IMAGE: Observers and pilots of No. 22 Squadron at Vert Galand aerodrome, 1 April 1918. Each of them had brought down at least three German aircraft.  © IWM (Q 11993) 




Iris Hotblack and Alan ‘Balmy’ Morton : love letters from the Front

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At the outbreak of war in 1914, 20 year old Miss Iris Hotblack was at home with her family. They lived in a large, detached seven room house called The Boltons, on King Henry’s Road, Lewes, East Sussex. Used to living away from home, she had been sent to school in Cheltenham, she wrote regularly to her brothers, and various other male and female f…


11 March 1917:  2nd Lieut. Horace George Cecil Bowden

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Parents George (Dental Surgeon) and Ada (née Wraight)  Age 4 at the 1901 Census, Horace lived at 63 London Road (Rosenruth), Reigate. The family home included his parents, his 1 year old sister Irene, their cook and a housemaid.   Horace went to Oakshade Prep School and then Cranleigh.  He was a good shot. He represented his school at Bisley,…


The Contemptible Little Army, 1914 -1918

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By Alex Saunt   The story of the expansion and development of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) 1914-1918 and how the Contemptible Little Army became a huge, effective machine.   BEF AND THE START The possible conception: In 1904 King Edward, having decided our pretty frosty relationship with France should be improved, went to Paris with the…


29 March 1915: 2nd Lieut. John Ollis Mullins RFC

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Parents E. Roscoe Mullins (sculptor) and Alice (née Felton) of West Heath Avenue, Hampstead.  Educated at University College School, London. At the 1901 England Census, John, age 9, with his parents, three other siblings (older brothers Geoffrey and Claude, and sister Ida), a boarder (a sculptor student) and two domestic servants.  9 January 1…


4 April 1917: Lieut. Harold Charles Davis

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Parents Herbert (retired Director of Telegraphs, India Burma cirlce) and Charlotte (née Christopherson)  31 Pemberley Avenue, Bedford At the 1911 Census, Harold was a home with his mother and a parlour maid living an an eleven roomed dewlling.  Educated at Belmont School, The King’s School,Worcester and the Bedford Grammar School where he was ca…


5 April 1917: Lieut Harry Atheling Russell Boustead

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4th and youngest son of John Boustead and his wife Leila (née Money) of Briar Farm, Edenbridge, Kent.  At the 1901 the family lived at Westfield Parkside, Wimbledon with 8 servants (nurse, cook, parlourmaid, housemaid, groom, kitchenmaid and nursemaid, and above the stables a coachman and his wife).  Educated at Cromer Prep School, where he was…


13 April 1917: Major William Milne M.C.

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Parents, James Milne of Mary Island, British Columbia and Henrietta (née Traquaiar) both from Scotland. In 1891, age 3, William lived at Baberton House with his parents, six siblings and five domestic servants.  Educated Edinburgh Academy, Heidelburg, Germany and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. Gazetted December 1908 and stationed in Ma…


18 May 1917 : Richard John Grandin

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Parents Elias Grandin and Louise (née Alix). Educated at Victoria College, Jersey and Training Ship Conway and the the Lycée St. Breux, France.  At the 1911 Census was at home in Jersey with his widowed father, older sister and three domestic servants. His mother had died that January. Richard was working with his father as an ironmonger’s assi…


21 May 1917 : Capt. John Wilson Tailford M.C.

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Parents Robert (a Tynemouth Engineer) and Sarah (née Wilson)  Age 8 in 1901 John was at home in North Shields. His mother kept a boarding house. At the time of the census there were his mother, two older sisters, a domestic servant and three boarders in their 60s.  John was educated in West Sussex at Christ’s Hospital, Horsham where he was was a …


17 June 1917 : Air Mechanic Frank Waddington

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Parents Isabella Waddington and step-father Barker Greendwood . At the 1911 Census the family, now including three children, lived on Lincoln Rd, Earby, where Frank, his step-father, mother and the children, even the 12 year old (part-time) worked at the nearby cotton mill as cotton weavers.  A keen artist in his spare time, Frank enlisted into t…